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; they 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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 follow 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?