If you’re like me, you probably cringe every time you see one of these articles.
You sigh and say to yourself, “People these days have no loyalty, and here’s another article encouraging people to cruelly cut people out of their lives without giving them a second chance.”
This article is not for the friends who listen to your feelings and make an effort to resolve issues. This article is for “friends” who ignore or minimize your concerns, make no effort to talk things out, and refuse to even try to change.
Ending a friendship can be a difficult and painful thing to do, especially for a loyal person. When you have so many good memories with a person, you find yourself wondering how you ended up here. When did things change? Has it always been this bad, and you just didn’t see it before? As difficult as it can be, continuing a toxic friendship isn’t good for your mental health. Here are five signs it’s time to break up with your best friend.
1. She’s self-absorbed.
It’s my opinion that most people are self-absorbed to some degree. It’s human nature to look out for yourself above others. Also, no relationship will ever be 100% 50-50 all the time. That’s not realistic. But when you can’t remember the last time your friend asked you a single thing about you, it’s a problem. If you often find yourself feeling “trapped” listening to the friend giving an endless monologue about her latest drama, this is another sign of a one-sided friendship.
When my hubby and I got engaged, one of my “friends” responded to the news by going on and on about how she thought I was too young (I was 24) and how marriage freaks her out. Ummm, okay. Don’t get married then. My life choices in no way dictate yours. But thanks for making my engagement all about you.
She made my wedding all about her too. She didn’t ask me a single time how my wedding planning was going. But she did spend PLENTY of time complaining about how she had to drive 30 minutes between the ceremony and reception location, how she had to go dress shopping, how awkward it was to dance with a groomsman, and how she wanted to drink but didn’t want to pay for a taxi.
2. She’s judgmental, critical, and narrow-minded.
Being judgmental is human nature. We all judge others at some point or another, no matter how much we may try not to. I personally don’t care if someone teases me about silly little things like how clumsy I am or my Midwestern habit of finishing my sentences with “y’know”.
It does bother me when a friend acts judgmental about my interests, my hobbies, my life choices – anything that is truly important to me. My “friend” often criticized me and was always telling me how “weird” everything that I liked was. My outfit was “weird”, my hobby was “weird”, the way I decorated my home was “weird”. Now, of course, no one will agree on everything and I don’t expect my friends to like all of the same things I like. But when someone is constantly brushing things off as “weird” or “stupid”, instead of making an effort to understand those things, they’re making it clear that your opinions and feelings have no value to them.
3. She’s a hypocrite.
The rules that apply to you somehow don’t apply her. When I first started dating my now-husband, my “friend” let me know that she was upset. She felt I was spending all of my time with him and that I had replaced her with him as my best friend. When she told me all of this, I felt awful. I knew I had been a bad friend. I apologized to her, promised her that things would change, and I followed through on that promise.
At the time, I didn’t bring up how she had done the same things to me with her ex-boyfriend. It didn’t seem important (because they had broken up anyway) until several years later, when she started dating a different guy. Once again, she spent all of her time with her boyfriend and started ignoring me. I told her I had hurt feelings, and I said that it was a little odd that she was doing that when she had been so upset with me in the past for the same behavior. Her response was “yeah, it is.” That was it.
She made no apology, she totally disregarded my feelings, and she made no effort to change.
I guess it’s okay every time she does it, but when I do it, I’m a terrible friend. Why? Because her feelings are the only ones that matter.
4. She’s too busy for you.
She says she’s too busy to hang out with you, but you’re always seeing pictures of her on Facebook having a blast with her boyfriend or her other friends. When you tell her that you feel you’re always the one making the effort to hang out with her, she goes on and on about how she is just SO busy. She has a boyfriend, more than one set of friends, a full-time job, family members, a commute to work, and housework to do. (Hmmm…that accurately describes almost EVERY millennial I know). When you tell her that you’re busy with all of those same things too, she doesn’t even bother responding.
Anyone who truly cares about you will make an effort to see you, no matter how busy they are. If it’s important to them, they’ll find a way. If not, they’ll find an excuse. Period.
5. She doesn’t care about your feelings.
When you politely and calmly tell her that you have hurt feelings and you’d like to talk things out, she doesn’t care. She minimizes your feelings, gets angry and defensive, or ignores you completely.
We ALL can be self-absorbed, judgmental, hypocritical, and uncaring at times. It’s human nature – no one is perfect, and we all have flaws. But if you have a friend who behaves this way all the time, it can be a problem. If you try to talk to her about it and she refuses to listen or work on resolving the issues, it’s time to break up.