Take Out the Toxic: 5 signs You Should Rethink a Friendship

We’ve all started and ended friendships for various reasons in our lives, some of them for very good reasons, some of them not so much (think middle school girls). Who we choose as our friends is very important; theybest-friends-quotes are who we turn to in our times of need to give us love, support, and encouragement. They’re the people that understand and accept, even love, our quirks and our uniqueness. Friends are the family you choose, and that choose you, which makes this relationship special. This makes it hurt all the more when the friends we’ve put our love and trust in turn out to be unworthy. Hopefully these instances are rare, but sometimes it is necessary to stand up for ourselves and say that enough is enough. So how do you know when it’s time to let go and move on from a friendship that you’ve had for years? I recently had to put some serious thought into this question and came up with this-

Here are five signs that you should rethink a friendship, even one with a long history:

 

  1. You no longer trust them– if you find yourself holding back information or making no effort to share details of your life with someone because you don’t trust them with that information, then why are they in your life at all? If you can’t trust your best friend to keep your secrets, or unable to trust who they may tell details about your life to, then it’s time to pack up and say goodbye. No one, and I mean NO ONE deserves to have a “friend” like that.

 

  1. They are almost exactly the same as high/middle/elementary school, whenever you started to know them and their personality stopped evolving. These people may be great to visit when you’re feeling nostalgic because nothing has changed when you go back to them, and the familiar is comforting to us, but if it’s been over a decade and you’ve seen no growth in them as a human being, ask yourself why that is. Growth is essential, but some people would rather stay on the merry-go-round, because its familiar, and it works for them, even if multiple aspects of their life are floundering. These people don’t usually do much in life and are usually the ones shouting on social media and posting vague messages that provoke a swarm of concerned questions. They usually come with drama, and people that evolve and grow, don’t have time for that. Do yourself a favor, pack up the years you’ve had, smile or cry over the good times, and let it go.

 

  1. Their concept of Loyalty doesn’t square with yours- this one could come in different forms because people do have different definitions of what loyalty means in a friendship.  (“Bros before hoes” kind of thinking, some believe in it, others don’t). As another example, a best friend still being friends with an ex that treated you badly, even if only on Facebook. People that treat others badly rarely do so exclusively, so what reason is there for maintaining a relationship with someone that you knew treated your best friend horribly? That may seem silly to some, but that’s your best friend telling you that the paltry friendship of someone that treated you badly is more important than your own feelings. I’m not saying a person should be willing to cut ties with everyone you hate, not at all, but a person that treated you bad shouldn’t be someone your best friend is good chums with. (There are many other examples, but the point is, are you and your best friend on the same page?)

best friend hate ex

 

 

  1. You no longer think of them as someone you can call when you’re upset- this is one of the trademarks of a best friend, you can always talk to them, you can always turn to them for advice and a shoulder, but when that’s no longer true, you should ask yourself why that is. The reasons may vary as much as the people we deal with, but often times this goes along with lack of trust; no longer trusting your vulnerable and personal moments with them is a sign that maybe you should reevaluate, if nothing else.

 

  1. They disrespect or use your family – this is an obvious sign that someone absolutely does not care about you or your friendship. I’m talking about blatant disregard and disrespect; for example, and this is a true story, your best friend, her husband, and 4 animals moving into your mother’s home, and living there for months, rent free. That same best friend and husband each take a “loan” out with your mother for car repairs and text books for school which was conveniently forgotten by both of them; then, after 4 animals turns into 10 due to unexpected kittens, leave your basement with a flea infestation without telling anyone else in the house, a house that included a newborn. People willing to treat you or your family with that level of disregard have no place in your life.

 

Friendship is a two way street (I know it’s cliché, but that’s because it’s true) and there are some lines you should never let anyone cross, especially a friend or best friend. Someone who does not respect your family, certainly has no respect for you, despite what they may claim. Words should not be weighed as heavily as the actions that accompany or don't lose friends find the true onesfollow them. I recently had to relearn this lesson, but once I asked myself the hard questions, the decision was a lot easier to make. I gained nothing but agitation by holding on to the history we had, and once I cut ties, a weight was lifted, and now space is available in my life for more worthy friendships to grow.

 

Do you have a hard time of letting go of people in your life, even if they aren’t good for you?

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8 thoughts on “Take Out the Toxic: 5 signs You Should Rethink a Friendship

  1. It took four time for me to be thrown under the bus before I could cut the cord with someone I dearly loved and trusted and cared about – but after the fourth time the knife came out. I should have asked myself why I kept letting her throw me under the bus a long time before I did. A good post – thanks.

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    1. I’m sorry that happened to you James. Those with forgiving and open hearts are vulnerable sometimes to those who don’t care truly care about others. I’ve had to learn this lesson many times in the past. Thank you, and thank you for commenting. May you find truer friends.

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  2. I have never had to do this with a friend, but had to with a family member, for many of the same reasons. I honestly don’t know which is harder! Neither is easy, that’s for sure. I’m lucky that my friends have all filled in the gaps where my family (growing up) was lacking, and I know I’m blessed to be surrounded by the people in my life now. Reading this makes me realize just how lucky I am!

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    1. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this issue in any way, especially your family. Neither is easy, they’re both incredibly difficult and hurtful situations. I’m glad to hear you have some true friends around you. They are truly precious. Thank you for sharing Amy!

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  3. Very interesting topic DM. I recently had to make this painstaking decision. A close friend of mine since middle school went off the deep end. For about 6 years I tried to help him regain his life until I was the last person in his life left standing. Ultimately, he pushed me away and I had to let go. It’s still raw and painful to think about him and that he’s allowed his lif to get so damn messed up. Perhaps that is the reason I have so few very close friends now – it’s just simpler that way.

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    1. Thank you. I am sorry to hear you have so recently had to deal with this as well. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, but sometimes it is no longer worth it, and I’m a champion of trying beyond all odds. Even I, however, must concede that a weight truly can be lifted when we accept that we no longer have a friend in someone that once was. A profoundly sad moment, but hopefully not one often repeated. Thus why I am so very selective with my true friends, they are rare and precious.

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  4. I’ve been hurt deeply by both friends and family, so tend to keep them a little more at arms length. I wish I had a few more friends, but I don’t really like to let people get too close, so the two work on opposition!

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    1. Indeed. I know exactly what you mean SK. Exactly those reasons and more is part of why I am can be so odd in how I go about relationships. The romantic, hopeful side of me wants to believe in everyone who proclaims to be good and kind, because why would people say what isn’t true? And yet, I am reminded over and again how few people actually mean their words. It seems to me that the best friends really do just happen across your path. It’s how one or two of my dearest, and now some of my newest friends, have been found. I’m sorry that you have been hurt, SK. I hope you find the worthy friends you deserve.

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