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How to Let Go of Negative Friendships

Updated on April 10, 2015
source flickr untitlism
source flickr untitlism

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 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.

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Moving on

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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    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 6 years ago from Hawaii

      Some friendships are just not meant to be, and you made the right choice to end it with this someone who obviously had issues and wanted someone she could dump them on. Reminds me of a counsellor who finally had it with a difficult and persistent counselee, and just blew up by telling the person to go see a psychiatrist!Btw, i think there's one letter missing in your title on the word, friendship.

    • KimberlyAnn26 profile image

      KimberlyAnn26 7 years ago

      Great Hub. This sounds like it was a really tough situation for you to go through. Its always so hard to sometimes let go, but it is sometimes the best thing that we can do.

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 7 years ago from California

      James, Lupozee, Rastamermaid, Misty May,

      Thanks so much for reading, it is a difficult process to go through, but helped to to take control of my life and feel better about the people I had in it.

    • Misty May profile image

      Misty May 7 years ago

      Great hub, I don't think enough people talk about this problem and how to handle it. Thanks for this hub!

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 7 years ago from Universe

      I think we've all been here before,realizing that someone isn't right for yor life.

      It happens.

      Like you stated,you now spend that time with family and friends that are productive and bring something to your life not stress or anger because you're not doing what they want you to.

      It's about quality and respect.

      Nice hub

      Voted up

    • Lupozee profile image

      Lupozee 7 years ago from U.K, London

      Was in a similar situation but sadly we had been friends for 15 years!!! but as we got older we grew further apart and in some way it kind of became a contest...who could get the better grades, who could wear the better clothes..petty stuff really!!! still think of her some days but glad that she is in my past otherwise she would have just dragged me down

    • jamesroy11143 profile image

      jamesroy11143 7 years ago from CA, USA

      Hi Mandeeadair, I have bookmarked it. It is basically the hubpage that i was searching for :). thank you and keep writing.

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 7 years ago from California

      Good luck to you izetti, it wasn't an easy thing for me but I felt empowered and better after the frienship ended. Thanks for reading.

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

      I've been reflecting on my friendships and I have two, which are probably the most prominent friends I have, that I am unhappy with. I am in the stage of getting the courage to let them go. Thanks for this hub.

    • Mandeeadair profile image

      Mandeeadair 7 years ago from California

      Rhonda- Thanks :)!

      Giselle- It was a hard time, but now looking back on it I can see clearly that it was probably a friendship that never should have started. Real friends do respect other friendships you are so right about that. Thanks for reading and I appreciate the feedback :)!

    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 7 years ago

      Wow, this must have been quite a difficult situation for you especially since it all happened near the birth of your second child. It sounds like you made a good choice about ending this friendship (and I liked how you shared your explanation of how you did it). That friend doesn't sound like she was a true friend, instead she sounded really self-centered. A real friend would respect other friendships and would never expect you to associate exclusively with just one person. It's good that you heard the 'warning bells' relatively early on in your friendship with that person & took action.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Rhonda Waits profile image

      Rhonda Musch 7 years ago from The Emerald Coast

      I couldn't agree more. Great hub.