As we increase in age, so many things in our life begin to decrease, involuntarily. For instance, the amount of pairs of socks we can find or the amount of friends we have.
This quote I’ve heard all too many times from my father, yet it never really sank in until recently. “If they’re not adding to you, then they’re taking from you” – Daddy.
We’ve all experienced it, barely any of your friends from secondary school don’t even last a year once you leave. Yet more time, when you get older some of the friendships last through life, end up making us feel like we’ve been sentenced for life. To cut a long winded essay short, why are we still keeping friends around who don’t enhance us as people? It’s really 2018, wasted time is more than wasted money and nobody wants to spend time in a friendship that is toxic.
A healthy friendship should allow you to grow as an individual and make you happier. Of course, no friendship is perfect, but is your friendship hurting you or helping you? True friends don’t have to talk every day, they don’t have to shower each other with lavish gifts and they don’t get upset when you are unavailable. However, real friends are honest with you about your faults, and celebrate with you your successes.
Now sometimes it is easier to know a friend has to go when they do some unforgivable things like steal your money or your boyfriend. But what about when a friendship starts off strong and just fizzles? When nothing happened, yet there’s just nothing there anymore. Is it okay to let go?
Really and truly, there’s no real checklist that you can use to actually determine whether you should end a friendship. In these situations, you just have to follow your gut and your heart.
That said, here are some questions to ask yourself to make those fuzzy situations a little bit clearer:
1. Is Your Friendship Simply Based on Your Similarities?
A lot of the time we force friendships when we live similar lives or imitate similar lifestyles with people. Often, these similarities are what causes people to think that they should be friends, however that doesn’t matter. The factors that actually cause friendships to develop are trust, honesty, respect and simply being there for each other.
2. Do You Put in All The Work in the Friendship?
Do you often find yourself being the one contributing all the ideas and making the plans? Then do you find yourself always compromising when your friends can’t make said plans? Why stay and justify someones inconsiderate behaviour? Moreover do you find yourself always being their emotional backbone? Bigging them up and calming them down? If you’re doing all the work in a relationship, you’re not a friend, you’re an employee and maybe it’s time to go on strike.
3. Can You Count on Your Friend?
I know it’s such a common phrase, but that’s why it’s so important. A good friendship should be both friends equally supporting each other, even if there are dissimilarities, they always manage to balance themselves out in a good friendship. You should be able to share your struggle and successes with your friend.
Think about your friendship? Do the words mutual, respect, reciprocal come to mind? If not, it may be time to take a step back.
4. Can You Be Yourself?
Granted, you always behave differently when you’re in different situations, e.g. a job interview, at church etc. Yet, if you feel like you need to change who you are when you’re around your friends, maybe thats not the friend for you. You should never have to sacrifice your true personality in order to fit in with the people you call friends.
Understandably, breaking up with less-than-true friends is a tough decision and granted there were probably times that the friendship was good. Friends come and go from your life, but a real friend shouldn’t hurt, use or manipulate you. A true friend inspires you to be better, happier, healthier, and more “yourself.”
“If you hang out with four broke guys, you’re going to be the fifth” – anon.