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How to Let Go of Negative Friendships
Letting Go of the Negative People in Your Life
A couple years ago I ended up in a friendship that took a negative toll on my life. This person wasn’t a bad person, but for some reason the two of us just couldn’t find enough in common to continue our friendship, and I felt every interaction with her had become a negative one. We had only been friends for a couple of months, and in all honesty, I’m not even sure why the friendship lasted that long. My life was going through changes, my family was growing with the birth of my second child, but my friendship with this individual was not. We no longer had things in common, most of what we discussed was of a negative matter and the friendship was exhausting me.
I Made the Decision that Was Best for Me
When the situation was evaluated, I came to the conclusion that this friendship was not meant to be in my life and I was okay with that. The problem was going to be telling her that I wanted to end the friendship. What really made me nervous was that she was a confrontational person, I was not. I think the hardest part was facing the fact that I didn’t have to be friends with everyone, the best part was knowing that if I didn’t feel a friendship was right for me, I didn’t have to continue it..it was freeing.
How I Ended It.
I decided to find reasons to be busy for a bit until I could tell her that our friendship just wasn’t working out at this time in my life. She immediately knew I was avoiding her, and I had hoped that she would get the hint and that would be the end of it. I received several texts a day from her asking if I was mad at her, I told the truth and the answer was no. I had no reason to be mad at her, I was just trying to buy time until I could muster up the courage and tell her I no longer desired to have her in my life. That was definitely something I didn’t look forward to.
One day when she called me I decided it was time and I had to treat this like a break up. You could tell she was put out from me avoiding her and she clearly wanted to know why. My first reason was that I didn’t have time, which was true, I had two young children at home and life was very busy. I had also been dedicating more time to my other friendships and I had to admit that felt very good. Finally, I told her the truth. I explained as nicely as I could that the friendship just wasn’t working out for me. It didn’t go over well, I will admit that. She became defensive and kept asking why, I tried to explain that I just was too busy to have another person in my life and that we just seemed to be in different places. She hung up quickly and I received many not-so-nice texts after that. But it was okay, because I knew she was hurt and I didn’t blame her.
How I Knew to Let Go of the Friendship
1. I hadn’t been feeling like anything positive was coming from our interactions. Each time we had coffee or lunch I had began to feel increasingly uncomfortable.
2. I had the feeling she wanted me to only be friends with her. Each time I had another commitment with one of my other friends she became angry or withdrawn.
3. She was constantly bashing her marriage and mine. This was something I was very uncomfortable with. It was one thing for her to vent about her husband, but when she started saying negative things about mine I knew I could no longer continue the friendship.
4. She wasn’t a very good listener. Now I am not saying I am always the best listener and I am sure that sometimes I drive my friends crazy because I have a bad habit of interrupting. However, this person did not stop the listen to anyone but herself and this was something I had a hard time tolerating.
Have you ever had to break up with a friend?
I don’t regret my decision one bit. I knew this person was not someone who fit into my life and I’m happy that I was able to make the decision to end the friendship. I am now closer than ever with the people in my life that I wanted to give more time to. I have learned that I have every right to chose who my friends are. I am really lucky to have the people that I do in my life and if there is ever a time that one of them decides to end a friendship with me, I know it will hurt but just like any relationship it is two sided and it needs to work for both people.
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