Let's talk about relationships for a sec... and I don't mean romantic ones. I'm talking abut friendships. We all have them, we all need them, and we've all experienced toxic friends. Friendships are one of our lives fabulous gifts, though there may come a time you begin to see signs you need to break up with a friend.
Just like romantic relationships, this is never an easy, or fun issue to deal with. You should know that sometimes in life there are friendships that aren’t for our benefit. Toxic people come in different forms. People are human and will make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean it’s always best for us to maintain relationships with those that make them.
As I've gotten older, my circle of friends has changed and evolved, and have had a few friendship break up's. I believe in forgiving everyone, and I hold no judgment or grudges towards anyone. I've had friends in the past that only brought me down, selfishly only cared about themselves, or hurt me behind my back again and again.
Friendships should be a two-way street, and mutually beneficial. I'm one of those people that tend to have a wall up and it takes time to build trust with me. I'm not an open book, as it might appear on social media; and people that divulge too much about themselves upon first meeting make me nervous and I instantly place a wall up. But, there have been instances where I was too quick to let people in and in return got hurt by them.
So, how do you know if it's time to break up with a friend?
As with any relationship, you might have ups and downs. Instead of completely breaking up, take a small break from each other to evaluate how you feel. After being apart for several months, I found that I wasn't ready to give up on a particular friendship. We decided to get back together and spent hours talking through our issues and built a stronger friendship than before. A partial break is a great way to test the waters and also lets your friend know you're serious. But, also don't expect to pick up where ya'll left off. Relationships need time, and trust needs to get built up again.
It’s ideal to have an open discussion about your feelings. Depending on your friendship, there those that it’s worth it to try harder and give the person the benefit of the doubt because those relationships are rare. Be really honest about what’s going on. If after that, the relationship still feels unsustainable to you, let your friend go as gently as you can. I know that I can be very direct, especially if there is an issue. Most of the time, females take this as confrontation. It's not. You're just being open and honest with your feelings. Sometimes people get taken off guard, especially if they are the type of person that is used to having "yes-people" around them.
If you do decide it's time to break up, keep it private.
No break up is super easy. I would love if I could have someone else to do it for me. I once had a friend come crying to me because she found out her best friend wanted nothing else to do with her through a mutual friend. Not only was she the last to know, but all their mutual friends were talking behind her back. It's not fair to your friend to get others involved. Keep the actual break up private until it's over. I know I would appreciate the consideration. Plus, this is real life, not some episode of Real Housewives and the catty and shady shit that goes on with those middle-aged women.
High drama, gossipers, and selfish.. these are toxic friends that you should rethink your friendship with them. Don’t surround yourself with people who are constantly like that. It isn’t healthy for you or for your friendships. The purpose of friends is not to give each other real-life Housewives drama to deal with. They’re about building you up, supporting you, and helping you grow through life together. Sure, we’re here to help each other through troubles, of course, but a constant, high drama friendship isn’t a healthy one.
Sometimes, friendship breakups just happen, and we have no clue why. I’ve learned to just move on, I tried everything I could, there’s nothing more I could do. If you have a friend who’s burned you and aren’t sure if you should maintain a relationship with them or not, as hard as it may be, be prepared to find new friendships and let go of ones that no longer serve your life or happiness any longer.