Could Your Friends Be Holding You Back?

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waitingtoexhale

I heard this theory about how parents are inherently flawed in the fact that they never encourage you to truly chase your dreams. Yes, they may encourage you to chase a dream, but if it’s outside the realm of an attainable and realistic goal they are likely to tell you to try something else. When a deep dive was taken into this theory it was resolved that the reason why parents are flawed is because while they want the best for you and they want you to chase your goals — they don’t want you to get hurt. As your parents, they stop at nothing to care for you and nurture you. They’re supposed to be here to protect you from hurt and pain, therefore, if they feel that your dreams may lead you to pain they will steer you away from it.

After a few experiences of my own, I realized that friends can do this to you too. I thought about each phase of a person’s dating life and what is likely to happen at each stage. So, how do your friends affect your love life? If you have good friends, your friends are a bit of a support system for you at each stage. They will comfort you when you’re going through a rough breakup or they will encourage you to get away from hurtful situations. They’ll also likely to be screening anyone you may think about dating; putting them under more scrutiny than you ever would have. When you’re in a relationship and you’re running into problems, they’re typically the first ones to tell you that you should move on.

Your friends do that because they care but I’m not sure they’re always helping the situation out. A buddy of mine recently went through a breakup and he told me about it. Asked what I thought about the situation and my advice to him was, “First off, don’t tell nobody else that you broke up with your girl. That’s the worst thing you can do.” I was right about that too. I told him that from my experience anyone you tell that you broke up with your lady, regardless of the reason, will tell you that you’re better off, unless he or she was really way out of your league.

Secondly, if you tell anybody why you broke up, you’re going to look like a dumb ass when you try and work it out. Yeah, you know when you first breakup with your old lady you have some very good reason why it happened. She may have done something that you thought you could never in a million years forgive. Then one day when you’re sitting there thinking about it, you remember that love transcends all. Now… you’ve got to figure out how to tell your friends to stop talking about her like she was a dirty dog.

Probably a more applicable to the masses example of how your friends can hold you back is when you’re hanging out with your unequally yoke friends. When I’m talking about yoke, I’m talking about these yokes; single, dating, in a relationship, married or divorced. There isn’t anyone more dangerous to a man who’s just gotten into a relationship than his single and married friends. Single guys are still out there trying to find women, so they frequent spots where you can meet and talk to women. Married guys have no rules. They can go almost the edge of the earth and their get out of jail free card is a wedding band. You’ll try and take it easy, chill with your old lady and they’re constantly trying to hit the streets.

Single guys don’t have nobody to go home to, and married guys don’t want to go home to the person they go home to, and it shows. Now when you’re single, all other men in any other relationship status will tell you to stay single. If there’s one thing I know from going to the barbershop it’s that all men pretty much think you’re better off single. Of course some of us have that disease where we need companionship, but for the most part, men will tell you to stay single.

I could go on and on about this point of hanging out with unequally yoke people, but I’m sure by now you get the point, the others can hold you back. I’m also sure by now that even the women reading today can tell that this situation also applies to their interactions with their friends too.

Before we start throwing shoes at our friends, let’s just remember they do this to protect our feelings. They don’t want to see us get hurt, or they think we’ve still got some gas in the tank, or for whatever reason they are dead set on not seeing their friends in pain. (The real friends that is… sometimes you have to watch your friends and their motives.) Therefore, the main takeaway today or the homework to be done is to evaluate the friendships that we have and ask ourselves if they’re truly holding us back. Are they aiding in our development to a better relationship or emotional well-being, or are they preventing progress? As well, as friends are we holding our friends back? Is it time to let them fly and see if their wings can take it or do we keep holding on for dear life?

- Dr. J

Do you think that sometimes friends can hold you back, prevent you from getting your blessing? Do you regularly do a check of the people in your life to see if they are truly ambassadors for your happiness? How do you let a friend know that you have to keep your distance because maintaining yourself as #1 may be compromised by your friendship? Of course, all of you who don’t have any friends like this in your life are more than welcome to comment too. T.G.I.F.

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  • http://twitter.com/MademoiseleOgus @MademoiseleOgus

    This is why I just listen when it comes to friends and their dating issues. People will do what they want regardless of what your intentions are for them. I can honestly say though, as a single lady I try to encourage working things out than just leaving, dating can be a drag.

  • Southerngyrl_

    Great post!

    I do think friends can hold you back, and like you stated, it isn't something that is always malicious. They aren't always doing it to hurt you, sometimes it is because they think they are looking out for your best interests. My friends are supportive, but we all have limits. They know that they can only tell me so much, and then it is up to me to make a decision on my own.

    My "best" friends are my sisters. They are an interesting pair. I know one of them will say something like, "Think about it and then make a decision". The other sister will say, "Girl leave him alone". To clarify, they both are in relationships. The one who says the latter, is happily married. I love them both dearly, but I know I will take the advice they give me and form my own thoughts on the matter. Even if I later regret not taking the advice, I know that all of it is because they did not want me to get hurt.

    They both want me to be happy, but they both come with different views.

    I don't think I've ever had to keep my distance from friends for the reasons you asked about, but I do know of situations where this has occurred.

  • Peter Parker

    Yeah some friends can definitely hold you back, but I think you have to know your friends. What I mean is that they may not realize what they are doing or saying, but based on their personality, you have to screen out whether it's in good or bad intentions. I agree, that most friends will come to your aid in times of need or advice, but everyone's approach and ideas about relationships will be different. As a single man myself, I must say I have very supportive friends and I think God for that everyday. In times of relationship aid or assistance, I usually listen to my boys who have been there before and have a little bit more experience in life issues than I do.

  • Smilez_920

    I have a good group of friends, I know they want to see me happy and I want to see them happy. One of my girlfriends was in a back and forth situation with her ex , she would vent to me and I would just listen. Then when she asked me what I thought about the situation all I would say is ” you have to do what makes you happy, I think you should leave but you know him better than me so do what makes you happy”.

    I also agree with the not telling people your buisness when you break up. You end up feeling stupid when you get back with the person because you talked ” not so nicely about them”. On top of that now your friends might not be so fond of your bf the second time around.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    these ninjas wan hold me back…these ninjas wan hold me back…

    i like my girlfriend and friends separate, they know off each other but don't know each other. I found it works better that way, i dont vent to them about her and i dont be telling all their business to her. I never had to tell a friend i was distancing myself but understandably its a natural progression. It comes from understanding, bros before heauxs dies in high school, female friends know they wouldnt approve of their man having a "bestie" so they fall back as well
    My recent post Today’s Word is… NETWORK

    • Mr. SD

      "I like my girlfriend and friends separate, they know off each other but don't know each other."

      I love this rule but chicks hate it. Specially because most of my friends are women

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

        thats women for ya, what they dont know must hurt them
        My recent post Today’s Word is… NETWORK

    • Bree

      Tristan your a very smart man for keeping your friends and girl seperate.
      You need to school these other young cats out here that don't know any better.

    • morganthewriter

      I keep my friends and romantic prospects separate also.

      Another reason is because friends generally have the same tastes in women, and the same attractive personality traits.

      … I don't think I need to explain the rest.
      My recent post Morgan’s Rant #3: The 9 Reasons I Don’t Go to Clubs and Parties

  • Bree

    Do you think that sometimes friends can hold you back, prevent you from getting your blessing?
    Absolutely they can. Friends and family. Many times the intentions are good, but sometimes it's jealousy. I had a friend who was actually jealous of time spent with my man when I was in relationships and we were younger. She would complain about me not spending as much time with her and what not. I'm like,
    "I got a man. I fall back when u get a man and don't complain about u not spending enough time with me. Thats borderline "gay." Sometimes your peoples want you all to themselves. At least this is the problem I had with friends and family when I'm in a serious relationship. They have gotten used to me spending time doin fun stuff with them. I get a man and much more of my time is spent with him and it's a problem.

  • Bree

    Do you regularly do a check of the people in your life to see if they are truly ambassadors for your happiness? Absolutely and it's a very important thing to do and do often. It's most beneficial to your personal growth and happiness to have good, positive, uplifting, honest, and sincere people around you. And that includes family too. Every few months I make cuts where I have to. Gotta do what I gotta do for my own well being, sanity, and happiness.

  • Bree

    How do you let a friend know that you have to keep your distance because maintaining yourself as #1 may be compromised by your friendship? You explain to them that your world doesn't revolve around them. You have other people in your life too that love and care about you. You can't shut everyone else out for the sake of them, it's not fair. I remind my friends and family that they wouldn't want to be treated the way they expect me to treat someone else for their sakes. I try to get them to make sense out of things and see the common sense, or lack their of in their expectations. I always try to give people a common sense perspective and flip things on them and ask them "how would u feel if the tables were turned?"
    Usually they realize and concede that they are being just plain selfish and need to check themselves.

  • shar

    So timely. I just told my father that I'm moving to South Korea to teach English. He says he supports me then emails me a bunch of articles about North Korea and South Korea possibly going to war. Really dad? Really??

    • Shug

      Shar, you will LOVE it! I lived there for 2.5 years and I just got back to the US a month ago. I REALLY want to go back.