I put together a list of all the things learned thus far about discernment and genuine healthy vs connections.
- For any new connections it can sometimes be similar to dating. There may be an instant attraction, comfort, and or sense of knowing. This part is exciting as it triggers endorphins. Feeling safe in being yourself is something that we have to both learn and heal to achieve as a state of being, not as a conditional response to external factors. Therefore be yourself, be open but do so without expectations. There is a difference between having standards and setting expectations. Standards are boundaries, expectations are bets. We expect someone to be something without knowing anything about them.
Creating a lasting friendship / connection is something that is built with time, as you go through layers with one another. So step back let people show you who they are. Anything that moves to fast is a red flag for codependency and an unhealthy connection.
- This brings me to the second point which is when they show you who they are pay attention. This is how we learn discernment. Discernment is the positive, conscious flip side of judgement. Pay attention to your gut feelings, to any red flags and just keep note because this is how you start to see the whole picture of a person.
- Things to look out for are: person’s character, integrity, level of defensiveness, ability to communicate and express feelings and thoughts in an open and honest manner. Ability to listen to various perspectives and go into a place of understanding. Ability to take responsibility for their actions and lives. Level of self-awareness.
- Additional things to pay attention to is balance in the friendship. See where there are imbalances in giving and receiving. Don’t ever expect more from people than what they have shown you they are capable of giving. Accepting people where they are means accepting their limitations.
It isn’t just about the persons’ limitations, it is also accepting the limits of that friendship and how much it is going to support you back. If it’s not as supportive as what you wanted or expected it to be then it’s not as close of a friendship. It is your responsibility to accept and adjust accordingly.
This doesn’t mean have no boundaries – it means working with the reality of what is and not what we wanted it to be. This allows you to make clear and conscious choices that are right and healthy for you.
- Always pay attention to person’s boundaries. Whether they respect their own boundaries and that of others. However, having too many boundaries indicates defensiveness and being emotionally closed off.
- Assess person’s ability to connect, genuinely and consciously.
- Personally due to my commitment to personal growth and healing – I have found that I am better able to maintain long lasting connections with those who share a similar sense of commitment.
- Through many experiences I have learned to pay attention to how person treats others. Because even though it currently may not have anything to do with you, trust and believe that when conflict comes, you aren’t going to be any different.
- And my Biggest Determining Factor is: Walking on Egg Shells. A few eggshells are okay, it’s being human. A mine field of eggshells indicates a person who does not self-reflect, take responsibility for their lives and or emotions, and will gas light, project and deflect. If a specific person (meaning it’s not a general response you have to all people, which would indicate areas of healing needed for you) triggers a feeling of not being safe expressing thoughts or feelings or being direct and honest about things because it causes them to get defensive and or upset, then it’s not a friendship.