You’ve read about relationship break-ups. How to survive them, how to avoid them, or how to recognize when you should break up. What if it’s not your partner who is troubling in your life, but your friend? Just as you would in a love relationship, you need to consider whether your friendship is causing you pain, whether it is something the two of you are vested in improving, or whether it is time to walk away. What if you need a friendship break up?
Friendships change over time. The friend you were inseparable from in high school is someone you may only see once each year now. Chances are you have developed friendships with co-workers that dissolved when one or both of you found new employment. Friendships develop when we find commonalities with another, so if the common link between you changes, the bond may change. Significant life changes will naturally cause a shift in your friendships and these friendships dissolve naturally as people graduate, move, have kids or change employers.
What if your friendship isn’t just fading from your life, but your friend causes more angst than joy in your life? We all have expectations of the people around us and the role those people play in our lives. If your friendship is causing you more harm than good and it is not going to improve, it may be time to break up.
Reasons a friendship might break up
- Friendship has become toxic. Your friend is heaping unrealistic expectations on your time or emotionally draining you with their never-ending series of crises. You’re constantly pulled into your friend’s chaos.
- Values and priorities differ. Maybe your values and priorities have matured, but your friend’s have not. Or you’ve simply followed different paths that highlight the differences between you, rather than the similarities.
- Friendship is one-sided. Maybe you realize that it’s always you calling your friend to make plans. You’re frustrated when your friend doesn’t respond to your texts until the next day or calls to cancel plans more often than not. You’re the only one putting in an effort to stay connected.
- Boundaries are not respected. Your friend is always borrowing money from you and not repaying. Your friend uses the key to your apartment more often than you’re comfortable with. They treat your closet like their own. Your friend reveals embarrassing stories about you to other friends.
What does a friendship break up even look like?
It’s important to remember that there’s a reason you became friends in the first place. Ask yourself if that reason is enough to try to remain friends. If it is, then it will be important for you to voice your feelings and any disappointments or expectations you have. Be honest and succinct. If your attempts to talk about how you’re feeling are dismissed, drowned out or re-directed by your friend, try putting your thoughts into a letter. Friendships are a vital part of our health and happiness, but a friendship is not a contract. You can walk away if your friend isn’t so friendly anymore.
Related Article: 10 Ways to Detect a Lasting Friendship: A True Friend or Not?
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