When to Fight for the Friendship and When It's Time to Let a Friend Go

Though we don't talk about them as often, friendship breakups can easily be the most painful breakups that we can experience.

Despite the closeness we can share with our best friends, we oftentimes don't feel comfortable airing our grievances with each other for fear of spoiling the friendship. This can make friendship breakups all the more explosive, giving them the appearance that they came out of left field.

First off, it's important to remember that you are allowed to disagree about things and even fight with your friends, within reason! Struggles can arise in all types of friendships, but whether you've known someone two weeks or two decades, you shouldn't get so comfortable with someone that you're afraid to speak up. Think of friendships like a plant you must maintain and nuture in order to sustain healthy growth.

Begin by asking yourself whether you might be contributing to the pain you're experiencing. Are you projecting an emotion or insecurity onto the situation without realizing it? It's possible that past experiences with toxic friends are clouding your judgment in the present. And if it's clear that you aren't the problem, then it's time to break your people-pleasing habits and get real with yourself. Could some of your friendships be doing more harm than good? Here are the questions to ask yourself to find out.

How Do You Feel When You Leave the Hangout?

Do you feel exhausted or drained after leaving a friend's presence? Are you constantly in your head or questioning yourself after? If a friendship is disrupting your inner peace, it is time to start reevaluating its place in your life.


Also read about: 8 Red Flags to Look Out for in a New Friendship


Are You Constantly Being Criticized?

One way to tell that you may be outgrowing your friendship is if they are constantly criticizing you. For example, if you start wearing new clothes outside your everyday style, some long-time friends may be critical of the change. It's common for friends to be attached to the older version of you. If there is an unhealthy attachment, then it could be difficult for them to watch you grow out of that older person and into who you are becoming. From there, it's important to look at whether they're holding you back from your full potential.

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Do You Feel Like You Need to Hide Your Successes?

Do you feel like you can't tell your friends when you are excelling at something? When a new opportunity falls in your lap, do you wait a while before telling them about it in order to spare their feelings? It's common to not understand why we feel we need to hide things from our friends, but subconsciously, we know we just don't feel comfortable sharing. Whether your friend minimizes your accomplishments or is just giving off a certain vibe, feeling like you need to hide things is a big indication it may be time to have a serious conversation with them. While compromise in a friendship is essential, there should always be a mutual respect. The biggest friendship red flag is someone that makes you feel bad for just being you. A good friend is someone that wants you to thrive and celebrate your successes.


Also read about: 5 Reasons Friend 'Breakups' Are Difficult


Do You Tone Yourself Down Around Them?

Do you feel like you need to act a certain way around your friends in order to maintain their happiness or comfortability? If you naturally have a big personality, do you feel like you need to subdue yourself in order to let them shine? If so, it's possible your friend is not creating a space where being your authentic self is encouraged. Acknowledging how this behavior makes you feel and expressing yourself is the key to creating change.

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Do They Try to Embarrass You in Front of Others?

It's frustrating when it feels like your friend is constantly trying to embarrass you in front of other people, and nine times out of 10, your friend will be doing this in order to feel better about themselves. In a situation like this, it is so important for your well-being and your friendships to let them know that it's hurtful when they try to shame you in front of others.


Also read about: Friendship 'Rules' You Don't Have to Follow


Do They Only Care to Talk About Themself?

Friends can hog the conversation in a number of ways. Does your friend only reach out to so they can talk about themselves? Do they only focus on what they are going through, and when you bring something up about yourself, they seem uninterested? When was the last time they checked in on you and offered you space to talk about what you may be going through? They may not even realize that the relationship is fully one-sided, and they're getting a lot more out of it than you are.

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Have You Set Any Boundaries With Your Friends?

All relationships are complicated, and it's fully possible that there are some areas where a friend is being hurtful and others where they are consistently supportive and thoughtful. Rather than giving up on the friendship altogether, it may be time to set some boundaries with your friend. Have an honest and open discussion about how they're making you feel, and give them opportunities to make things right, while being open to potential faults of your own. If the conversation doesn't make your friendship stronger, it's a clear sign that this friendship may not be serving you any longer.


Want to learn more about red flags in your relationships? Click HERE for seven relationship red flags you should never ignore.