The other day someone I am working with on a collaboration was telling me about their best friend. I couldnt help but feel that (although I had only heard one side) the friendship to me just didn't sound like it was working out. Friendships are relationships that should be cherished, but they need to be balanced. If you constantly worry that your friend is mad at you, that your friend just seems to come to you when shit if hitting the fan, most importantly that a particular friendship is causing you more harm than good, well then it might be time to re-evaluatete it.
The older I have gotton, the more I value my friendships. I no longer want the most friends, or the fullest phonebook, I like to have people that I trust, value, and respect and want to spend time with, and vice versa!
So how do you know when a friendship isn't working? What are the signs?
Why your friends shouldn't and might not always agree with you (however much we wish they would!) they and you should always keep an open mind about what you are sharing with them. We should always be able to put our point of view aisde and look at things from other peoples perspective, and if we cant, or people don’t? Well that is not a healthy relationship.
Saying that not every conversation with your friends needs to be deep and meaningful. But strong, lasting friendships are built on more than just shopping, grabbing coffee, or getting drunk. If your friend is not interested in trying to build on these relationships, or are you, it is not saying that it is a bad friendship, but it isn't a deep one. If you only do these things with your 'close' friends and that friendship doesn't go deeper, then how close are you really?
You ever had that friend that you know isn't going to want to go to your favourite dinner spot? Know that they will criticse your choice of attire? But you even think of even critcising them? Well you know the backlash that will ensue? That's not friendship, and personally? talk it out and explain how you feel or walk away. It is the same if your friend is only interested in what she/he gets out of your relationship. If you find that 9/10th's of the conversation are taken up by her, and her problems then it's not a mutual friendship, you're acting more as a counsellor.
If you find yourself in a friendship that's causing you more stress than enjoyment, you may want to end the relationship. Most friendships don't totally have to end you just have to reevaulate where they are on the friendship spectrum.
So you feel in friendship limbo what can you do to make it or break it?
You need to decide if the problems in this friendship, like the ones discussed are more than just a blip in your well being. If they are becoming detrimental to your life, growth and health? Well it's time to take a step away. If you're not sure about what to do or whether you are in the right or wrong then it's best to ask someone else who is unbiased. Asking someone who is not in the friendship, can give you the clarity you need, but make sure you are being honest also. If you come to the conclusion that the friendship is over, then move on.
Friendships may have their ups and downs, but they are supposed to be positive aspects of our lives. If you are coming away feeling more negative than positive from the relationship then it may be time to let it go.