When to End a Friendship

Best friends forever? While that is a dreamy notion, and forgiveness is a gracious concept for any relationship, the reality is that everyone has to evaluate when to end a friendship at some point.

An outing with a friend leaves negative feelings. If you regularly feel down after talking and spending time with a particular person, he or she has become a toxic friend. You can also recognize this pattern if you try to avoid answering the phone or make excuses when planning outings. These feelings generally tell you that a friend is using you to make himself or herself feel better. Even if this is done subconsciously, and you consider your friend a good person, it is time to end the friendship to maintain a positive energy level.

A friend's problems creep into aspects of your own life. Sure, everyone has issues, but there are some people who never solve them, just like in an endless soap opera. If you find that your own life suddenly starts mirroring a friend's problems, it might be time to pull the plug on that friendship. For example, bad relationship choices and gravitating toward dysfunctional situations fall into this category.

A friend never initiates contact. While not everyone can be a type-A personality, even introverts need to make an effort to initiate contact in a friendship. With current technology, it is very easy to get in touch with someone. If you find yourself always the one to make the call and suggest things to do, it could be time to let the friendship go.

A friend is more of a taker than a giver. While no relationship is ever truly 50-50, it is not fair if one party is always the one who lends an ear and shoulder or bails the friend out of tough situations. What is even worse is if there is money involved. True friends should be able to rely on each other, but it should work both ways.

Values no longer match. Perhaps a friendship was formed during days with lots of party times. You have moved beyond this. However, your friend not only still enjoys this type of lifestyle but has also descended to a level with which you are uncomfortable. While friendships can span different interests, if you have nothing else in common, or your friend's actions border on self-destructive or try to drag you to that level, it is time to call it quits.

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