10 Benefits Of Cutting Out A Toxic Friend

According to the Webster Dictionary, the definition of “friend” is “one attached by affection and esteem; one who is not hostile.” Unfortunately, sometimes friends don’t last. As you grow older, friends either grow with you or they fade away. It’s a normal part of getting older and shouldn’t be feared. But, all things considered, losing a friend is still difficult. Sometimes it can be worse than breaking up with a significant other. Here are a few reasons why cutting out a toxic friend can be a good thing, even if you don’t realize it at the time.

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1. You get to deal with your education and career first.

Priorities. Putting your education and career first isn’t a bad thing! College is a time for figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, but certain friendships can distract you. If your friend isn’t as motivated as you, that can create tension and sour the friendship. Letting this type of friend go can help you realize what's really important.

2. You realize that some friendships were very unhealthy.

Staying friends with someone just because you have history isn't always the best foundation for a good friendship. As you grow older, you start to recognize what unhealthy behavior looks and sounds like. You start to notice if one of your “friends” is expressing some of this behavior. It’s important for your health and well-being to end this friendship and move on to happier times.  

3. You've made more mistakes.

Growing up is about making mistakes and learning from them. As you learn life lessons, you also learn who deserves a place in your life.

4. You start to enjoy different things.

Discovering new interests as you age is healthy and 100 percent normal. You might slowly drift away from a friend who doesn't share those same interests. Don’t be afraid of that.

5. You discover that you’re a different person now, and that’s okay!

Who you were in high school isn't who you are in college. And who you are in college is different from who you’ll become. Growing and changing is a part of life. If your friend is stuck in the past and refuses to grow, you don’t have to keep them in your life; they’ll only drag you down.

6. You move away to different places.

Distance is hard on everyone. But slowly losing contact with a friend because of geographical distance is normal.

7. You’re at different points in your life.

You might want a career, while your friend might want a husband. Wanting different things in life is okay. You’re your own person and they’re their own person. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t look back on fond memories.

8. Some friendships simply aren’t worth the effort anymore.

If a friendship is hurting you rather than helping you—leave. If it’s no longer give and take, there’s no reason to keep pursuing a friendship that will only end with an inevitable blow out. Jane Eckles, a junior at Carthage College, describes the advice her mom gave to her about “rainy day friends.” These friends are only there when it is convenient for them. Friendships must have equal effort from both sides, because “If I can be the friend who is willing to come over at 2:00 am with ice cream and a copy of Mean Girls, why can’t they?” said Eckles.   

9. You have more respect for yourself and know what a real friendship should be like.

Understanding the difference between a “lifelong” friendship and a “right now” friendship is very important. Certain people aren’t meant to be in your life forever and there’s nothing wrong with that.

10. You have a smaller number of cherished friends that you choose to make a priority.

True friends will always have your back. They’ll love and respect you and make you a better person. True friendships only come around a few times during your life. Put your effort in with those people. Don’t waste your time on those who aren’t worthy of your time.

Friendships are rewarding and beautiful, but when they aren’t right anymore, it’s okay to let them go. Even though losing a friend can be painful, everything happens for a reason. People come into our lives to either teach us a lesson or be a wonderful blessing. Make sure to know the difference and always stay true to yourself. Your real friends will never leave your side.

Rep image courtesy of Kat Smith

Noelle Jay is a junior at Carthage College with a major in Music Theatre and a minor in Dance. She is a member of the Carthage Women's Ensemble, Alpha Psi Omega, the honorary theatre fraternity, and is the choreographer for Maximum Capacity, the male acapella group on campus. When she is not in rehearsal or the dance studio, she can be found watching "Riverdale" with friends, drinking a grande sugar free vanilla latte with soy milk, or lifting weights at the gym. She is also involved in many theatrical productions on campus.

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