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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    Above All Else, Value and Respect Yourself

    We all yearn to be seen, heard, and understood. Whether with our parents, family, friends, partners, we strive to find balance between our individual needs and the wants of others. Asking ourselves how to establish healthy boundaries and how to honor the innermost parts of ourselves can be one of the most challenging tasks. In this article, we will explore whether a "just friends" scenario is ever possible and how it is possible to maintain a relationship while prioritizing yourself.

    Reaching out for clarity may leave you feeling vulnerable as it requires you to openly admit that there is a need for it; however, engaging in a dialogue with your friend can provide much needed clarity if done responsibly. It is important to start from a place of accountability - the satisfaction does not lie in trying to prove the other wrong but rather in discovering what is true for both of you.

    The notion of being just friends encourages us to ask ourselves: What does valuing somebody look like? It looks like hesitation to take for granted the moments of closeness and connection shared. It looks like recognizing the importance of both parties' emotional wellbeing as equals. But also, it looks like allowing oneself to feel free from expectations and assumptions - free to own their agency and their lived experience.

    The thought of someone thinking of you as nothing more than a friend could create feelings of sadness or frustration. These emotions can be proof that perhaps, on some level, there is a desire for something more. Resentment and anger can be a natural response when we feel slighted by someone. This can happen when a relationship of ours disrespects the boundaries we choose to set and shows us less respect than we want or deserve.

    If you are struggling to identify and communicate your individual wants and needs, putting aside your preconceived ideas of how a particular relationship should look may prove to be beneficial. If a detail of the communication is still unclear consider the fact that not all conversations are meant to have a conclusion and that space is just as important of a tool as words are.

    No matter the status of a given interaction, taking a step back to sense what resonates for yourself can prove to be a very valuable act of self-love. By placing yourself first and foremost you’re creating a safe space for understanding. Additionally, setting personal boundaries that give attention to your innermost wants and needs may help you healthily navigate any relationship.

    As we continue to search for ways to make meaningful connections with ourselves and others, it is essential to remember that mutual understanding begins with respecting your own wishes and desires. We must learn to center ourselves with the same kind of care and determined commitment that we offer those around us – without fail. Remember, above all else value yourself.

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