As what they say ‘Nothing last Forever’ and like romantic relationships… Friendship can sometimes have shelf lives too. You may meet someone, become buddies and then realize at some point that it’s just not working for you. It can be just as difficult as ending things with a boyfriend or girlfriend. And, it’s typically harder to recognize the warning signs that your relationship is doomed.
If you’re feeling iffy, use the following six criteria to determine if it’s time to break up with a friend.
1. They’re Super Negative
Spending a lot of time with someone who constantly complains or always focuses on the not-so-bright side of life will certainly bring you down. If you feel depleted or even depressed after hanging out with your pal, they’re probably influencing your moods. If they won’t or can’t change, it’s probably a sign it’s time to break up with a friend.
2. They’re a Bad Influence
Sometimes friendships change us. Hopefully, our pals transform us for the better by encouraging a new hobby, cheerleading us to meet our goals or inspiring us to be better people. But some friends send us down paths that can lead to bad habits, negative outlooks, and unsavory behavior that’s just not who we really are. If you feel like you’ve become a different person since beginning your friendship, and you don’t like who you are now, it’s time to break up with a friend.
3. They Make Uncomfortable Comparisons
“To compare is to despair,” as the saying goes. Some people focus on their own hang-ups and personal frustrations, and then lash out at others, whether or not they intend to. For instance, maybe your friend wants to lose weight and you’re fit. They may constantly compare what you two eat, how you two look, and so on. This can put you in a weird position of feeling bad or like you need to defend yourself, which isn’t how you should feel around a true friend. If they make you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to break up with a friend.
4. They’re Disrespectful
A person who doesn’t have respect for your time or your things is not someone you need in your life. You should break up with a friend who borrows something and never returns it (or gives it back in poor condition), never picks up the tab (even though you’ve done so multiple times) or is habitually late when you two have plans. They certainly don’t value or respect you.
5. They’re Self-Involved
Friendship is about give-and-take, especially when it comes to talking about your problems and life’s curve balls. You should break up with a friend who consistently monopolizes conversations with their own troubles and never seems to have time to hear yours. They’re not being a true pal.
6. They’re Possessive
It’s easy to feel territorial about a friend you really love—you want to spend all your free time with them and you want them to feel the same way about you. But there’s a line. If your friend tries to isolate you from other people, shames you for hanging with other friends or constantly texts you and gets upset when you don’t answer right away, they’ve gone a bit too far into potential stalker territory. You should break up with a friend who tries to make you feel obligated to hang out with them, and who wants to be your only friend.