Toxic Friendships - How to Start the Friendship Breakup Process
Tips for Recovering From a Friendship Breakup
Dear April Masini,
I’ve had a friend for many years who I now find myself avoiding. I honestly don’t really want to return her calls any more -- all she does is criticize me and make me feel bad. Besides, whenever we go out, I always end up picking up the tab. What should I do? I have no idea how to handle the situation and need some relationship advice fast. Is it ever time to just stop being friends with someone?"
In a Toxic Friendship
April Masini's Advice :
Dear In a Toxic Friendship:
Have you ever noticed that everyone talks about (and writes books on, and dedicates songs to …) how hard it can be to get through the loss of a romantic relationship, but when it comes to those that are platonic, mums the word? The truth is, though, that they can be just as -- if not more than --devastating.
When to Let A Friendship End
Friends -- they’re our second families, our trusted confidants and automatic teammates, fellow partyers, side-by-side buddies and they usually last longer than lovers. On the other hand, sometimes, when you stop to think, you find that certain friendships are causing more pain than laughter, more avoidance than fun, and more grief than relief.
The truth about friendships is that they’re often fleeting. People do grow apart, and sometimes it’s better to just let the friendship fade than to force it. The fact that you’ve known someone since your Barbie years doesn’t give you anything in common as adults except for a once-shared crush on Ken. In order to mature, there are some things you have to let go of, from your Barbie collection to the friends whose company you no longer enjoy or who require much more energy than you’re (or they’re) willing to give.
If your different directions in life are the reason for the strain in your friendship, then it’s likely that your friend is feeling the urge to let go as well. The end of this friendship doesn’t have to leave either of you with the bitter taste of a failed relationship – it’s a simple fact of life that it’s time to move on. Make plans for a ‘break-up’ dinner, where you reminisce about your past and wish each other the best in the future. It’s a mature end to a friendship and a civil step towards greater maturity.
So-called friends who mooch your money, strain your sanity, take up all of your time or put you in situations where you simply don’t feel comfortable are no friends at all. These are also the people who aren’t easily blown off because they either don’t get the hint that you don’t share their friendly feelings or because they just don’t like taking no for an answer.
While it may be difficult – and it may sound mean – the best way to end this kind of toxic friendship is to simply say, ‘I don’t think we should be friends anymore.’ If she pushes for an explanation, which she probably will, don’t waste your energy listing all the reasons why she’s become a burden. Simply let her know that you want to focus on the positive things in your life. This should clue her in to the fact that she’s not one of them. Between real friends, family, careers, and social activities, you’re too busy to waste time on people who bring you down. Your time is valuable. Make the most of it by streamlining your social circle to include only the people who really matter to you.
Starting the Friendship Divorce Process
The truth is, there is no easy way to do it, but communicating is always better than avoiding someone; the latter choice would only cause you to duck-and-roll behind the frozen meats when you see this person at the grocery store. Instead, place a phone call to this person and ask, "There is something about our friendship that isn't working for me. How do you feel about that?" This single question will at least produce some dialogue and the two of you will come to a mutual decision. If you decide to be ex-friends, the grocery store may still be awkward, but at least you won't have to duck-and-roll right?
3 Tips Towards Recovering from the Loss Of A Friendship
Make sure you understand, as much as possible, why the friendship has ended, and have made every attempt to repair it. Even if it’s impossible to mend, knowing that you tried is key to moving on with a clear heart and mind.Don’t forget the other people in your life. True, no one can take the place of the friend whose gone, but don’t fail to recognize all the other people who care about you -- whether they’re family or other friends.Get involved in new activities that are outside of your old friendship -- it’s a great way to get your mind off of your troubles and meet new people.