Friendships are important. They can be the foundation for how we view ourselves personally and the world around us. This is why it’s so important to make sure that the friendships we create are healthy parts of our lives. So what do you do when you find yourself questioning whether or not you should keep certain people in your life? How do you know when it’s time to end a friendship?
Here are few ideas to help you sort it all out.
- You don’t feel happy around them
Your friend don’t exist solely to bring you joy, but if you start to notice that being around them is bringing you down, it might be a sign it’s time to move on. A friendship should feel stable and be a source of comfort.
- They don’t make you want to be a better person
The best friendships are those that make you better. When you are friends with someone who inspires you and challenges you, you’ll find that you grow together. This is so important because everyone changes. It’s inevitable. But if your growth is balanced with that of your friends you will rise together and you’ll be able to be there for each other when things don’t go as planned. If your friends don’t make you want to be better and are holding you back, it’s time to let them go.
- They’re too critical and not in a constructive way
Everyone needs a little bit of constructive criticism from time to time. Sometimes you need an objective view to help you solve a problem. This is where friends can be an amazing source of help. However, when their advice is only tearing you down without helping to build you up, it can be just plain mean. A good friend isn’t going to point out all your flaws without offering a way to fix them. They’re going to do their best to help you.
- They don’t make time for you
Whether it’s work or social drama, it can be harder to make time for the ones we love. It’s understandable that we won’t always have time to hang out with our friends like we used to. But if even a simple text is too hard for your friend to manage, is it really worth the wait? Sure there are friendships that can pick up like no time has passed at all between meetings but can you really call someone a reliable friend if you only see them twice a year?
- You aren’t on the same page anymore
Friendships are team efforts. Sure, your friends aren’t carbon copies of you but the things that keep a friendship strong are usually the things you have in common. Or rather it’s the common ground shared between you that keeps you close to each other. So when you begin to lose sight of what you both loved about your friendship, you have to ask yourself, Why are you still in this?
- It’s a chore to hang out
You know it’s time to walk away from a friendship when just the thought of hanging out feels like a drag. Yes, people have bad days and sometimes they would rather just stay home, watch Netflix and stuff their faces with vegan, gluten free oatmeal squares, but when chilling with your homie seems like the worst idea since the cancellation of Firefly, you need to ask yourself why that is. Why would hanging out with your friend who you love dearly and hold in a special place in your heart feel so bad? Why are they bringing you down?
- You don’t treat each other with respect.
The most important sign for as to when you should end a friendship is if they don’t treat you with respect. Is your friend still treating you as an equal? When your friend belittles you, your ideas, your hopes and dreams, your hobbies and anything that brings you joy; it’s time for you to seriously rethink your situation. Your friends should be accepting and understanding. You should never have to apologize for who you are and what you love.
Inevitably it’s up to you to make a firm decision about your friendship. Are you going to work it out or are you going to walk away? List the pros and cons and try to be objective. When you’ve been friends with someone for a long time loyalty seems to outweigh the cons but you need to be honest. You’ll see, once you start removing friendships that have run their course from you life, you’ll be happier. You’ll find more joy in the friendships that do inspire you and help you to grow.