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When Friendship Turns Toxic: How To Break Up With A Friend
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When Friendship Turns Toxic: How to Break Up With A Friend

We like to think that friendships are forever, but that is not always the case. After all, people get married, take vows and promise to love one another forever and that ends in divorce an alarming number of times. No one takes a vow of friendship. There is no ceremony, no party to announce your intention to forever be pals and yet, we are always shocked when a friendship ends for one reason or another.

Some friendships do not end, in so many words. There is no acrimonious blow up where one turns to the other and says " I don't like you anymore. Let's break up." What happens is more subtle. They simply lose track of one another or stop having time to hang out. Daily phone calls turn to weekly calls and then monthly. Eventually, it is only holidays and birthdays, if that. And technically, you are still "friends" with that person- you just never see or talk to them.

But, then, there are other friendships that do not just drift off or fade away. Those are the friendships that lead to tense times out, angry, clenched fist discussions and even shouting matches that smack of bitter enemies rather than long time friends. If you have got to the point where you are avoiding phone calls and hiding in a darkened house when the friend comes to the door, it is time to reevaluate that relationship.

Psychologists studying the effects of negative people on physical, mental and emotional factors found that just one negative encounter with a person can have long lasting effects on all three. And, the closer the relationship with the person, the more likely we are to feel the effects more deeply and for a longer period of time. Simply put, a stranger who acts like a jerk may only raise our blood pressure and make us feel gloomy for an hour or less but a friend who has pulled on their nasty hat for the day is going to make us miserable for much longer. When that misery starts affecting our health, it is time to consider if it is worth the effort to save the friendship or to cut them loose, once and for all.

Friends change and that is just a fact of life. We change jobs or move on to new hobbies and that may make a friend feel left out. A new romantic relationship can change the tone of a friendship as well. Some friends are meant to be forever and some are meant to be temporary. It is important to treasure them while they are around, mourn their loss when the friendship ends and then move on.


Street Talk

Such a true article. Life's lessons are hard sometimes, and holding on to misconceptions is easier than change. I call it an anual cleansing for me. I must always evaluate the people around me and make sure they are healthy for my well being. Another really good article Amie!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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