8 Signs Your Friendship Has Soured
Those cute heart-shaped BFF necklaces we got in middle school weren't the most honest pieces of jewelry — because though we didn't know it back then, not every friendship lasts forever. Our adult years have taught us this, though. And after going through a few disappointing interactions with human beings that we thought were our friends, we sometimes end up believing that life would be a whole lot easier with just Netflix and a furry animal by our side.
Despite all this, we usually keep trucking along in the friendship game — after all, having a best friend is pretty awesome, even if it takes some work to keep up. But no matter how long you've known each other, there might come a time in even the closest friendships when you feel like you've grown apart. Suddenly, hanging out together isn't as fun as it once was; or perhaps you get too easily annoyed by each other now.
I know that movies and TV shows tell us that friendships last forever. This notion pulls us in and makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. But in the real world, that's not always true — but since we so rarely discuss it, we usually don't know what to do when a friendship starts to feel icky. We may even be unsure if it's in our heads or if something is actually off, because we think that no one else is grappling with this problem. But know that many other people are, even if we're not talking about it — and most of the time, you should go with your gut.
Wondering what to make of the recent weird tension you've had with the person you thought was your BFF? Here are eight signs that your friendship has soured.
1. There Are A Lot Of Awkward Silences During Your Conversations
The thing that sets a pair of truly good friends apart from those involved in a crumbling friendship is feeling totally at ease with each other. Whether you're chatting away mindlessly or sitting comfortably in silence, there is a level of familiarity that speaks to your deep bond.
But if you now find yourself constantly stuck in awkward silences every time you chat, you may have hit a wall in your friendship. Staring mindlessly at your phones when you're together instead of actually talking isn't a good sign, either. Maybe you're avoiding an important issue in your friendship and that's causing the silence — or maybe you're simply growing apart.
2. Your Mutual Friends Don't Want To Hang Out With The Two Of You At The Same Time Anymore
Your friends are usually the ones who recognize the things you can't see — or aren't willing to see. If you and your bestie aren't doing great, the discomfort is bound to rub off on other people, even if you aren't aware of it yourself. Just like it's not fun to be around a bickering couple, it's not enjoyable to spend time with two friends who are clearly not on good terms.
If your buddies are consistently bailing on plans once they find out the two of you are going to be there, you might want to ask them what the deal is. Their point of view could help you see what's really going on.
3. You Avoid Talking About Serious Topics
While it's perfectly normal and healthy to goof around with your best friends a lot, there are also times when you talk about what really matters in your lives. That's precisely why you're so close — you don't shy away from the tough stuff. You can talk about body image, mental illness, parents getting divorced, whatever the wind blows your way.
The second this dynamic changes, and you feel like your friend just doesn't get you when you bring up a serious subject, you have most likely lost a common ground you once had with each other. Laughter between close friends is good — but it shouldn't be the only thing holding you together.
4. You Feel Weird Asking Them For Big Favors
Perhaps one of the best parts of a close friendship is how simple and easy it feels to ask for a favor, the kind that would normally be a burden to put on other people. When your ride to work backed out at the last second and you need to make it to an important meeting, the short list of people you're comfortable calling in a panic probably includes your best friend — that feeling of being able to rely on someone else is part of what makes close friendships so wonderful.
If you feel weird about clicking on their contact info, though, it might be time to admit to yourself that things aren't what they used to be.
5. You No Longer Give Honest Advice To Each Other
The truth is never easy to tell, but it still manages to weasel its way out between real friends. At some point in your relationship, your best friend felt fine telling you difficult truths, like that the person you're dating was a total narcissist — just like you were comfortable being blunt about your bestie's inability to show up on time for anything.
Honesty is a pretty crucial component that keeps everything glued together in a friendship — so if telling the truth to your friend has become difficult, it may be worth assessing what has changed. Nothing good can come out of lying to each other about important stuff just to keep the peace.
6. It's Been A Long Time Since You Had Any Real Fun Together
Try to remember the last time you and your friend laughed so hard together you almost peed your pants. Or the last adventure you had together without any alcohol participating as the third party. If it's been a while since you've had genuine fun together, it's time to reconsider where you two stand.
Nostalgia plays an important role in friendships. It reminds you of the people you used to be, and how far you've both come. But it doesn't bode well if you're solely living in the memories of what your friendship used to be. Make sure there's still good stuff happening in the present, too.
7. You Both Spend More Time With New Friend Groups Than You Do With Than Each Other
One of the first thing that happens when we go through a period of growth in our adult years is we start to see people in a new light. You may find yourself hanging out with an entirely different crew of friends at some point, one that reflects who you are now and what you currently stand for.
This is a pretty accurate indicator that you've moved on from the people you were once really close with. If you see that your oldest friend has also been spending time with a group of folks you've never met, take that as a major red flag.
8. You Don't Call Each Other Out On Your Mistakes Anymore
People who truly care about each other are the ones who are brave enough to be honest with their friends when they mess up. For example, my best friend was the only person who had the guts to tell me that I was wrong to treat my mother the way I did the last time we had a big fight. She didn't care that it upset me — and that's exactly how a best friend acts. Because, at the end of the day, they have your best interests in mind.
You may not like to hear about your screw-ups as soon as you make them, but it's a BFF's job to air them out anyway. If you find that you and your friend no longer speak the truth to each other, you may have a crumbling relationship on your hands. And that's OK. If you feel like it's salvageable, get to work on it. If not, there's nothing wrong with going your separate ways.
Images: HBO; Giphy (8)