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Every time spring rears it’s pretty head, I am always inspired to clean everything out in my closet. Maybe it’s my excuse for another big shopping trip, but usually when I begin the process, I really do clear out items that have no business occupying space. My closet is small enough as it is! Replacing the old with the new is always a much-needed exercise, and it gives you the opportunity to really decide what you value most. You can also apply the same concept to other areas in your life.

As I get older, I am more aware of how important it is to check inventory when it comes to friendships. This past weekend, I was catching up with a friend and she expressed how frustrated she was with a girlfriend of hers. She wasn’t sure if she had changed or if she was just getting older but for whatever reason things were tense. She gave examples about why they were no longer connecting and it basically hindered on her friend’s self-involved and inconsiderate tendencies. After listening to her, I offered her my advice, which was short and simple. Talk to her about how you feel if you think this is a friendship worth saving but if you are ready to bounce, start making moves to slowly end it.

I have also found myself in friendships that were either toxic or stagnant. When I was younger, I was more concerned about keeping the number of friends at my beck and call at a higher ratio. I really liked the idea of having a lot of friends and I pretty much brushed off any signs of irritation. I tried not to take things to heart or I would make excuses to compensate for any bad behavior. But of course as you mature, it’s only natural to start feeling the pangs of impatience creeping up every time she says something nonsensical or does the very thing you warned her not to do.

A couple of years ago, I was stuck in the same place my friend is in now. I was having a hard time convincing myself that my friend of ten years was holding my interest. Not to sound like a snob but quite frankly I had changed and she seemed content to remain the same person I had met a decade ago. I was just simply more progressive in my thought process and general pursuits. The threading started to unravel slowly and all of a sudden we would argue for no  reason. I was kind of hard on her; my way of driving a wedge was to find ways to be critical. Some of them were legit but the more irritated I became, the more it was obvious I was seeking every opportunity to put her down. Eventually, we hit the breaking point and we verbally decided it was time to part ways. We didn’t speak for about a year but I would occasionally hear about how she was doing from acquaintances. After enough time had passed we unexpectedly ran into each other. We were both comfortable enough to say hello and quickly catch up and then we politely made our exits.

Looking back, I should have simply expressed how I was feeling instead of finding childish ways to force us apart. The best way to break away from a friendship is to be honest and forthright. It’s never an easy task to admit to yourself and someone else that you are no longer interested in being friends. Who knows, maybe after you bring the subject up, you both can work it out but the only way to know if there is a chance is to tackle the matter head on.



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