Friendship woes - how secrets and jealousy can ruin your friendship, plus 5 things you should never do to your friends

Are you keeping anything from your friends?
Are you keeping anything from your friends?

A friend is someone who always has a shoulder to cry on, is always by your side when you’re knee-deep in a mess and gets even more upset than you when something doesn’t work out as planned in your life.

But because everything isn’t always as perfect as we hope, you may find yourself with a frenemy in someone who was once your best friend.

More often than not, secrets, jealousy and expectations are at the centre of friendships that turn bitter. Occasionally, we keep certain things from our friends, not always for terrible reasons (although this can be the case), but more often because we just don’t know how speak up - and so the downward spiral begins.

Social worker and counsellor, Irene Motaung, says often people keep secrets from their friends because they are worried about the outcome of being honest and fear ruining the friendship.

READ MORE: I ignored all the red flags so my friend broke up with my toxic partner on my behalf

“They then opt to save the relationship by concealing things, but this isn’t always the best way to do things as it may lead to your friend feeling betrayed.”

She offers the following advice for friends who are in the position of having to tell their friends something they may not be prepared to hear.

“Before you tell your friend something that may result in the relationship ending, consider your position in her life. Always choose the best time and place to tell her the potentially explosive news.”

She then advises that you are compassionate and understanding that the person may react out of anger and perhaps might need some time to reflect on what you just told them.

But she warns that you make sure your intentions are from a good place and not fuelled by jealousy or resentment.

“If your intentions are to help them then you should go ahead, but if you are being spiteful or trying to hurt your friend, it’d be best to keep it to yourself”.

But how does one handle being told something they didn’t want to hear from a friend?

Phumzile Ndlovu, a registered counsellor shares some advice.

“When being faced with difficult news, it’s important not to lash out at the person who gave you the information.”

“You may experience feelings of anger, disappointment or even betrayal, but it is important to know that the person was only trying to help you.”

Phumzile advises that you give yourself some time and space to process the information.

READ MORE: Maybe Malia Obama could use some tips from these five friendship red flags to watch out for

She advises that you always remain open and honest with your friend.

Making their views heard on #ThingsFriendsWontTellYou, many of tweeps were hilarious and had us nodding our heads in agreement, but some of them were straight savage.

Thankfully, however, all the tweets were not a cause for concern but rather a way of poking fun at some of the innocent yet strangely helpful things our friends should be telling us but don’t.

While we can expect certain glitches in our friendships because we’re only human, friendships are meant to be a source of support, respect and love.

Which is why we enlisted the help of Dineo Molokoane, a personal transformation trainer and author of self-help book, A New Becoming.

She sheds light on the importance of learning to define your friendships and how to maintain a positive and mutually beneficial friendship.

“Friendships are about having people around you who accept you just as you are. They should be based on truth, trust and honesty,” she says.

“A friend is a destiny helper and not just a person who is there to hang out with you”

Establishing a good foundation from the onset can set the tone of the friendship and help you overcome feelings of betrayal which are often a result of misconceptions and unreasonable expectations.

When it comes to betrayal, Dineo says people land up in trouble because of attachment. This leads to a sense of ownership and the friendship begins to define how you ought to behave as opposed to you having the freedom to just be yourself. Dineo gives us some tips on what to avoid and nurture in your friendships.

5 things you should never do to your friends

1. Don't try to impress your friends or 'buy' their love with gifts and inauthentic complements

2. Avoid gossiping about your friends' personal problems with other people, it destroys trust

3. Don't get too involved in their private lives and intimate relationships - or try to choose their life partners for them

4. Avoid inheriting your friends' enemies and don't make their battles yours. Support your friends but don't get emotionally invested

5. Never compete with your friends, it will only lead to jealousy and animosity

READ MORE: Should you tell your friend that her partner is cheating?

5 tips to maintaining good friendships

 1. Be authentic: this is the best of yourself. Do not allow the friendship to define who you should be

2. Be trustworthy: you need to be an honest person even with uncomfortable topics and situations

3. Make time for your friendship: you cannot be the only one in the friendship who is investing time and energy from it, it is a two-way street

4. Be willing to learn from your friend as this will help you carry each other to greater heights and avoid jealousy

5. You need to value each other – when you both understand that you each bring something to the table, your friendship will be much stronger

Are there certain things you think your friends don't tell you but should? Are there certain things you keep from your friends?

Share your thoughts with us here

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