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13 Quotes About Love That Reveal the Meaning of True Friendship

13 Quotes About Love That Reveal the Meaning of True Friendship

No one cares how many Facebook friends you have. The quantity of your friendships will never make you happy. What’s the point of being connected to a bunch of people you don’t trust? These 13 quotes about love will help you understand the meaning of true friendship.

1. “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

A true friendship cannot blossom in the presence of judgement. If you are afraid to tell a person you love anything about your past, then you should consider whether they belong in your life.

2. “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ― André Gide

A true friendship cannot be built on a foundation of lies. Concealing the truth to convince people to like you reflects a lack of self-confidence in who you are. Why should you care about pleasing people who will never accept you?

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3. “There are all types of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

A true friendship cannot be special if it is a mirror image of another. Expecting a new person to replace an old friend is a foolish endeavor that will only result in disappointment.

4. “Love is someone showing you the beauty in things you’ve never noticed before…things in yourself mostly.” ― Mama Zara

A true friendship cannot survive an atmosphere of negativity. While a true friend shouldn’t be afraid to be brutally honest, they should also be a positive influence that inspires you to be better.

5. “Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” ― James Baldwin

A true friendship cannot thrive without total transparency. If you can’t reveal secrets without fear of being scolded, then why should you bother spending time with that person?

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6. “I like not only to be loved, but also to be told I am loved.” ― George Eliot

A true friendship cannot flourish without words of encouragement. People who don’t appreciate you don’t deserve you. When there is an imbalance in kindness between two halves of a relationship, it is time to have a difficult conversation.

7. “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe

A true friendship cannot be sustained if you are unable to forgive the faults of another. A person who hurts you continuously without regret shouldn’t be trusted, but we are all human and make mistakes, so forgiveness should be granted (without any guilt attached!) as long as an apology is presented.

8. “I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.” ― Jay-Z

A true friendship cannot exist without an ability to confront your shortcomings. Before you assume a person is being cold for no reason, perform an honest assessment of how you are behaving. Most people don’t shut down emotionally unless they have a good reason.

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9. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu

A true friendship cannot strengthen you without a readiness to return the emotional investment. Love is a gift that must be given equally between both parties in a relationship.

10. “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ― Mother Teresa

A true friendship cannot be found if you expect all people to mistreat you. A frown is a visual cue that you aren’t interested in meeting others, while a smile is an open invitation for people to approach you.

11. “Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’” ― Erich Fromm

A true friendship cannot be all about you. Viewing a friend as if they are a part of your existence, without considering that they have a life beyond you, reflects a self-centered worldview. Just because a person doesn’t want to hang out with you doesn’t mean they don’t like you; maybe they worked all day and need some time alone to relax and recharge.

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12. “The best thing to hold on to in life is each other.” ― Audrey Hepburn

A true friendship cannot serve you if you don’t seek support when you need it. Being vulnerable will help you relieve the burden you carry, and a single hug is often more soothing than a thousand words.

13. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” ― William Shakespeare

A true friendship cannot be gifted to everybody you meet. While it is good to love people without question, it is silly to believe all people will care about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to open up, but protect yourself from betrayal by only revealing your deepest and darkest secrets to true friends worth having.

Featured photo credit: with love always/Beverley Goodwin via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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