Throughout our lifetimes, friendships can come and go. Sometimes it’s a matter of distance and sometimes it’s a natural transition of growing apart.
Then there are those who are lucky enough to hold onto some dear friends from their childhood or early adulthood.
Friendships come in all different shapes and sizes, but how do we face the difficult task of knowing when it’s time to let go of a friend?
How do we even go about letting go of a friend? What if it means letting go of your best friend?
It could be a confusing and heartbreaking matter, that leaves you conflicted.
If you are having trouble deciding whether you should let go of a friendship, here are 10 truthful reasons that could help guide you in the right direction:
10 Honest Reasons to Let Go of a Friend
1. They are bringing you down
Have you ever been around someone who just tends to focus on all the negative things in life? Are they constantly complaining?
It’s unrealistic to try to be positive all the time, but if you have a friend who puts you in a bad mood or causes you to start thinking negatively, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider if you want to continue spending time with them.
I had a friend once who wanted to complain about everything but never wanted to take any action to change her situation.
When I would spend time with her, I would often grow tired of her complaints and realized that I couldn’t offer her any advice that would help her.
She didn’t want to help herself. It was time to let go of this friend.
2. They don’t make time for you
Time is valuable and shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Our relationships become stronger with time, and if you have a friend who doesn’t make time for you, it will be hard for that relationship to grow.
If you feel that you have a friend who is constantly canceling plans or refuses to even make any plans, you may have to reconsider if you want to continue to make the effort to be friends with this person.
The truth is, people, make time for those they value.
3. There isn’t a healthy balance
Friendships are all about balance. The time you spend together, the value you receive from each other, the good moments, and even the bad ones.
If you feel that you are the one putting in all the work to keep the friendship going, there may be an unhealthy balance within that friendship. You may begin to feel resentful or frustrated with them.
The best thing to do is express how you feel and see over time if anything changes.
If they aren’t willing to recognize your feelings or make an effort to create a healthier balance, it may be time to let go of that friendship.
4. They aren’t honest with you
In any relationship, trust is vital for its survival. When you trust someone, you feel safe and secure with them.
You know that whatever information you share with them, will stay between the two of you. You also feel comfortable opening up and relying on them in times of need.
If you happen to have a dishonest friend, the opposite will occur.
You may begin to feel unsafe and question their motives. Staying in a friendship that causes you to doubt the other person, or perhaps even yourself, may not be the best for your mental well-being.
It could be time to reconsider that friendship and let it go.
5. You don’t feel good around them
Sometimes there are certain people in life, who simply bring you down!
This could be for several different reasons. Perhaps they are negative, complaining constantly, don’t treat you well, etc.
It’s important to observe how you feel around a person.
Do you get excited to see them when you have plans?
Do you feel happy in their presence?
Or…is it just the opposite?
It’s okay to let go of a friend who doesn’t make you feel good and that doesn’t add any real value to your life.
6. They don’t support you
It’s important to surround yourself with people who support you in both the good times and bad.
Support builds trust and provides comfort.
That’s why it is such an important factor in friendships. It’s nice to have someone you can rely on and vice versa.
Support doesn’t mean that they have to agree with everything you do or say.
They don’t have to encourage you when they know you are doing something intentionally wrong. In this case, it’s best that they are honest with you.
Support does mean that they are there for you and are willing to at least listen, and help you to see it through. They defend you and stick up for you.
If you have a friend that doesn’t have your back, you may begin to question if you want that person to remain in your life, or if you need to let that friend go.
7. They don’t value your opinion
As I mentioned before, a real friendship isn’t based on agreeing with everything you think or say.
In fact, it’s healthy to have a difference of opinions and learn from one another.
That’s why it’s important to value the opinion of others, even if you may not completely agree.
If you have a friend who doesn’t take the time to value your opinion, tells you that you are wrong, and thinks that they are always right- then you may start to realize that this friendship is very one-sided and shouldn’t continue.
8. They are too needy
As mentioned before, friendships require a healthy balance.
There are times when friends need love and support, but then there are people who may take this a little too far.
For example, perhaps you have a friend who constantly needs favors, attention, and time. You begin to feel stressed out and worried about your friend.
In the long run, this could emotionally weigh you down.
You may feel as if you have to attend to them at any given moment, giving up on your own emotional and mental well-being.
This creates an imbalance within the friendship, and if it becomes too much, letting go of this friendship may be better for you.
9. They hold grudges
Mistakes happen and often. There are problems that occur in friendships, and it’s natural to have your ups and downs.
It’s all about how you resolve these issues and move on.
But what happens when you have a friend who holds grudges and doesn’t allow for your friendship to move on? What happens when they hold onto resentment and anger?
This could have a negative effect on the friendship, and if the person chooses to continue to dwell in the past, it may be a sign to let go of this friendship.
10. They don’t have your best interest at heart
Friendships thrive on trust, support, and being genuinely happy for one another,
That is why it is important to be friends with someone who has your best interest at heart, even if it is not in their own best interest.
If you happen to notice that your friends are not happy for you, don’t show support, or encourage you to grow and succeed, it may mean that they don’t want what’s best for you.
How To Let Go of a Friend Gracefully
They say friends come and go and only serve a specific purpose in our lives. Unfortunately, this is an accurate statement but it doesn’t make it any easier to let go of a friend you cherish.
Letting go of a friend is never easy, but often necessary if they’re no longer contributing to your growth. To let go of a beloved friend graceful, you can choose to tell them why you need to let them go.
If they’re really your friend, trust that they’ll understand your perspective and why you need to stop the friendship. It will sting and hurt on both
your ends, but at least you’re not cutting them off harshly without giving them an explanation first.
There’s a certain type of heartbreak that comes from letting go of your friends and leaving those friendships behind. It’s not going to be easy to forget, but if they’re your friend, they’ll understand why you need to let them go.
Another way of gracefully letting go of a friend is by gradually fading out of their lives. It happens and sometimes, friends really do drift apart without any particular reason. When you drift apart as friends, nobody gets hurt so it’s easier that way.
Although, this can be challenging to do when you maintain contact with them regularly. Fading away from a friend can be how to let go of a friend most nicely without causing any more complications.
Why Friends Sometimes Come and Go
It’s hard to accept this specific truth, but not everyone was meant to stay in our lives forever. A friend could have served their purpose in your life, which is often to help you learn a specific lesson.
After you’ve learned this, their role in your life is over. Friends also come and go because you grow apart, often in different directions. Even if it’s against what you want, this is inevitable in your life. You can’t control people to go with your flow of growth, even if they’re friends you think you’d have forever.
Accept that not all your friendships will last a lifetime but they exist to help you grow and learn certain things. It’s not the end of the world when friends come and go, but it’s the end of their part in your story. You need to find peace and acceptance when this happens and accept that their part in your life wasn’t meant to last forever. This is also where you realize that people who come and go are beyond your control.
Sometimes, people change and friendships drift apart and that’s okay. It’s not always someone’s fault, but as long as you continue to cherish
everything they brought into your life, then you’ll be fine.
Friends may come and go but that doesn’t mean they’ll forget you along the way. Accept that their part in your story is over and let them move on in their life – and the same goes for you.
It’s never easy to just let go of a friendship. There is no one right way to go about it, and it can be an emotionally exhausting decision to make.
Keep in mind that sometimes letting go may be the best thing for yourself and the other person. Go with your instinct and follow your heart. Have you ever had to let go of a friend? Share in the comments below.