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Avoiding the Relationship Twilight Zone

Have you ever found yourself in the relationship twilight zone – the place where you don’t really know if you’re coming or going with a friend?

I began contemplating this question after reading an insightful article about the stages of friendship. The article included the following image of a “friendship pyramid.”

All our friendships fall somewhere on this pyramid. Some of us have relationships that we think are on the top of the pyramid (intimate friends, close friends), but then something happens, showing you that friend thinks of you as more of a casual friend or acquaintance.

This situation can leave you in the relationship twilight zone. But don’t worry. There’s a way out.

It begins with having an honest conversation about your friendship.

Here’s one example of how to get started.

“I really enjoy our friendship. I feel like I can tell you anything. I have a safe place with you, and I’m not sure if you feel that same way about me.”

Yes, this is a challenging conversation to have because most of us risk feeling rejected. But when you see someone as an intimate or close friend and they see you as a casual friend or acquaintance, chances are you already feel some rejection or abandonment.

Discussing your friendship will help it evolve. By setting expectations and understanding how your friend views the relationship, you will likely eliminate those negative feelings. You’ll also improve your self-awareness and self-care.

Remember: No matter where a person is on the friendship pyramid, you can still have a healthy relationship with them as long as you have clarity.

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