It's sad but neccesary.
Friendships are one of the most important relationships we have. And just like romantic relationships, many friendships can flourish for a lifetime. But not all friendships are meant to last. While some naturally end on their own, others need a firm and forceful break.
So how do you know when it's time to break up with a friend? Here are three reasons you should end a friendship:
1. You've grown apart.
Remember the person you were at 15? How about 22? 30? 35? Chances are, you've changed a lot as you've gotten older. Our lives rarely take on parallel tracks to those of even our closest friends. We move away, we switch careers, we marry, we divorce. Everyone's life path makes jagged twist and turns, and your path may turn in a completely opposite direction from that of your friend, until you find yourself with little common ground.
This can take its toll on a friendship, with each of you spending less and less time together until your hangouts become increasingly rare. When it gets to this point, it's best to acknowledge that your friendship has run its course.
2. There's an unfair balance of give and take.
Relationships are rarely a perfect balance of fifty-fifty, and that's especially true in the case of friendships. But if you constantly find yourself in the role of the giver and your friend as the taker, something's got to give.
One of the best aspects of friendships is having a shoulder to cry on when things get rough; someone to vent to about your horrible week. If you're the one frequently being vented to and lending the shoulder while the same isn't being done for you, it's time to have a serious heart to heart with your pal.
After you have your talk and the behavior continues, it's time to cool things with this friend. Turn your focus toward nurturing the more balanced friendships you do have.
3. The friendship has become toxic.
Toxicity in friendships can express itself in many forms, but it's ultimately an extreme form of imbalance. For example, your friend may be unreliable while placing unfair demands on you and your time. She may frequently dismiss your opinions or belittle you while you encourage and praise her. Your interactions are centered around your friend rather than the both of you, and you find them to be draining rather than companionable and rewarding.
If this behavior is consistent, have a sit down and discuss your concerns with your friend. Once your concerns have been aired and the behavior continues, it's time to bring this toxic friendship to an end.
Making the decision to end any relationship is never an easy one, and friendships are especially tough because they often stand the test of time. But once you close the door on a friendship that no longer works, you've made more room for healthy and rewarding friendships that endure.