As an adult being a good friend can be hard, and making friends is the hardest thing ever.
But what about friend breakups? How does one even go about this? Is it even necessary? I have had friends in the past and have quit talking to people for various reasons over the years. Sometimes the reasons were clear-cut, like a fight and we both stop speaking, other times I have no idea why the friendship ended, we both just quit talking to each other. Sometimes it is easy to cut people out of your lives, by simply no longer reaching out. I think this is called ghosting.
But what do you do if you don’t want to be friends anymore, and the other person still does? When is it time to let a friendship go?
- when there are more negative interactions than positive ones (friendship should be enjoyable)
- if you cry after each hangout session (again friendship should be a happy thing, sure there are times when shit happens, but this should not be common)
- if you have extreme anxiety every time you have plans with that friend (you shouldn’t have to psyche yourself up to hang out with someone)
- they don’t bring any value to your life (and I don’t mean with gifts or money, but if they don’t bring joy to your life, or cheer you up, or bring any contribution to the relationship)
- if they don’t try to be your friend (if you are always the one calling, texting, or tagging them on social media, and there is never any effort on the part of the other person to interact with you. friendships should be two-sided)
- when you can’t be yourself around that person (if there are significant parts of yourself that you feel like you need to change or hide, they probably aren’t very good for you)
- If they make you feel bad about yourself (if they manipulate you, pressure you, belittle you, or you fight often)
I think these are very valid reasons to end a friendship. It’s up to you to decide if ghosting if an okay breakup for the relationship, or if you need a more formal breakup.
Other things to consider in a friend breakup.
Friendship collateral damage:
When you quit being friends with someone you also have to deal with the collateral damage to mutual friends. For instance if they introduced you to some people who you become friends with, do you still get to be friends with them? Or do you lose everyone they introduced you to? What about your other friends, do you expect them to quit talking to your now ex-friend? I think it is up to the other friends to decide, but I don’t see why the other people need to be affected.
What do you do with social media? Do you unfollow them? Unfriend them? Block them? Keep liking all their posts like you always have? What is the proper way to behave when you no longer want to be friends with someone? Is it best to cut all ties to the person completely? I think it is best to remove them from your social media. If you don’t want to be their friend, do you really need to see what they had for lunch, or who they are hanging out with now?
I’m writing about this because I am going through this now. It is a hard thing. Relationship breakups are easier, more clear-cut. I don’t know what to do. My friend and I had a fight a few months ago, and it really changed our relationship dynamic. We came together and talked it out, and agreed to move on, but I honestly can’t. We have gotten together a few times since then, but the friendship is off now. I don’t know if it is salvageable. If I take my own advice from above, it is time to end the friendship, because I can say yes to every bullet point. There are so many other things to consider in my situation, as I am sure there are in most situations. I just am not sure what to do.
Have you ever broken up with a friend? Any advice? If you had a friend breakup with you, what do you wish they had done differently?