Being the perfectionist friend
Growing up, I have a friend which we went through the same high school together, but weren’t really close with until after. We also went through our little college together, a few separate ones, and even had a few jobs together. Before you think “oh no, that’s recipe for breeding toxic friendships”, I must conclude early that we are in good shape and that I am not outlining any red flags.
I am a person of half glass empty, identifier of problem source-solution oriented type of mindset. Some may also consider this as a bit of being a perfectionist. This sometime may mislead others to think that I am the toxic one in friendships. My opinions may come off as critical in a sense that seems rude and unwelcoming, usually in nature of being inquisitive while striving for better and not judgemental. But but but!…that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of understanding the perspectives of optimism. In a society where positivity has taken over in leadership, it often feels under-appreciated being on the polar opposite end of the spectrum. I can understand that when there are tasks and activities which involve other people, one can feel different when everyone else is going off every other minute cheerleading another and he is just sitting there in silence. Constant exposure to an environment can lead one drifting closer to it.
Back to my friend. He is a good intentioned guy with basic dreams. And is a quick learner who isn’t afraid to apply his newly learned knowledge into practical use. He supports his friends, verbally and through actions. What a wonderful guy, I wholeheartedly must say. Some of the cheerleading aspects of interpersonal interactions as I have previously mentioned apply to him, at times, even exaggerated and unknowingly. But through understanding and sharing, we balance each other out. Am I writing this to show off this good friendship of mine? Yes, he is not a toxic friend. But I also want to give a show and tell on the topic of “How positive are your friends”.
Is it really a toxic friendship?
My perspectives on this question is a bit of a rhetoric. Rather than questioning whether what we have is positive or toxic friendships, we should first question ourselves. Are we seeing the brightest side of all things? Do I have anything to lose, or gain (time, energy, material, values) as an outcome? As I have mentioned I am a person who likes to point out problems (with my friends of course). Having problems is innately not a bad thing, but not correcting problems is. To some ears, it will seem hypercritical and “toxic” and quite frankly, I think letting problems persist and cheerleading it on is the actual definition of toxic. But to other ears, which I also hope others can see, is that everything that I am pointing out is representation of what I do not like; meaning, it is unlikely behaviors and values that embodies me and that my friends and peers can count on me to be consistent. I’m more cheerful as a person when I can be just myself around others, consistently.
I firmly believe that careful consideration of all angles while letting live with a touch of understanding is the key and brighter days are ahead of us, You just got to be confident and believe in it! I hope that if you find this passage insightful to please pass it onto someone else.
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