6 Signs It’s Time to Let a Friendship Go

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6 Signs It’s Time to Let a Friendship Go

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva


“If you choose bad companions, no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself.”
― AesopAesop’s Fables

Friendship can be a beautiful thing if done right.  Letting go of a friend can be harder than ending an intimate relationship, but sometimes there are friendships that are better to let go of than continue. When you have a friend that has the potential to affect your life in a negative way, it might be time to finally let that friend go.

When you first get negative feelings about certain friendships in your life, it can be difficult to cope with those feelings. Those in recovery should know that the people you spend the most time with influence you the most, so spending a large amount of time with friends that are engaging in negative behaviors can bring you down. Unfortunately, learning to let go of friendships is part of the process.

Friendships can be a blessing, yet staying friends with someone who is hurting you can be a downright curse. However, if you put yourself above others and understand what your needs are, you will know when it is time to cut a person out of your life for good.

Still, how do you know for sure? Below are seven signs that it could be time to end a friendship:

  1. They Complain About Everything

Negativity is never healthy. Even if you are having your best day ever, this person will find something to complain about. Maintaining optimism is very important, so being around someone that brings your down is definitely unhealthy.

Of course, it is always a good idea to talk about your concerns regarding their negativity, however if you find they are too stuck in their ways, it might be time to cease that friendship altogether.

  1. They Are Judgmental

We all pass judgments.  Judgments are necessary to make decisions in our lives. However, when we make judgments about things we know nothing about, that often leads to more harm than good. Judgments can come across very ignorant and rude.

A friend who is overly judgmental may judge your behavior or even mock you for wanting to make a positive change. When you are making a huge change in your life, you need encouragement, not judgment. If your friend can not stop passing judgment, that is a sign to let that friendship go.

  1. They Don’t Listen

Listening is one of the most important characteristics a friend can have. You need to have someone who will listen to you when you are feeling down or just need to vent. Friends who do not listen tune you out, and churn at rapid rates when you tell them something.

If you have a friend who is more focused on themselves than they are on you that is a major red flag. Friendship is a two-way street, not a one-way street. A friend who only cares about themselves will only be interested in you if it pertains to them, or offers them some sort of benefit. Any friend like this is not a true friend at all.

  1. They’re Overly Critical

I am all for constructive criticism but being overly critical is a huge no-no. A friend who attacks or expresses disapproval can be extremely discouraging. You may feel insecure about talking about your struggles with that person.

There is a fine line between a friend who is trying to help you improve and a friend who simply wants to belittle your progress. Knowing the difference is the key. Once you acknowledge that your friend’s criticism is more destructive than constructive, it could be time to focus on friends who offer you more compassion and support.

  1. They Are Always The Victim

Friends that tend to blame the outside world for their own problems are not the healthiest to have around. In recovery, you learn to take control of your life and work on taking responsibility for your behaviors. Hanging around people who refuse to acknowledge their faults can be negative in your progress.

Friends who constantly complain about not having enough time or being “the victim” are not ideal to be around. Focus on friends who are proactive and goal-oriented. Your motivation is influenced by the inspiration you have around you. Surround yourself with inspiring people.

  1. They Are Not Trustworthy

Do you have a friend you would not tell a secret to?  That could be a sign to drop the friendship. Trust is a major component of friendship. If you have a friend who gossips a lot or tells secrets, it can be hard to trust them. Friends who are untrustworthy are a huge red flag. Let go of friendships that are disingenuous and focus on friendships that better suit your needs.

Friendship is a beautiful thing, and good friends can transform you in the healing process. However, knowing when to let a friendship go is one of the most useful tools you can have. After all, you come first and your mental and physical health is of utmost importance.  Remember, you can always reach out to someone if you need help overcoming challenges in your recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.