Is It Really Okay To End A Friendship?


Life is like a play. There are many scenes and a rotating cast of characters.

Every once and a while I talk to someone who asks permission to end a friendship. They say something like, “Is it really okay that I stop calling?”, or “I can’t just ‘break-up’ with her…can I?”

Here’s my view on relationships:

Life is like a play—there are many scenes and a rotating cast of characters.

Some characters are there throughout the entire play. Their roles might change; they might have a leading role in some scenes and a supporting role in others. They might even be a background prop in some scenes but they’re still written in, some how.

And others aren’t around for long. They might have a staring role in just one scene then they exit stage left and don’t return.

When you watch a play and notice that a character doesn’t come back, there’s no judgment. It just is. It’s what’s in the script, what makes sense in the context of the overall story.

New supporting characters come in as the main character (you) evolves. It wouldn’t really make sense any other way. It wouldn’t make sense to have every single character in every single scene just because they’ve always been there.

For the mere fact that “We grew up together” or “We’ve known each other so long”.

I get that in real life there may be emotional attachment when we’ve known people for a long time. But think about the play. Would it flow as well if every single character stayed around just because they happened to be in the opening scene? Even if they’re not adding to the storyline or supporting the main character anymore?

And the characters are not arbitrary. Each one leaves some type of imprint on the main character (you). Characters are never written in without a purpose. The purpose might be to teach the main character something important. Or highlight her personality in some way. Or serve as contrast. Their role might be as life-long friend or soul mate.

Or as a person who was once your #1 bestie in the world until things change. That’s a massively important character. The importance does not fade when the character exits the stage. The imprint has been made on the main character (you) and that imprint lasts the entire play.

Every character has a purpose. Often especially the ones that aren’t around for long. Writing them into scene after scene even when the storyline has changed just wouldn’t make sense.