Breaking up is hard especially when it comes to a close friend. I am writing this article simply because we never talk about friendship breakups. Let me tell you that they do happen, it’s part of growing up and sometimes they are just as painful as a relationship breakup. I’m so incredibly lucky that both my best friends are still in my life through the trials and tribulations. My best friend Yonni and I have had couple breakups but my God, we both know that we are meant to be friends for a lifetime. However, there are some friendships that just aren’t meant to stand the test of time. The truth is, not all friendships last forever, and breaking one off can be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable especially the older we get. So, how do you identify and know when it’s time for a friendship breakup, let’s get right into it.
1. Ask yourself one question only! Are you ever doubting if they are ever happy for you. A truly good friend will always mirror your excitement when you get a good news. Someone who isn’t happy for you would try to poke holes in your happiness. You know the dream killers, the one who points out all the negatives when you tell them your dreams. It is an inconvenient question to ask yourself but this question would save you from a lot of toxic people. Our unconscious brain can smell and pick up on people’s energy. Everything has a frequency. Pay attention to people’s energy and be able to discern it. Emotional safety is paramount.
2. You are growing apart. I lost a few friends this year simply because I knew I had to outgrow a lot of people. When you are hungry for success and you are determined to climb that ladder, jealousy tends to come into play. The one thing I’ll hear from these friends were “You’ve changed” and my answer would always be “of course I’ve changed”. You are supposed to change. I don’t work this hard to stay in the same place I was when I was drifting through life like a vagabond. When I was friends with these people, I was by all accounts a deadbeat living on couches, no motivation but a lot of ambition, drifting from job to job, like some sad crust punk gypsy. One day, I realized that attitude is contagious. It’s why successful people want to surround themselves with other successful people. I am now an adult with goals and dreams and if you aren’t coming along this betterment journey….well, toodaloo. The truth is, their reactions really have nothing to do with you, what you’re achieving or what you’re becoming. Their reactions have everything to do with their own desperate attempts to cling to the familiar.
3. Competition. I believe in friendly competition, as a matter of fact, I thrive on it. I am a very competitive person by nature. I believe strongly that I should ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS be doing the worst out of all my friends. That way, I am always playing catch up. By nature, “friendly competition” is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is there to create motivation and to help people reach goals. However, there is a thin line and can easily turn mean or vicious. There should never be a point where a woman tells you to dim your light, so hers could shine. I’ve had friends who would beg and I mean beg me to not wear makeup or dress well, so they could “get some shine too”. It’s flabbergasting. A truly great friend will be happy for you when good things happen, or sad for you when things don’t go your way. They won’t try to one-up you or put you down, nor take satisfaction in your misfortune. I love when my friends are dressed well or doing well. I always joke with my Dad that I think I was born without the jealousy gene and therefore I am not a woman. When I see a woman dressed better than me or has more than I do, my first instinct is “How did she get to look or get that and how can I be her friend."
In summary, friendship breakups aren’t easy and they only get harder as we age. We learn to speak our mind less and are more set in our ways. Weigh the pros and cons of the friendships in your life constantly. If you do decide to let go of a friendship, give your self permission to mourn the friendship, talk about it with other friends but whatever you do, speak your truth but don’t bad mouth them. Try to be the bigger person. Please do not ghost a friend! Don’t do the fade away. Don’t use the excuse of being busy, no matter how tempted you are. Meet up with them or at the very least give someone a phone call on why you no longer think you are meant to be in each other’s lives. With that said, make sure you take responsibility for your actions. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In lieu, of pointing fingers at the other person, I try to write down everything I did that caused the demise of that friendship and hope to never do them again. Friendships evolve and die and resuscitate. Things change, people change. No matter what, always give yourself some grace.
With love and light,