When we're in the warm glow of best friend love, we never think of what could possibly happen that would break us up. Sometimes we let toxic situations drag on because of loyalty or comfort, and tend to ignore the fact that there are certain things that are worth ending relationships over. Whether it's because of a lack of support or interest, because of disloyalty or a constant passive-aggressive attitude, there are certain behaviors no one should put up with, no matter how deep the friendship runs.
Sometimes it's easy to admit that a boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't work, but it's a lot harder to face that a friendship has run its course. Why? Because your squad is your people — you picked them carefully and they stood by you for no other incentive than they liked spending time with you. When something as uncomplicated as that turns... complicated, it can be hard to deal. Every relationship has rough patches, and I'm not saying you should kick a pal to the curb just because they got you mad once or twice — but there are certain red flags that spring up in a friendship that indicate it's not just a tough spot you two need to talk through, but instead a situation that's turning toxic.
When it gets to that point, you sometimes need to make the hard decision that it's time to walk away in different directions. Here seven things that are worth ending a friendship over, no guilt necessary.
1. They Make You Feel Bad When You're Around Them
Your friends are your cheerleaders — the people that convince you you're amazing and can accomplish anything if only you have the courage to try. Or at least, they should be. If you have a friend that constantly puts you down, it's time to address the situation. If that doesn't work, it might be time to call it quits. Anyone who gets satisfaction tearing others down shouldn't be someone you invite into your life. According to Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D in an article for Psychology Today, "Friends tolerate an awful lot from one another, but there are some rules for which consequences must be enforced. Don’t let a friend suck the joy out of your life just because that’s how they add satisfaction to their own."
I once had a friend that was insecure and, because of that, would want company in her misery and try to make me feel badly about myself, too. She'd casually mention how thin my lips were or how large my thighs seamed in leggings, trying to make me join in her game of "What I Hate About Myself Today." No, thank you. I don't need complexes, and I certainly didn't need a friend like that.
2. It Turns One-Sided
Are you the one constantly inviting them out? Do you plan all your dinner dates or Netflix nights? Do you ask them for coffee, only to have them reschedule? If so, then your friendship is one-sided and it's unfair to you.
According to Melanie Gorman, counselor and relationship blogger in an article for the Huffington Post, "All relationships have a natural ebb and flow to them when it comes to giving and receiving love. This giving comes in the form of listening, making the effort to get together, spending resources on the friendship, you get the idea. Most harmonious relationships work toward a balance; we want to give and receive. The sign that a friendship is becoming toxic and out of balance is when this give and take becomes overly one-sided." So if you're the only one reaching out to meet for chips and guac or asking how that one work project is going, the relationship is coming to a standstill. Either you work together to make the tally sheet even again, or it's time to potentially let it go.
3. You Get A Feeling You're Being Used
I don't mean being used in a diabolical, soap opera type way. They're probably not using you to advance their careers or to get to a love interest — sometimes it's subtler than that. Do they only call you up when they need a ride to the bars? Do they only seem to want to hang out when they need to crash at your place, or have run out of people to hang out with? If so, then chances are they're just keeping you in their rolodex because you serve a purpose.
According to lifestyle writer Brenda Della Casa in an article for the Huffington Post, "You've come to realize that the random 'thinking of you' text always has a string. Friends should always be there for one another, but if someone is always looking to take, it's time to tell them to take a walk."
4. They're Debbie Downers
Not everyone has the personality of the life of the party — and that's totally OK. But there's a difference between being reserved and being a debbie downer. Marissa A. Ross wrote in an article for HelloGiggles, "There is always something wrong in this person’s life and there is always something to complain about. When it’s not their car/job/ex boyfriend ruining their life, then they make an effort to point out what they think is wrong in your life. Toxic friends will go out of their way to either boo-hoo or bring down, whether it’s how they’ll never find a job in this economy or reminding you of all the taxes that come with your new raise."
If you have a friend that is constantly negative and brings down the mood, maybe it's not worth keeping them around.
5. They Don't Make A Real Effort
Have you ever had one of those friends that almost make you groan when you see their text? It's not that they're not fun to hang out with or don't suggest hanging out even, but they never bring anything to the table. You're the one that always has to find a bar to meet up in, a new restaurant to try together, or dig up a fun event you two can attend. They just kind of sit there, waiting for you to do all the work.
Margaret Manning said to the Huffington Post, "Do you have any friends that make you feel like they hang out with you because of what you can do for them, not what you mean to them? Do you dread receiving calls from someone because you know that they always come with a request? You have the right to be respected as an equal with all of your friends." If your pal is just hitting you up for plans but never brings any of her own ideas to the friendship and isn't open to changing her ways, then she's more of a mooch than a good friend.
6. You Have Nothing Left In Common
Sometimes we make friends during certain parts of our lives that we might have outgrown. Maybe you made a close friend during your philosophy class in college, or got tight with someone during your waitressing job. Sometimes those bonds last a lifetime, but as you grow over the years those similarities can fall to the wayside and have you feeling like strangers. And that's OK! But if you feel like you're hanging out just to be nice, then it'd be better all around if you cut ties.
According to Melanie Gorman in a Huffington Post article, "The truth is that people change. Life events, stress, age and time all have an impact on how we see the world and how we choose to behave. Sometimes our values diverge and we lose our connection. When that happens, it's important to consider if we're staying with the friendship out of choice or obligation." If it's just obligation, then it's time to think about your next steps.
7. You Don't Think You Can Trust Them
A friend is supposed to be someone you can share your secrets with and someone you know will have your back, no matter what. If a person betrays your confidence time and time again or lets you down more times than not, then they're not really a friend anymore.
According to Patricia Leavy, PhD, for the Huffington Post,"We all vent to our friends and sometimes this includes talking about another friend. There's a difference between sharing your concerns about something going on with one of your friends or even blowing off some steam over a quarrel and complaining about someone behind their back. Gossip is ugly and hurtful. It's also very revealing." It's important to know that you're valued and loved in your friendships, and when you're not, that's something that shouldn't be ignored.
Sometimes it can be tempting to keep someone in your life because they have always been there or letting them go just seems to hard... but if a friend is greatly compromising your self-esteem or overall happiness, and isn't willing to meet you halfway, it's probably time to think about ending your friendship.