Relationships: Can Our Friends Keep Us Stuck?

When one thinks about the people in their life who support them, their friends will typically come to mind. Ideally, these will be the people who one can turn to for advice, encouragement and acceptance for instance.

So one is able to be themselves around them and doesn’t feel the need to wear a mask or to put on an act. Who they are is enough and one will also have the same outlook towards their friends.

And while they are accepted for who they, there will also feel that they can grow and continue to develop without being rejected. This is not necessarily going to be something that will be vocalised, but one will sense it and come to know that it is so through how their friend or friends behave.


In the beginning of a friendship, one is going to see the other person as being completely separate and as another person. A certain amount of comfort and trust will need to form before one sees them in another way. And this can happen almost instantly or it can take a while to develop.

As time passes and one feels different towards the other person, how they see them will change. They might no longer be seen as a separate person. This doesn’t mean that one has completely lost their boundaries and become enmeshed to them or has unhealthy narcissism; it is just a natural consequence of feeling close to another.

One can then relax around the other person and no longer needs to have their guard up or to have a heightened sense of awareness, as they might have done in the beginning. This is an essential part of having a relationship with another, if one didn’t open up, then it wouldn’t be possible for a connection to take place.

Two Outcomes

Now, there are going to be two outcomes through one opening up to another person. On one side there is going to be the opportunity for one to experience a deep connection with another humans being and one that will support them, just as one will support their friend.

And to have even one true friend is priceless and not something that should be taken for granted. And part of being open and dropping ones boundaries means that one is going to seek approval and acceptance from their friend and this often taken place unconsciously.

Ones identity can often end up being partly defined through having this person as their friend. This is not negative per se; it is just part of being human. We often identify with external things and this partly allows us to form a sense of who we are and who we are not.


To seek approval and acceptance from a friend is not necessarily a bad thing; this could be classed as healthy approval and acceptance. What wouldn’t be healthy is if one was to seek approval from everyone. Having this approval can allow one to feel stronger and to be able to have handle life better. That doesn’t mean that one is dependent on their friends, it means that ones life is enhanced by having them and are therefore interdependent.

So when one feels down or like they just want to throw in the towel, their friend is there. Or during times when they have achieved a success or overcome milestone, they are also there. No matter whether one is on an up or experiencing a down, the same support is available. And when things are neither are or down and are simply neutral.

The Challenge

However, when one has lowered their boundaries and formed their identity around being friends with someone who no longer supports them or enhances their life, there could be problems. The other person may play a big role in how one sees themselves and although they are no longer on their side, it can be hard to either break way or to limit the time that they spend around them.

One will not always be aware of how one of their friends or friends in general are limiting them, it could all be taking place without them realising it. And this is why friends can be gift or they can be a curse, and this description may even sound a bit extreme. The need to break away could create feelings of guilt and fear.

A Metaphor

When one loses something in their house they are typically going to have certain places where they look. And if it is not in these places then they might end up giving up and forgetting about it.

But, there could be place where they don’t think to look and all because they don’t expect it to be there. After this area or place enters their mind, they are soon reunited with their lost item.

And friends can be very similar to this. As one has been friends with someone for while or even a short time and has lowered their boundaries; they can end up being oblivious to how they are affecting their life. So although one can feel stuck in life and unable to move forward, what doesn’t occur to them is that it could be due to being friends with someone.


One is then stuck and they have switched off or they might know about the damage that is being done. It could be that one has changed and their friend is not willing to embrace that change, and so they still try to make them embody the role that they used to play.

So one might find that they return to how they were around this friend. And all the time this side of them is being supported, they are unable to fully grow into how they now see themselves. If one has changed, one may find that their friend comes on stronger as a way to make one behave as they did in the past.

We all have an energy field or an aura and ones field influences others and another’s field influences them. And at one point in time, their friend’s field may have uplifted, validated and inspired by them, but as time has passed, it now leaves them feeling: drained, invalidated, weak, controlled, trapped and/or disempowered for instance.


This is not to say that one blames their friends or simply gets rid of them. People grow and change at different rates and each one of us has a different path to walk. And so who one feels connected to at one point in their lives may change as time passes.

One may need to reflect on how they feel around them and to listen to their body. To see if they are being nourished by their presence or if they end up feeling malnourished. If it is the second option, them one will need to utilize their boundaries. And to limit how much time they spend with them.

As one lets go of the friends that don’t support them, they will begin to attract people who do. This might not happen straight away, but if one is active and makes an effort to meet people, it will happen.

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include “A Dialogue With The Heart” and “Communication Made Easy.”

6 Responses to “Relationships: Can Our Friends Keep Us Stuck?”

  • apleaforbrandon:

    I have liked my girlfriend ever since Freshmen year of high school. We’re both Seniors now. She’s been my best friend and recently I’ve had the privilege of going out with her. We’ve been dating for a good month now. Basically, she would always have a boyfriend throughout high school. So when the opportunity came, a girl told me she liked me and asked me out so I said yes to try to distance myself away from my girlfriend now. Throughout my relationship with my ex, I still liked my current girlfriend. But, what happened is that I ended up staying with my ex for a really long time until we broke up. Then my current girlfriend was single at the time as well so I finally had the courage to ask my best friend out. However, a month later, she’s questioning our relationship because her friend pointed out that how could I like my current girlfriend since freshmen year and yet still to out with someone else. We had a very sad talk today… She asked me if I had feelings for my ex when we were going out. I didn’t want to lie to her so I told her the truth that yes I did have feelings at the time, but I kept telling her right after that she was my past and that my current girlfriend is who I want to focus on now. But instead she got mad because she just wanted a yes or no….. She doesn’t trust that I am in this relationship for us and that I am in it just to be in it because of the feelings i had and the length of my previous relationship. she thinks im still stuck on my ex. This is not true. I love this girl so much. She’s my best friend, my girlfriend, and the person I would rather be with. Just what do I do to make her see that…. I don’t want to lose her…

  • Xavier Hawthorne:

    Say I’m buddies having a person but my other friend does not want anything related to my pal. My second friend comments which comment could be read by my first friend. How do you stop this from happening?

  • callofduty5123412:

    My ex-closest friend spread nasty gossips behind my back. Now she would like to become buddies again. How do you let her know I’d rather not be buddies without losing our mutual buddies, who’re encouraging we become buddies again.

  • Ev dog:

    My close friends ex “who she still had Lots of feelings for stored teasing beside me last evening. Me,

    My closest friend, her ex, along with a 2 other men were hanging oh last evening. All of the boys were teasing beside me and saying I ought to be considered a cheerleader, I ought to be considered a lesbian, plus they offered me a nick title large old titties.. (Btw I understand I seem stuck up but it is true) The boys are perves and stored getting me in the back and like humping me? They boys left also it only agreed to be me, my closest friend, and her ex. He stored teasing beside me. He stored tryin to carry my hands, cause me to feel take a seat on his lap, attempted to drag lower my shirt. My closest friend was getting SOOO MAD. She went home so when I had been attempting to go back home he was holding me and saying to not go.. My pal was watching us from her window. She texted me later during the night and she or he was mad at me I possibly could tell but she did not be honest. She also explained o never go near her old boyfriend .. She did not express it inside a mean way but yeah.. He’s my pal though?? My real question is that I wish to spend time with him but he won allow me to? What must i do? Help!

    * she will not allow me to

  • maskills24:

    Ok… Lengthy story…

    So there’s Ami and Hudson. They once almost dated this past year. Hudson informed her he LOVED her. Like complete. But she didnt love him back. She loved him although not towards the extent. Which came her away. I quickly arrived. She asked me on holiday for any week to some lake with several our buddies and she or he began to love me. Hudson didnt enjoy it greatly. In order Hudson was fighting to obtain Ami i began to love Hudson.

    So heres what we should have to date:




    Individuals would be the associations. I love Hudson meaning im Bi. I love Ami too though. Hudson is 100% straight.

    So, time continued Hudson had been a jerk in my experience because Ami and that i were getting closer and closer. I acquired mad and stopped speaking to him. Which…I possibly could do since i gave in. He apologized several occasions too. He stated he was jealous of me. He stated it had been due to just how much he likes Ami. Well.. He kinda threw in the towel i suppose and dated this girl named Michelle who’s and in we of buddies. Well…Me and Ami stored getting closer and that he get Jealous. He informs me how lucky i’m and that i do not like it. Because he is deeply in love with Ami, ive realized I’m deeply in love with him. But he does not know. And that he informs me everyday how lucky i’m and that he informs me how sad he’s and just how he wish he could change everything but what he does not seem to comprehend is.. im studying the same factor. I love him but he does not much like me. He likes Ami but she does not like him.

    So…exactly what do i actually do?

    I love Ami. I truly do. However i dont want Hudson to obtain mad at me and honestly i believe i love men greater than women.

    I shouldn’t finish up harming Ami ultimately when ive found a man i love. Heck, ive never dated a man before because ive just realized that im bi but simply knowing i’m able to which they’re available personally i think more compelled to get it done. Such as the thrill whenever your smashing the rules or something like that? That type of feeling. hah.

    To the storyline. What must i do?

    Must i date Ami and check out and end up forgetting Hudson, although i cant. Hes certainly one of my close friends on the planet. Or must i not date Ami because im definitely going to harm her ultimately that could cause conflicts together with her, Hudson and me? Ami i know would forgive me basically did. Shes not really a grudge or hate person. I have no idea one individual she hates or does not like.

    Any ideas?

    I’m able to include more if everyone request.

    Thanks ahead of time,


  • skillz:

    Hi, I’m a 26 years old, publish-college youthful professional. I met my girlfriend attending college. We’ve been seeing one another for several years. Just before her, I’d long-term associations with males. We’re very compatible and laugh all the time. There’s lots of love, affection, and happiness within our relationship. I actually do however worry that i’m not deeply in love with her. We barely have sexual intercourse any longer (because of my very own issues) and you will find some minor problems for example not getting lots of interests in keeping (I love to be outdoors, she likes movies, etc). But, like I only say there’s lots of happiness; I am getting doubts about our relationship. Lately. there’s a guy that i’m starting to have feelings for and think he will be a great husband eventually. I really like my girlfriend a lot, although not deeply in love with her and never i could marry her. I am so confused. My real question is, given our compatibility, is our happiness and affection and love enough to hold us through difficult occasions? I understand you will find a lot of unhappy or bored associations that individuals are stuck in. We’ve a lot fun together. Maybe we’re more compatible as buddies than partners? Are these reasons enough to interrupt up? We live together now which causes it to be tough to just split up. And, given our compatibility (I have never been so suitable for an individual when it comes to personality) must i attempt to save and focus on the connection? Let’s say I don’t determine what I am searching for down the road and ruin this. I believe if her and that i were built with a family eventually, we’d make awesome parents. Many thanks!

    I’m a lady and my current girlfriend knows I’m bi. She’s too, really.

    I haven’t scammed on her behalf. Simply have new feelings for another person, but haven’t behaved in it

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