Myths can come from a lot of places. Sometimes they start with one person's experience, and grow from there. Other times they start from fear, and are believed because people don't want to see if what they think might happen is really true.
Friendship has a set of myths attached to it as well. Do you believe one of these?
1. Friends Will Make You Happy
This is a myth because no one, no matter who they are, can make you happy. You have to be happy within yourself first before you can find joy in any relationship, including friendship.
What’s more, if you put the expectation of happiness on your friends, you can find yourself blaming them when you don’t feel joy. The reality is that sometimes you’ll be happy around your friends, and sometimes you’ll feel stressed or sad. Not every moment of friendship will be filled with bliss, but that doesn’t mean friends aren’t worthwhile.
2. The More Friends You Have, the Better
Quality is what counts in friendship, not quantity. Besides that, you can only realistically manage so many friends in your life well. You have a limited number of hours in the day and have to nurture your friendships in order to keep them strong.
You’ll instinctively know if you need more friends when you feel lonely or end up doing a lot of things by yourself. Until then, don't worry about the number of people in your life and focus instead on being a good friend yourself.
3. Strong Women Can’t Be Friends
I've heard this a lot and I can tell that as a strong woman myself, it's not even close to being true. Strong women appreciate and support other women. They encourage women, appreciate the different perspectives that women bring, and surround themselves with a variety of friends.
Don't buy into this myth that strong women can't be friends with each other. Instead, work to find women you connect with. It may take time, but finding good friends always does.
4. Friendships Are Forever
The emergence of the term "BFF" seemed to transform the idea of friendship into a permanent state. The reality is, friends can come and go in our lives. Sometimes friends are there for many years, while at other times they make a brief but important stop in our world.
Friendships end for many reasons. Sometimes, you might not even know why a friend has moved on. Appreciate the friends you have in your life while you have them. If a friendship ends, mentally wish your friend the best, and continue to meet new people.
5. You Need a Best Friend
Best friends are hard to come by, and if you have one that's great. But they certainly aren't a requirement for happiness. You can have many good friends in your life that fulfill you emotionally rather than just one best friend.
6. Guys Don’t Value Friends As Much As Women
This is one of the many myths about gender differences. Guys may act slightly different with each other (they tend to be more action-oriented in their friendships), but make no mistake, everyone desires close human contact. Guys appreciate their friends every bit as much as women do, and when a friendship ends it's just as hard for them to accept.
7. Friends Share Everything
If you meet someone and feel like you need to divulge everything about yourself all at once, you probably have a few boundary issues. Friends take time to grow, and you may find out things about a friend little by little over the years. Even if a friend shares big parts of their life with you, it doesn't mean that you know everything about them.
8. Men and Women Can’t Be Friends
Make no mistake, if you've dated someone and then instantly tried to be friends with them, you probably didn't succeed. Friendship can be difficult when you have a romantic past, or even when you're secretly interested in the person.
However, many men and woman have platonic friendships that are emotionally secure. If you want to be friends with someone you've dated, however, give it some time.
9. A Good Friend Will Never Let You Down
Friends, even the best of them, are people who are flawed and clueless sometimes. Get over the perception that a good friend will intuitively know everything about you. Sometimes you need to tell them what you need from them, and other times they'll be going through something too and won't be able to be there for you.
While a good friend may disappoint you sometimes, their intent matters. Toxic friends mean to hurt, good friends don't.
10. Friendships Should Just Happen
Many people mistakenly believe that friendships will just happen naturally in the course of everyday life. That might have been true when you were a kid and made friends daily with school and neighborhood playmates, but when you become an adult you need to make an effort to meet new people and make a connection.
People's live change as you get older. Even if you have a set of friends that you've known since high school or college, chances are your friendships have changed as the years have gone on. Seeking out new friends, while still nurturing the relationship you have with your old pals, is the way to continually grow as a person.