How to Know When It’s Time to End a Friendship- A Collaborative Column
June 27th, 2016
In my not-so-distant-past I had a terrible habit of staying in friendships long after the person had repeatedly shown me who they were or more importantly, who they were not.
I’m fantastic at seeing below the surface of others’ behaviors and extending unending grace, compassion and acceptance. Although those traits make me a good friend to others, they don’t make me a good friend to myself, because I had often let others’ bad behaviors go unchecked at the expense of my own well-being.
Good Friend Trait #1–
Be a good friend to yourself first.
The times I did have the courage to speak my feelings or experiences of them, it was often met with minimization or deference and I would allow them to convince me I was being too sensitive or moreover it was no big deal.
Good Friend Trait #2–
Good friends take responsibility for their wrongs.
The truth is I was a doormat. I simply didn’t know at the time what I was worthy of or how to hold that line.
As I progressed on my healing journey, it became glaringly obvious how I had continually accepted unacceptable treatment from people I called “friends”. It is almost embarrassing what I had allowed (some stories would blow your hair back!).
Good Friend Trait #3–
Good friends don’t do things that blow your hair back. :)
I gave myself a heartfelt apology for compromising my sacred self and made a steadfast decision to not let it happen again. I finally took responsibility for my own care and well-being.
Good Friend Trait #4–
Good friends have your back and care about your well-being.
By January 2011, I had grown tired of lop-sided friendships, so I set this intention:
I only attract people of high integrity and character into my life.
I didn’t just say the words everyday, I embodied them with every cell of my being.
Good Friend Trait #5–
Good friends mirror back your character and integrity. They don’t exploit it.
Soon thereafter, the questionable characters in my life began falling away and wonderful new friends of outstanding character and quality began coming in (three of which are collaborating on this column with me!).
I believe with all my heart that when I finally knew I was worthy of solid, reciprocal friendships, my energy shifted to something higher and I was no longer attracting friends who were jealous, disrespectful or backstabbing.
Good Friend Trait #6–
Good friends support and encourage your accomplishments.
What I have learned thus far on my journey is when we grow spiritually, we might lose vibrational connection with certain “friends”, thus creating misalignment in the friendship. This does not mean we are better than anyone; it only means we are at different places on our journeys.
The few times in my life this happened to me I did not have to do anything. The Universe took care of it for me.
My only job was to forgive them and myself and walk away with love.
~Kristen Brown- Site Admin and Loving Friend!
As someone who’s spent most of my life as a single person, I always prided myself on being a good friend. I am that friend who gets called in a crisis for words of advice. Not only do I serve as counselor, but also confidant, fashion consultant, & ride or die chick!
Unfortunately for me, because I am always there for my friends, I had an expectation that I would get that same effort in return. That expectation not being met has left me feeling very disappointed and unimportant on more than one occasion.
How do you know when it’s time to unfriend someone? When the friendship bank account is empty.
Two of Gary Chapman’s five love languages that I express are quality time and acts of service. I realize now that they have a great impact on how I evaluate friendships. Do they hold space for me? Do they make time for me? Am I the only one making deposits into this friendship while they keep making withdrawals?
This lead me to my next question. Why aren’t they making any deposits? Don’t they care about our friendship?
My spiritual growth has helped me to realize that there is always a deeper issue going on that can explain people’s behavior. When I got quiet, God spoke to me about three different situations; life circumstances, unhealed wounds, and perpetual self-involvement.
Life Circumstances: This one may require you to extend some grace. Life happens! Marriage, children, divorce, and death all can cause your friend to go M.I.A. Sometimes it’s not because they don’t care, they just don’t have anything left to make a deposit.
Unhealed Wounds: If you are someone who is full of positivity, light, and has a generous spirit, it may cause people to latch onto you. Part of their self-medication is to feed off of you and the friendship until there is a zero balance.
Perpetual Self-involvement: These people are so self-absorbed that they will make any and everything about them because they are stuck in their story. Making a deposit of emotional currency doesn’t even cross their mind!
When it comes to your bestie, your go to person, invest wisely . Give to relationships that value you, and that you can withdraw from as well.
If you are going out of your way to make deposits into your friendship bank account while the other person is on a spending spree, it’s time to invest your emotional currency elsewhere!
It’s not an easy decision. Once you are away from the friendship, you’ll be surprised at the weight that is lifted from your shoulders. You can then put that energy into a friendship that is balanced.
Kelli Davies has spent the last 20 years working closely with the public as an aesthetician /makeup artist. (She is truly THE best!) Kelli’s current employment home is Prova Salon in Scottsdale Arizona. Kelli is a church going, self-empowerment loving, spiritual gangster! Kelli’s spiritual journey has invoked a deep passion in her to encourage and speak life into others as they travel through life challenges. I am honored to call Kelli one of my dearest friends!
Wouldn’t it be great if unfriending someone was as easy as clicking that little button on Facebook?
No confrontation, no hassle. Click! No more stories, no more reminders of them or their family and friends. Easy, right?
But what about letting go of a friendship outside of cyber space?
How do we know when to call it quits?
The simple answer would be, when we feel we don’t have that real friend connection anymore. Perhaps, if we are only friends through technology. But wait, we can’t just go dumping all our friends because we don’t see them every day.
It’s not that simple is it? We all have friends that we love but don’t see regularly. We’re busy. It’s harder to maintain friendships as we get older. We’d like to see them more, but life gets in the way.
When we were in school, it was easy; we knew we’d see our friends every day. Just show up. As adults we have to make an effort to keep friendships alive. It takes both sides to keep things going. Do you have friends that aren’t making the effort anymore?
We all do! So, how do we decide which friends to let go of and which ones to keep working for?
Not the easiest question to answer, but here’s an idea.
Maybe you’ve got a friend that doesn’t feel like the right ‘fit’ anymore. They don’t get in touch with you as much as you’d like, but it goes further than that.
Do they respect and hold space for you when you need them?
Will they tell you the truth (in a loving way) even when it’s hard or may hurt you?
Can you enjoy being with them without working at it?
To go a little further, does this friend act as though your stories and experiences don’t matter? Do they disrespect you? Does it always seem to be about them? Are they too much drama?
While no one is perfect, we need friends around us who accept our imperfections, and we theirs. It’s not always pretty; maybe we need to humble ourselves and admit that we haven’t been the best of friends either. Apologize, and mean it. Make the effort to really listen to their story. Forgive their faults and be willing to tell them the difficult truths in a loving and productive way.
One way to decide whether to end a friendship is to turn it around and ask yourself, “If I were them, would I be my friend? Am I being the friend I’d like to have?” If the answer is no, it’s time to let them go for their sake as well!
Life is too short to maintain half-assed friendships. Go all in or let them go, make more time for the real ones.
In the end, it doesn’t come down to hours spent in the same room, but quality of time we spend together that makes a true friendship.
Lisa Marquis is a practicing Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker , aspiring Author and one helluva Space Holder! Lisa’s divine gifts of logic and compassion coupled with her articulate, sweet, but oh-s0-witty demeanor, make her one of my favorite people! If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair
Friendship can mean anything from companion to soulmate. Now we also have Facebook friends; lots of them. With so many connections, how do we know when it’s time to unfriend someone?
I consider the level of commitment.
With hundreds of Facebook friends, some I haven’t seen since high school, my level of commitment is low. If they are not adding light and love to my news feed, it’s not difficult to either hide them or unfriend.
They probably don’t know or care.
With acquaintances, it gets more difficult. These might be people I work with, work out with, friends of friends, that type of thing. Here I have to have my boundaries in check, and know it’s OK to decline invitations without explanation. Again, the level of commitment is low.
My work is to be myself and not worry about approval.
A closer circle of friends, my tribe, is a group of people that were friends before I came along. They included me in their lives. My work here is accepting each member of the tribe, if I want to belong. I don’t have to be soulmates with each person, but I must love and respect each member. There is no unfriending, because the tribe is a package deal.
If I find I am not treated well or just no longer vibe with this tribe, it is my job to leave peacefully.
Solo friends, the ones we make time for, trust and share our hearts with, come and go. This was hard for me to accept. Not every friendship, even if it dives deep, is meant to last. If my instincts tell me a friendship has run its course, I have to be brave and talk about it, and if needed, bid it farewell. Learning this is like learning to lovingly break up with someone.
My job is to wish them well, while honoring me. There might be backlash, but that’s better than committing to friendships that don’t fit.
Sister/brother soulmate friendships are the ones I want to spend my time on. The ones I go to when I need someone to tell me the truth, encourage me, love me no matter what. When I look back, I see who was there for me at my worst. I see who listened to the same problem for years, and never said, “OMG, just get over it already.” I see who literally loves me no matter what.
My work here is to not ever take these souls for granted, and learn to be that rock solid in return.
The work is always about me. My vibe attracts my tribe. So…am I being authentic? Do I recognize my worth? Am I approval seeking? Am I practicing healthy boundaries? Am I being loving and respectful? When I approach relationships like that, broken friendships seem to fall away. What’s left is freedom to love my sister soul friends wholeheartedly, and be loved back.
Sue Markovitch is a Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Leader and my beloved Soul Sister! If you would like to discover more about Sue’s awesomeness check out her website Clear Rock Fitness!