I have always believed that people enter our lives at just the right time. They serve a purpose even though we might not realize what that purpose was until later. Friendships are like this. Someone shows up at a certain moment bringing support, or a lesson. Some friends stay with us our entire lives while others are seasonal. The seasonal friendships are the most difficult because it is often hard to let them go even when the relationship has become toxic. How do you know when it is time to step away from a friendship? Here are a few ideas.
The friendship feels one-sided
If you feel like you are the only one putting effort into the relationship there may be a problem. Do you arrange all the activities, and make all the phone calls? Are you always the one to make concessions to make something work? A good friendship is a partnership with both people working on the success of the relationship.
Being with your friend feels like work.
When conversations always revolve around negative themes it can drain your energy. Does your friend make demands on you that require you to do extra work? Does she have unrealistic expectations for you?
You don’t feel supported.
If you are always there to listen to your friend complain about her life you would expect equal time to vent your frustrations, but when you try to share your friend looks distracted and bored.
The relationship has become toxic
Signs that the relationship has become toxic keep happening. When your friend does something that is not o.k., there is no ownership for actions. Your friend starts to have secrets. Your friend blames you for the problems in the relationship. Your friend is undermining you. She unveils a project at work that you didn’t know she was working on, she tries to compete in company advancement games, and you suspect she is talking to the boss about you behind your back.
If these things are happening it is time to close the door on this friendship. Don’t make the situation worse by hanging on longer than you should.