Time to Get Out? Knowing When to Leave an Unhealthy Friendship

We’ve all had friends who aren’t good for us. They may be selfish and only call us when they need help but are never there for us. Or they’re the negative type who always complain and tell you why things are wrong in their lives and in yours. Whatever the reason these “friends” can be toxic and don’t need to hold a space in your life.

Sometimes we stay in these friendships out of loyalty. We’ve known them for decades and don’t feel that it would be right to cut them loose. Other times we don’t recognize the drain that they have on us and we remain in the friendship because it’s never occurred to us to leave.

How do you know when it’s time to leave?

When you stop looking forward to their calls and visits it’s time for a change!

Friendships, like other relationships, should bring you joy and fulfillment. While there will be disagreements and challenges overall the friendship should be joyful and add value to your life. If you feel drained, hurt, or resentment every time you see your friend then it’s time to change the relationship.

Getting the friendship you want

Though changing a friendship may be necessary it may not needĀ to end. There are other steps that you can take before deciding to remove someone from your life.

It’s helpful to check in with other people about your friendship concerns. Pick someone who is objective, someone from your ride or die crew who wants you to be happy and will also be honest with you. Tell them your feelingsĀ and your struggles with the friendship.

Once you’ve sorted through your feelings it’s time for action. Talk with your friend and tell them your concerns. Let them know how you’re feeling and what you need to be different. Don’t put them on the defensive by saying, “you never listen to me” or “you’re always complaining.” Instead focus on how you feel and what you need. “I’m hurt when you only talk about the negative things in life. I want to hear more about the good and happiness in your life.

After you have asked for what you want give them time to give it to you! Wait a few weeks or months to see if they can do what you’ve asked. If nothing changes or if you’ve already had this conversation then it may be time to leave the friendship.

Not everyone is meant to be in our lives permanently. Surround yourself with people who add value to your life, not take away from it.

Share your stories with us! When have you had to shift or end a friendship?




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