Most relationships — both romantic and platonic — will experience some form of turbulence at one point or another. And while we should definitely be committed to working through conflict when it comes to the people we love and care about, just like romantic relationships, there are some scenarios that call for breaking up with a friend. Sadly, we often hold on to these friendships way longer than we should because of the history we may share with that person.
“Unfortunately, by the time we begin to recognize that a relationship is bringing us unhappiness or is burdensome or damaging, it is often quite established: a close or intimate friendship, someone we see regularly and often,” explained Karen Riddell J.D. in an essay for Psychology Today. “But excising these people from your life is crucial to your health and happiness.”
While only you can determine what your breaking points are, here are four good reasons to pull the plug on a friendship.
We can all fall victim to poor judgment while hurting the people we love in the process. However, if it’s truly a mistake, you apologize, learn from the experience, and don’t repeat the same problematic behaviors. A good way to determine whether or not you should cut ties with a friend is to reflect on the number of times you’ve been betrayed by the person. If they have violated your trust on multiple different occasions, that’s a pretty good indicator that this friendship has run its course.
They make you feel bad about yourself
Anyone who puts you down and makes you feel bad about yourself is not a friend. “Friends” like this are not deserving of a place in your life because they aren’t actually friends at all. People love to dress up their toxic behavior and parade it around as tough love, but in reality, they’re just mean and struggle with identity issues. Instead of doing the work required to be a better person, they inflict emotional pain on the people they claim to care about because it makes them feel better about themselves.
They’re a frenemy
Not every person who claims to be a friend actually fits the description. Frenemies will attempt to align themselves with you for many different reasons. Sometimes, they envy your life and want to remain close. Other times, they see the potential in you and want to keep you under their thumb so that you don’t surpass them in some area. Regardless, their motives are self-serving and they will always violate you whenever given the opportunity.
The relationship is one-sided
It’s impossible for a relationship to thrive when there is only one party who is reaching out, extending themselves, giving, or doing what it takes to sustain a healthy friendship. Things will never be exactly 50/50 — even in the best of friendships — however, it’s not hard to tell when a person is not as invested as you are within a friendship.