All good things must come to an end.
As we constantly change with time, our roles with those around us also continue to transform. It’s hard to see a shift in dynamics with those we love the most, but there are a few things that make it easy to reevaluate a friendship.
It might be time to break up with a friend or redefine your bestie’s role in your life if...
1. She’s more "take" than "give."
Naturally, there will be times when all of us are a little needier than usual and will be unable to reciprocate our friends’ strength, comfort, and nurturing gifts. A little lopsidedness is to be expected on occasion in any relationship. However, if your friendship entails you constantly tending to her wounds or helping her put out fires without her having time to give back, you need to stop and reexamine your role in her life and vice versa.
2. You have the same problems over and over again.
I can gauge which of my friends are the most valuable by who will come to me and earnestly tell me when I’m pissing them off. Knowing that they respect both me and themselves enough to deal with my shortcomings head-on is all the motivation I need to fix the problem and be vigilant about it forever afterward.
What kind of friend would I be if I heard their grievances, recognized my problem, and then opted to just keep being hurtful? It goes both ways, though. If you’ve had more than one confrontation with your BFF about her harmful behavior and she shows no signs of changing, that’s a major red flag.
3. It’s all about her, all the time.
This sounds a lot like the first point on this list, but this doesn’t always pertain to neediness. Someone who is self-centered can dominate the conversation about how awful things are for them, sure, but they can also refuse to celebrate anything but themselves as well.
It’s OK for all of us to be overwhelmed with our own emotions from time to time, but life is about taking turns with the spotlight. A good friend takes the time to actually listen to what’s going on in your life and be present for it completely.
4. You constantly have to babysit her.
Listen, I’ve certainly had nights where it was up to my friends to get me home safe. I’m not proud of it, but we’ve all been there. Luckily, I’ve also gotten to repay the favor for most of them, which is what friendship is all about!
That said, if your friend is always the gal who is too sloppy to stand up at the end of the night, that’s a huge problem — not just for your friendship, but also for her health. Unfortunately, you’re not actually doing either of you any favors by continuing to clean up her mess.
5. She spreads your personal business around.
After high school, you stop getting all worked up about people who talk about you behind your back and learn to just leave them behind. Unfortunately, as we get older, we learn to adapt our language so it doesn’t actually sound like talking sh*t, it just sounds like concern.
I’ve been guilty of it, too, and I have a bad habit of asking my husband or a mutual friend how to handle a problem with someone that should be one-on-one. However, I’ve seen way too many people take this to the extreme and use “concern” as an excuse to talk sh*t about their best friend’s entire lifestyle to any willing audience. It’s awful and an unbelievably disrespectful way to violate someone’s trust.
6. She patronizes or insults you.
All of us have harmless things about each other that we don’t like and can playfully tease each other about, but there’s a big, bold line between picking on someone out of love and making fun of them out of a sense of superiority.
If your BFF is constantly sneering at your clothes, career, loved ones, or lifestyle and making you feel inferior as a result, DEAR LORD what are you doing still hanging out with her!?!? Friends are there to shield you from the world’s judgmental bullsh*t, not help it along!
7. She’s competitive or jealous of you.
To be fair, this could contribute to a lot of the other behaviors already named here, like belittling your life choices or having to make things all about her, but sometimes jealousy leads to really bizarre behaviors. If a friend seems intent on convincing you that something that makes you happy is bad for you, that’s a sign of a major problem.
Same goes if she has to one-up everything you say by asserting that she’s done it better somehow, even if it pertains to having things worse than you. Simply put, if she shows you that she’s not able to be truly supportive of the life you’re living, she’s not someone you need in your corner.
8. You’re always untangling some sort of drama with her.
This is a catch-all for a number of problems. If it seems like you’re always trying to figure out what’s going on between you, or trying to figure out if she’s being honest, or generally not knowing where you stand with her, get out of there. If you’re older than 18, you’re too old for this kind of back-and-forth nonsense.
9. You feel manipulated after she's around.
Everyone loves the idea of a "partner in crime" to have a little irreverent fun with, but it's easy for us to gravitate toward someone who is a catalyst for recklessness and then find ourselves going along with ideas we aren't comfortable with to prevent friction in the friendship.
This doesn't just apply to teens getting peer pressured into something that will show up on the 11 o'clock news; it happens to people in adult relationships all the time, especially as we find ourselves in mundane day-to-day jobs and start craving excitement. If you constantly find yourself regretting going along with your friend's agenda, you owe it to yourself to put up some boundaries.