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I lost a good friend more than a year ago. Don’t worry; he’s still alive. We’re just no longer friends.

This person was more like a brother to me and we had known each other for over 10 years. And although he ruined his romantic relationship with a close friend of mine in the most unpleasant of ways, that’s not why his relationship with me fell apart. Instead, it was his lack of sincerity and honesty that caused the demise of our friendship. When we parted ways, I knew I’d made the right decision to distance myself.

I normally don’t get close to too many people, so my friend circle is pretty small. I’ve stopped using “friend” loosely and now reserve that term of endearment for people with whom I instantly connect. After all, relationships change all of the time due to growth, a lack of truthfulness, disagreements, and a long list of other reasons. In fact, Omarosa Manigault’s friends kept it moving due to her allegiance to Donald Trump. You never know what could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I also don’t believe in “real friends” because that means there are fake friends, and that really makes no sense to me. I believe in friends, associates, colleagues, and even enemies. Everyone has his or her place, and there are various types of people who can cause friendships to be altered or completely demolished. These are three who rarely add anything positive to your life:

The Untrustworthy Friend

I’m not talking about the Martin and Gina situation where your friend spills the beans on a deep, dark secret that you told them months or even years ago. You can probably get over that that hump (just know that they can’t hold water). I’m talking about deceit.

Lying, going behind your back, telling your business to other people, and flat-out betrayal are all means of dismissal for many people. I’ve never had a friend do something as extreme in terms of betrayal as trying to get involved with anyone I was dating, but I’ve had a couple of them lie…and lie, and lie again over silly things. As trivial as it seems, lying lets me know that you have more to hide and that you don’t trust me as a friend to tell me the truth. I haven’t completely ended friendships in a formal way over a lie, but I have done a demotion to “See ya when I see ya” interactions.

The One-Sided Friend

I’ve been guilty of being that friend who took too long to return a phone call in a timely manner or who rarely initiates brunch outings (however, I seldom turn them down!). But if you are exhausted with being the only person in the friendship who makes any effort in maintaining and nurturing the relationship, it might be time to let it go.

The One-Up You Friend

It’s the friend who won’t let you shine. It’s your wedding day and she is worried about her makeup. You got into graduate school and she reminded you that her degree came from a top-tier university–in case you forgot.

If you’re tired of her trying to compete, let it go. It’s not worth your time, sis.

With that being said, knowing when to distance yourself or totally cut off certain people in your life can be hard. It was in my mid-20s that I really started to realize that it was okay for my inner circle to be a small one. It was a sign of growth, as I really wanted to have people around me who not only knew how to have fun, but who also had positive vibes and encouraged me. Choosing your needs first will help you decide with whom you will wisely spend your time.


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