Do you ever feel like YOU contribute more to your relationship than your friend does? Well, you are not alone!

60% of women feel they do most of the giving in a friendship.* Unfortunately, this unhealthy mindset creates a barrier to trusting and developing those friendships.

–“I just can’t give more than I am already giving. So, I am quitting this friendship.”

–“It’s her turn to put some energy into our friendship and show me that I am important to her!”

I get it. My heart hardens when I feel like a friend doesn’t seem to care much as I care or initiate like I initiate. It can be exhausting to extend yourself over and over again. Sometimes, it is just a bad case of a friend who is not reciprocating the relationship (more on that here). But it is most likely our inner voice that holds us back from jumping into deep waters of friendship.

One trick to shift our friendship mindset is to remember that when we pour into a friend, it benefits us too!

“When I give to my friends, I am giving to myself.” – Shasta Nelson, Frientimacy

Whenever I initiate with a friend (giving), I receivequality time, laughter, fun, memories and meaningful conversation. My one action yields the life-giving fruit I desire in my friendships.

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This also provides us with an opportunity to show our communities an example of intentional friendship. Perhaps, our friend has never been in a healthy friendship before or she needs the added encouragement to see that friend time is important for her schedule, too. You shouldn’t ALWAYS be the sole initiator in a friendship, but the benefits outweigh the cost for you both when you remember that pursuing her serves your needs, as well.

Let’s get hands-on with this concept!

Grab a paper and your favorite pen (mine currently is a gold glitter PILOT pen my husband gave to me—school supplies are my love language).

Think of a friend and write her name down at the top and underneath list all the ways you give to this friendship.

Next to each item, write how your actions benefited you in some way.

Seeing this tangible list re-trains our thoughts to recognize that we ALL WIN when we spend energy to strengthen our friendships.

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* Nelson, Shasta. Frientimacy.