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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bad romance? How about Bad friendship?: When to let go of a bad friend.

By Samantha Majka

Breaking up is hard to do...

Most people think of a break up as a split between two romantic partners. The reality is that a break in any relationship can be painful and confusing. Friendship is a bond valued by most people, and one that may be even harder to break because the rules of friendship are not as clearly defined as those of a romantic relationship.

You can not really cheat on a friend, for example. In romance, cheating is usually a definite deal breaker. The same definite rules do not apply to friendship. As a result, friendship faux pas are usually easier to forgive. So how do you know when a friendship is over? Furthermore, when do you know that you should end it?

Here are five friend behaviors that are absolutely rational reasons to end a friendship.

1. Your friend is a repeat offender, and does not change after being confronted about it.

Everyone has their own habits and quirks. If your friend has a bad habit that bothers you, such as constantly breaking plans, or breaking your trust, and discussing the situation does not help, it may be time to call it quits.

2. Your friend uses you.

I had a “friend” who only called me when she was in trouble. Usually, she was in trouble because of something stupid that she did against everyone else’s advice. Friendship is a mix of give and take.

This friend took and took. She would never have even thought to help me if I was in need. Any other time, I was fair game for rumors, lies, and broken plans, but as soon as she had an emergency I was the first she would call. This is a common phenomena known as “being taken advantage of because you are a nice person” and I was fed up with it. If you are in a similar situation, it is probably reasonable to end the friendship.

3. Your friend thinks she is better than you.

Everyone thinks they are better than someone else. You probably should not feel this way about your friends. I used to have a friend like this, until she went to college and supposedly found her “real” friends, and did not need to talk to me anymore. Our friendship had been pretty much over for a while, but I guess it officially ended when she moved halfway across the country and “forgot” to tell me. Oops.

Anyway, the point is, friends who think they are better than you will have absolutely no problem using you as a stepping stone for the time being, and then cutting all ties in the blink of an eye. You can end it now, treat them the way they treat you, or be unpleasantly surprised.

4. Your friend does not want to talk to you anymore.

This seems pretty obvious, but the thing about friendship is that it is difficult to let go. I once had a close friend who stopped talking to me after the first disagreement we had.

I do not even think you could call it a fight. She did something that I felt was rude, and I told her that I was pissed about it. I did not want to discuss it immediately, so after a few days I tried to talk to her about it.

Repeated attempts to contact her were completely ignored. That was years ago, and to this day she still has not said one word to me. It is safe to say that this person no longer wants to be my friend.

 If you are in the same boat, it is probably time to just let go. If you have given it a reasonable amount of time for the given situation and the “friend” still is not open to discussion, it is time to let go.

5. Your friend has to choose sides.

Sometimes, people stop being your friend because you had a fight with another friend. Be warned, it may sound like high school, but it exists in the adult world too. If you notice that when things are going well between your friend and an ex-friend, you are suddenly cut out of said friend’s life, the friendship probably is not worth much.

In reality, you are not required to be friends with anyone. Keeping that in mind, ending a relationship is unpleasant, no matter the type of relationship. Knowing that these five types of friends are absolutely okay to break up with may make the decision a bit easier.

Hope this advice was helpful!

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