You thought you had so much in common. In the beginning, you felt you’d met a kindred spirit. But now something has gone awry and you think this has turned into a bad friendship. Before you call a close, you need to decide if this truly is a toxic friendship, or you are simply out of sync because one of you is going through a bad patch.
There is only one real reason to end a friendship, and that is because it doesn’t make you feel good to be with her anymore. The friendship may be unbalanced – one of you is doing all the talking/giving/ understanding; the other is the receiver/demander/moaner. The litmus test is whether you feel sorry or relief at the idea of not having her in your life.
Five Signs of a Bad Friendship
- You found out that she’s talking about you behind your back… and she isn’t paying compliments. She’ll say one thing to your face, but express a completely different opinion when you aren’t around. You feel betrayed. Having said that, do establish if a third person is trying to cause trouble. Give your friend the benefit of the doubt and ask her.
- She is only focused on her own problems. While sometimes this is fine – after all friendship means sharing the ups and downs of life – when it is continual it becomes tedious and wearing. In fact, she never asks how *you* are. It feels like she is sucking the life out of you. After you have been with her, you feel drained. She never listens to your suggested solutions anyway.
- She lets you down. You arrange to go out together; she cancels at the last minute. You are expecting her round for a night of wine and girl chat, but she leaves after ten minutes because she has a pressing engagement. You feel unimportant. It’s possible that your friend does have other commitments. If she has children, then these things happen – they get sick or they have needs that must be met.
- She corrects you. In-oh-so-many ways. On Facebook, she’ll pick you up on your typos and grammar. She’ll correct your pronunciation. She’ll criticize how you interact with others, even your significant other. If you go shopping together, she’ll point out that your choices are all wrong. You feel stupid.
- She undermines you. Everything that pleases you, she will have had or done it better. When you recount the great night out you had with your boyfriend, she’ll slag off the restaurant/movie you went to. She’ll take the shine off your shiny. People who do this are using you to bolster their own failing self-esteem.
Five Signs You are a Bad Friend
- You go out of your way to avoid her. You’re not in the mood for her brand of friendship. You know she’s upset at her recent break-up, but you don't care. After all, you have recently met a gorgeous hunk and want to spend all your time with him.
- You disagree with her more often than you agree. Her opinions are just, you know… stupid. And, for some reason, you find her irritating. Maybe it’s her voice or her accent, but you can’t stand to have her around you.
- You think – no, you know- that you are smarter than she. She has to think about everything she says. She’s not quick witted like you. She’s slow on the uptake. According to you, she makes stupid choices. I mean, look at her other friends, what dorks.
- You can’t believe she has a life outside your friendship. Why doesn’t she want to be with you more often? You do everything you can to be nice to her. Why does it feel like she’s keeping you at arm’s length. You only want to share your whole life with her. Isn’t that what friends are for?
- You notice she’s becoming distant with you. After all she did offer to give you rides when you needed them. Taking you to the mall, the doctor’s, or any other appointment several times a week shouldn't be too much trouble for her. You’d do it for her if you could drive.
If you relate to any of the above, then you should evaluate your own behavior. Are you taking your friends for granted? Are you acting selfishly. Are you being too clingy? Any of these factors can kill a friendship, so pay attention and moderate your behavior. Or live with the fact that you won’t have any friends.
Five Methods of Ending a Bad Friendship
- Up front and honest. If it is really bad, then you have to tell her to her face it’s time to move on. It’s a tough choice but it allows you to explain your reasons. While you are doing so, be careful not to start whining and blaming. Make sure you take half of the responsibility for it not working any more. Tell her that you are glad for the friendship, yet you feel it’s better to end it now. Then leave or show her to the door.
- Increase the distance. Sometimes, the friendship has simply reached a natural end. You can gradually reduce the number of times you arrange to meet until it has faded away by mutual consent.
- Raise your vibration. This one seems a little ‘out there’, but it works. A lot of friendships are based on each of you having a good moan. The whole friendship can be one big long complaining session. You stop complaining and get happy. Life isn’t so bad. Find things to be grateful for. Two things will happen: either your friend will come along with you and increase her own happiness and the friendship transforms to a better one. Or, she won’t, and the friendship will dissolve slowly and naturally.
- Email or text. If it’s easier for you, then send her an honest and straightforward message. Explain that you are unhappy in the friendship; that it’s not working for you any longer. You think it would be better to move on separately. Then block her emails and texts. If you get into a two-way discussion it can get nasty. If she phones you, tell her you already explained how you feel and end the call. Unfriend her on social media. Do not respond to any other contact.
- Be a gray rock. If you have ended it, been honest and reasonable, but she’s refusing to leave you alone, then your only option is to take a leaf out of the advice given to victims of stalking and ‘be a gray rock’. This is where you respond only minimally. You become uninteresting. You don’t give her the chance to hook onto anything you say. Your replies are bland and uncompromising. Eventually, she’ll give up out of frustration.
We hope that your friendships don’t end like this; in an ideal world friendships are mutually rewarding and supportive. Having a true friend who knows, loves, and takes care of you is one of the finest things in life. Cherish her.