Here are some things to consider:
- When we have gone through an intense history with a person, they may be with us for life. We respect what we shared, so stay in touch and reminisce. If you still have current interests fine, but if you or they have really changed a lot you may want to give up on a current day friendship.
- Friends we have through mutual work, school, or community events will wax and wane over time. Keep their contact info and check in on Facebook once in a while. You might be surprised when you find a common interest again. I found my current CPA through Rotary and then realized we had been in the same high school graduating class. We had both history and current interests – a keeper.
- Friends of other who we have inherited are more challenging. If the friendship is dependent on the third person, leave them to it and if they invite you from time to time, go or don’t, it’s up to you.
- What is the quality of the friendship? Does it enrich your life? Does it stretch your mind? Does it support you? Is it always an effort for you or is it just an initial effort and you wind up having a great time?
- Quality friends accept you in all your quirky abundance. They enrich your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. They know the current you and they are low maintenance. They occasionally challenge you which gets you thinking; they let you moan and groan when you need it.
It’s time to say adios when the cost of the friendship is too high:
• Does your friend make you feel misunderstood or embarrassed about yourself?
• Does your friend snap at you for your ideas, opinions, appearance, cooking, your other friends?
• Does your friend bring out your passive-aggressive or just plain aggressive self?
• Do you find yourself getting envious and competitive?
• Do you take up habits you don’t want to have like smoking or drinking/eating to excess?
• Do you start white-lying to your other friends, parents, partner or your kids?
• Is your friend a taker and you the giver? Or maybe your friend insists on always giving too much and you feel indebted? Either way it is unbalanced.
• When you talk about your friend to someone else it’s not flattering; when you think about them, you’re annoyed. In fact, you just don’t really like them anymore.
Sometimes when we ask ourselves these questions, the answer is obvious but sometimes it is painful. Consider whether this is just a phase in your relationship or is this a long standing good or bad situation. Consider if you are feeling like this about most of your friends or one in particular. Not all friendships last a lifetime even though social media props them up from time to time. The final question is: Do you feel better or worse after being in touch with them? That’s the answer.
How to end the friendship?