While friendship can usually keep us occupied and boost self-esteem, other friendships may leave us feeling physically and emotionally drained. Deciding whether or not it is time to break things off can be confusing and uncomfortable. Learning to improve communication can mean a more fulfilling friendship in some cases, while giving up on a friendship in other cases can mean a self-esteem boost and greater happiness for you.
Doing Your Part
Every friendship will have bumps along the road, but if bumps are more common than the good moments, it may be time to evaluate the friendship, according to Therese J. Borchard, associate editor of Psych Central, in "You Deplete Me: 10 Steps to End a Toxic Relationship." If your relationship is leaving you feeling fatigued, annoyed or desperate to escape much of the time, it may be time to move on. However, you may also be able to take action to make the friendship a more pleasant one. Focusing on what you can do to improve the situation, such as reaching out to her more often when you feel neglected or giving her space until she feels ready to contact you, could be your solution instead, according to the HelpGuide article "How to Make Friends."
Evaluating Your Pal's Negative Traits
No matter how many people you meet, each of them will have negative traits -- but does your friend bring enough positive qualities to negate the negative? If so, you might find that holding onto the friendship is worth it, according to marriage and family therapist Stephen J. Betchen in the Psychology Today article "Toxic Friendships." Choosing to overlook one negative trait in favor of a friend's more positive aspects could help you preserve the friendship. Maybe her difficulties keeping a date with you are worth it in light of her sensitivity and listening ear. Your friend may also be unaware of her behavior, and confronting the behavior directly and immediately could mean an end to the behavior that is causing you to consider ending the friendship, according to the WebMD feature "Toxic Friends: Less Friend, More Foe."
Analyzing Your Feelings
Getting the views of other friends or family who may know this particular friend can help you decide if it is time to give up on the friendship, according to WebMD. After an outing with a friend, you might also benefit from immediately logging your feelings about the encounter, says Borchard. Give yourself time to sort out your emotions before making any major decisions.
Making the Break
When it comes to ending a friendship, you may struggle with how to do it. Some may choose to passively end the relationship by making up excuses for limited contact, or slowly cutting off contact altogether, according to general internist Alex Lickerman in the Psychology Today article "How to End a Friendship." You might also choose to be more direct, such as saying "We have very different ways of dealing with our anger, and because of that, I don't feel that we should be friends anymore." If you do give a reason for ending things, remember how you would feel if you were on the receiving end. Keep the conversation civil and honest, but avoid unnecessarily hurting your former friend.
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