It Shouldn’t Be This Hard: Knowing When To Walk Away From Exhausting Friendships
Friendships can take years to cultivate and only a second to damage forever. This is why many women find themselves holding on tightly to friendships that passed their expiration dates years ago. When you have a true friendship with someone it’s easy to overlook, excuse and outright dismiss toxic behavior because, like any relationship, you remember the good times—and honestly, you don’t want to start the process of looking for someone new to fill the void.
However, just as we can be quick to kick our man to the curb when he’s not doing what he should in a relationship, that same energy should be kept when it comes to friendships that are more exhausting than supportive. Every relationship goes through its ups and downs, but if you find that your friendship is filled with more drama than happiness, saying a final goodbye may be necessary.
Falling out with each other repeatedly over the pettiest things, jealousy over friendships with other people, and romantic relationships that change the friendship dynamic, are just a few of the situations that can signal the time is up on your friendship. We see these kind of toxic friendships not only play out in our everyday lives, but also on some of the most popular reality shows, like Real Housewives of Atlanta or any Love & Hip-Hop, series where in-fighting among a group of women masking themselves as friends, when they’re really frenemies, is the running storyline season after season. This may make for an entertaining night of TV watching at home, but when these types of scenarios become your reality something must change, and that’s likely your friends.
Sure, you have to be willing to do the work to make your friendship work, especially when one or both of you is going through a trying time. There is a difference, however, between doing the work and trying to save something that has been dead a long time ago. Your friendship should serve as much-needed solace and support when the rest of the world is trying to dim your shine as much as possible. When what’s dimming your shine is disguising itself as your friend you’re cheating yourself out of love and support, the same as you do with a romantic partner who doesn’t uplift and encourage you.
Friendships have cycles. At one point, you may be the one who needs supporting or you may be the supporter, so it’s expected to prepare for a natural shift. However, that shift should never include your so-called friend being downright mean, toxic, nasty and hurtful–basically everything a good friend is not. As you look back over your friendship and debate if you should permanently phase them out of your life, you’ll likely start to reminisce about all the vacations, birthdays, girls’ nights, crying on each other’s shoulder’s, celebrating successes, etc. While those memories should stay with you, they should never cause you to subject yourself to a friendship that is weighing you down in more ways than one.
As the old saying goes, “some people are only in your life for a season,” maybe your season with your friend has finally come to an end and that’s perfectly okay.