Remember that old episode of Seinfeld where Jerry wanted to “break up” with a guy with whom he had been friends, but really didn’t have anything in common with anymore? A lot of us feel that way at times, but instead of confronting the situation, we just deal with it. How many times have you gotten together with an old college friend just because you were both in town? You didn’t have much at all to talk about (especially because you know everything you need to anyway – thanks to Facebook).
There are often people in your life that you truly care about, but are holding you back from attaining your true potential. Here’s how you know it’s time to let the friendship die out, even if it’s hard to let go.
1. Let go because things aren’t the same
There are times when you meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while and feel like you haven’t missed a beat. Other times you’ll find yourself in company with others, and have absolutely nothing to talk about. You used to have so much in common, so it’s hard to believe your friendship has flat-lined.
Time is precious. If you feel like a certain relationship is wasting your priceless time and energy, it’s time to move on.
2. Let go because trust and loyalty are gone
Sometimes, “friends” are only out for themselves, but it takes some time to figure that out. When you were younger, you were okay with having someone simply to hang out and shoot the breeze with. But as you age, you realize the friendship is one-sided. The other person is around for the good times, but isn’t there when you need them the most.
When you figure out that someone isn’t a true friend, it’s time to drop them from your life – immediately.
3. Let go because the relationship isn’t transparent
The best friendships are completely transparent, meaning each of you know exactly what the other wants from each other. If you’re looking for a pal to have a beer with, that’s totally fine, as long as the other person isn’t looking for something deeper.
On the other hand, when you don’t know what your “friend’s” intentions are, it’s hard to know where the friendship is headed.
4. Let go because the friendship is toxic
Toxic friendships are deadly. Typically once you’ve figured out a friendship is poison, it’s already done serious damage.
In college, you might have been friends with people who enjoyed getting drunk every weekend. While that isn’t so out of the ordinary in your early 20s, is that really what you want as you approach 30? You might still think you’re having fun, but it will catch up with you sooner than you think.
If you can’t hang out with your long-time friends without falling back into bad habits, it’s time to make a change.
5. Let go because you don’t have the same life goals
Everyone reaches a point when they realize their life goals differ from their friends’. While it’s okay to keep them around in small doses, when you’re looking to make a giant change in your life, you have to accept that things won’t be the same.
For example, if you’re focusing on a serious relationship and trying to build a family, you won’t have loads of time to spend going out with other friends. It might be hard to get used to the change, but once you take the big step, you’ll see how rewarding your lifestyle change can be.
6. Let go because you’re doing all the work
You always make the plans, only to have your friend cancel last minute. Take that hint and find others who actually want to spend time with you.
Maybe the other party is feeling your friendship peter out, but is afraid to say anything. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be a bother to someone you care about. Maybe they’re just going through a change of their own, and will come back to you when the time is right. But if you push them, they might not.
7. Let go because they aren’t pushing you to be a better person
Although it’s okay to have people whom you simply enjoy being around, your best friends need to inspire you. Actively seek out people who are motivated, optimistic, and hard-working. Simply “hanging out” with people will get you nowhere, and you’ll look back and realize you were just passing the time until something (or someone) better came around.
When you find the people who always make you want to better yourself, you’ve found the right group.
8. Let go because you don’t want or need them in your life
Duh! It sounds pretty obvious, but you don’t have obligation to be friends with anyone. Focus on being yourself and making sure you’re happy. If you don’t need someone in your life, you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving them behind. You might not want to hurt anyone, but that also doesn’t mean you should suffer, either.
If you’ve ever felt like you “had to” meet up with someone, rather than genuinely wanting to, you should reevaluate the way you treat your own self.
Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm5.staticflickr.com