This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Wellness Center. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanUWellness on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Friendships in adulthood can be difficult to navigate especially when it comes to recognizing a healthy friendship versus one with toxic traits. Growing older means meeting friends in many different ways, for instance, in college we meet them in class, club meetings or even as student workers. Throughout the years we are constantly growing and evolving and sometimes we may outgrow certain friendships. When we grow as a person, sometimes friendships do not grow with us. People grow in different ways and it is okay to let them go.
Healthy relationships look different for everyone but at its core they all consist of similar values. Having the ability to have open and honest communication with one another is the foundation for every friendship. When communicating, it is important to have respect and to practice active listening skills. Relationships have highs and lows and being able to stick through both of them can say a lot about the relationship. At the end of the day, regardless of which values and boundaries the relationship has set, what is important is that each person enjoys spending time with one another.
Boundaries are a vital part of every healthy relationship that help everyone feel comfortable. Just like relationships, boundaries are constantly evolving and they look different for everyone. An example of a boundary is that folks often believe that relationships consistently need to be 50-50; however, this is not always the case. Oftentimes it is okay if that number fluctuates because someone can’t always give everything all the time in a relationship.
We are all human and as humans we make mistakes, and that is okay. What really matters is how someone responds upon realizing a mistake. Mistakes can take many forms like snapping at someone, taking more in the relationship or accidentally pushing some of the boundaries a friend may have set. Upon realizing the mistake, it is important to be able to hold oneself accountable. Accountability can look different in various ways but the most well-known and appreciated is an apology and the willingness to learn and grow.
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Kye Binik, senior law and justice major, Wellness Center intern
Valentina Giannattasio, dance and marketing double major
Lucas Taylor, English education graduate student