Friday, 10 July 2015

THINGS WE DON'T TALK ABOUT: BREAKING UP WITH A FRIEND

A couple of weeks back, Swedish blogger Sandra Lundin wrote an important post about breaking up with friends. I featured it in My Weekly Ode to a week or so after her posting it. Additionally, From Roses posted on dealing with not having a lot of friends only yesterday, adding to my thoughts on the topic.

I personally think this is an important topic to discuss, particularly since it is one of the many things we simply never discuss because it's considered taboo or makes us uncomfortable. Well, please consider casting aside your sense of comfort because breaking up with friends who do not contribute to your happiness but rather drains it from you is one of the most difficult and important things you can do to improve yourself. (As a cautionary note, I would like to specify that during this post I will in no way be referring to friends who are struggling/going through hardships that put strains on you as well. It is so so important to be there for your friends in need.)
So how do you know if it's time to perhaps considering ridding yourself of a friend? This will naturally differ from person to person, but I feel like there are a few tell-tale signs:

Your friendship is one-sided: you always have to adhere to their wishes and wants, while yours are constantly ignored by them. Basically, who wants to give and give and never get anything in return? Relationships, romantic or friendly, should be based on mutual respect and input. While this might seem obvious, it is hard to address this in relation to a friendship. No one wants to be alone. I myself am guilty of holding onto friendships that are more draining than fun; rather that than having no friends, being the general idea. Please do not obsess about the number of friends you have, focus instead on how your life is improved by the friends you choose and are lucky enough to have in your life. If your friend is being a bad friend, you are allowed to let them know!

Your friendship is destructive. Would you hold onto a boyfriend or girlfriend who talked down to you, belittled your interests, and generally criticised your ideas and thoughts? Of course not! Then why surround yourself with friends who bring you down? We are usually our own worst critics, and your friends should be people who lift you up and empower you rather than people who fixate on your (imagined) worst qualities.

You have nothing in common/your conversations are merely 'filling the silence'. Sure, often in life we all have to deal with people we do not have a lot in common with. Many of these you might still get along with perfectly well; they might even become your closest friends. It is, however, problematic when the only reason you stay friends is because you have been friends 'forever'. That is not to say every conversation you have should be grade A content, but if every conversation is full of complaints or unnecessary critique of others then maybe you should reconsider either the friendship or your go-to convo subjects (unless complaining and critiquing are your favourite things in the world, then obviously go for it).

You are scared to tell your friends about your ideas and thoughts. If you only take one thing from this, please let it be this: if your friends regularly put down or ridicule your ideas to the point where you're scared to say anything because of it, please stop talking to these people a.s.a.p. If you are in this situation but it's not a regular thing, please speak to your friend(s) about it and tell them to get their act together and start being more supportive. (Note: there is a difference worth noting here, between friendly joking and actual ridiculing. I am sure you are able to differentiate between the two, and if in doubt - address the issue.)

Friendships can be difficult, however there is no reason they need to be. I think most of us are occasionally guilty of disregarding our own wellbeing in order to please those around us. My best tip would be to stop doing this; at least try. I 100% understand it can be challenging, especially at first, but would you not rather surround yourself with people who both give and take and whom you feel blessed to have in your life? I know I do.

Have you ever broken up with a friend?
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