How To Know When To Sever A Friendship

For the past three weeks, one thought has been running through my mind: How do you know when to sever a friendship? All of the memories, the nights when you had each other’s backs, the crying from laughter; these are the good parts you miss most about a person. However, I realized there are also valid reasons to end a friendship- nights and days when you did not have each other’s backs, name calling, and even backstabbing. I now acknowledge that it is okay to stop being friends with someone if the relationship isn’t healthy.

So, here are five things to look out for to establish if the friendship is toxic.

1. The Relationship Is Not Bringing Any Happiness

In no particular instance, you feel drained, exhausted, and bit grumpy. You realize, “What am I gaining out this relationship? How will it help me grow as a person? Is this relationship bringing me happiness?” You need to be selfish and take note of whether the relationship is doing you more bad than good- because how is a toxic friend going to help you flourish?

2. You Feel Spiteful and Annoyed After Hanging Out

Any little thing they say or do, you just get annoyed and upset with. Be careful with making sure you are not trash talking the person to others. Rise above and realize that if you get angry with anything they do, the relationship is better of dead.


3. You Feel Like You Are Drowning In the Relationship

Again, ask yourself, “Is this person helping me grow as an individual?” You might think that the relationship is balanced at first, but take a deeper look into who’s reaching out first, who makes time for the other, and who is optimistic when talking. According to Dr. Harriet Lener, a psychologist and an author of the book, The Dance of Connection , “One has to decide whether the best thing is to consider it a phase in a long relationship or say this bad for my health and I’m disbanding it.”

4. You Don’t Feel Like the Relationship Has Value

According to Her Stories Project, a website for young women to publish personal essays, “Research shows that in actuality half of friendships are one-sided.” If you feel like this or know that the other person is munching off of you, it’s probably time to reevaluate the friendship. Dr Yager, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut at Stamford, reminded us, “It takes two people to start and maintain a friendship, but only one to end it.”


5. You Honestly Just Drift Apart

This happens to the best of us, and to be honest, it’s probably just because you both got busy with your lives. However, it’s important to realize that your relationships with people should be important to you. If you or the other individual are not making any time to speak to each other or hang out, reconsider the worth of the friendship. In the New York Times article titled, “Some Friends, Indeed, Do More Harm Than Good,” the author states that, “If the friendship has deteriorated to the point where one friend truly dislikes the other one or finds that the friendship is causing undue stress, the healthy response is to pull away… To stop sharing the personal or intimate details of life, and start being too busy to get together.”

Although it may hurt to end a friendship, especially one that may have brought you a lot of joy in the beginning, it is important to recognize your own worth and value within your friendships.  Remember, there's a lot of people on this planet, and plenty of opportunities to meet new people and branch out. So get out there and mingle!