You’ve been friends with someone for years, but you’re just not feeling it anymore. Actually, what you’re feeling is annoyed, frustrated, and disconnected. Is it worth continuing the relationship? Here are a few clues that it’s the right time to break up with a friend.
1. You feel resentment
When you think about your friend, do you think about what she’s given you or what she’s taken from you? While we shouldn’t have to calculate these things, if you are, it may signal that you feel she is taking advantage of you. Unless you’re prepared to talk about it and try to find a solution, resentment is a secret relationship killer.
2. She doesn’t bring out the best in you
The litmus test for a relationship is that the other person brings out your best. If you find yourself on edge, annoyed, or overly judgmental when you talk to your friend, you probably don’t have matched values. Our friends should raise us up, not drag us down.
3. You cringe when your phone rings
The easiest way to break up with a friend, is to gauge how you feel when the phone rings and you see your friend’s name on the caller ID or when you see her message in your email inbox. If you constantly avoid answering, this is a sign that you need to take a break or move on.
4. They only call or ask to hang out when they need something.
When a friend only reaches out because they need something—maybe they need to borrow something or maybe they need someone to vent to—then this is a big sign that the friendship is one-sided and can leave you feeling exhausted, drained, and irritable. Furthermore, you might notice that your efforts are not returned, and these friends may be less available when you are in need. In healthy friendships, there is a sense of emotional reciprocity that includes checking in on each other’s emotional well-being, sometimes just to say “hello.”
5. Your growth is affected by friendship.
This is very commonly seen by people who have had long-term childhood friendships. As we grow and evolve, our interests, values, morals, and ethics do too. The people we were in the past are often not the people we are now, and sometimes, this means letting go of friends who support the older narrative of who we once were and not who we are now.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, how you feel within the friendship is a big indicator that it is time to end the friendship. It’s important to listen to how we feel and to end relationships that are not positively contributing to our personal growth and mental health. It is important to strive for friendships that leave us feeling heard, respected, appreciated, safe, and loved. There is nothing wrong with ending friendships. This is a healthy part of sending boundaries and practicing self-care.
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