when it’s time to let go of friendships

I recently read a quote from an unknown source and it stuck with me…it caused me to let go of friendships.  Something that has always been hard for me to consciously do.  Here’s the quote..

“Creating a better environment starts with you, the choices you make, and the people you decide to have or keep in your life.”

You owe it to yourself, your loved ones.  This is what’s been on my mind lately.

toxic friendships

Seems simple, right?  Harder to put into action.  But recently, I did.  And although it saddens me to some extent, I feel free.  Like a weight has been lifted.  I let go of a friendship that no longer served me any happiness and only weighed me down with the negativity that surrounded it.  It wasn’t easy but it was necessary.  And it took me a very long time to get to the point of letting it go.

Why do we, as women, sometimes feel the need to hold on?

Sometimes it’s because of the history, the memories, how long you’ve known someone, maybe your families are connected or maybe you feel sorry for them. They’ve shared their past, you know too much, you have a soft spot because of this information you know…and maybe you even feel like they are good deep down and that the friendship deserves another chance because of this.  Maybe it’s because you’re new in town, and don’t have many friends yet which makes you yearn for your old friendships even the bad ones more. You let them linger, keep them going even when you know that friendship is not bringing anything good into your life.  And even if there is some good, that the bad far outweighs it. That the friendship is just draining.

Truthfully, the older I get, I’m becoming so much more discriminatory with my free time.  The thing is, we all have certain limited time on this earth. We don’t know when our time is up.  That is truth.  And after kids come into the picture…we have even more limited free time.  So when you think about the free time that you end up having in any given day, week, month…when you add it all up, it doesn’t usually amount to much.  There are so many responsibilities, things to check off that list.   The people who are dependent on you is growing.  So it’s that much more important to make sure that you’re surrounding yourself with the people you want to be around, that you’re fully present in the moments you commit to and that you are creating the life you want for yourself. I’ve come to the realization that despite the memories or history, I just don’t want to hold onto any so-called friends that are filled with drama, negative energy and whose expectations I simply cannot meet.  The older I get, I realize that as awesome as it is to have friends, that quantity is not important.  It’s the quality. That a packed social calendar is not the goal, that the once every so often girls’ night with a solid group with uplifting, positive energy is so much better for your soul. That the cup of tea grabbed with a trustworthy girlfriend you can lean on any time of day or night or the face time session with your college bff which lasted way past your bed time was well worth all the yawns and coffee the next day. The truth is that you’ll likely be losing more old friends that you thought were forever than gaining new forever ones.

Sometimes these toxic friendships naturally grow apart…there’s no hard stop or a fall out. And other friendships turn into a nasty battle with wounds that you feel like you’ll never recover from at the time. But there are signs and obvious reasons even when you don’t want to see them, to know when it’s time to end a friendship – when it’s time to let go.  When you need to let go to allow for your own growth, to make room and time for better relationships.

Here are four signs that you need to let a toxic friendship go.

You’re just not on the same page. 

If you’re having problems keeping a conversation going. If there’s so much to catch up on yet you don’t even feel like it.  If the conversation doesn’t feel natural when you meet or talk over phone and feels  more like a back and forth exchange as if you’re conducting an interview, it may be time to think about the state of the friendship.  It’s a sign if there’s just not that much in common anymore because you have different lives on very different paths AND you don’t feel like engaging enough to figure out what’s going on with the other person because it feels like work and not fun.

The friendship is one sided and selfish.

We all have our moments when we can’t see past ourselves. But some people are self-absorbed and focus only on themselves all the time.  If you feel like all the talk is about her when you catch up, that they are always calling you for support but are not available when you need it, then it’s a red flag.

The expectations are just way too high.

You’re supposed to meet up…she wants you to come to her.  You tell her that it’s not going to work out because your baby is running a high fever and your husband has to go into work at 5am and you need to be home.  She doesn’t get it, gets super upset and calls you out on not going the extra mile for her.  You’ve had this conversation before…and always end up apologizing even though you don’t really believe you should be sorry.  You never feel like you’re meeting her expectations.  Trust me, it’s her and not you.

It’s just too much of a competition.

She compares everything.  Everything.  It’s just too much.  From homes, vacations, anything related to the kids to other friendships…she wants to one up everything you or anyone else you know does.  It’s just too much.



1 Comment

  • pal pal

    Feel sorry for end of friendship. You were really hurt girl. Glad you realized it and came out of it. may be a after 5 years or so this wont even matter.

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