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Do You Have Some Bad Friends? “Fire” Them!

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Emotional Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Here’s a concept to consider: some friends just aren’t worth the trouble. We love our friends and value our relationships so much that it’s hard to grasp the idea that we may be better off without some of them.

Let’s face it--some people just don’t get it. You can’t depend on them to be there when you need them, they can be selfish and hurtful, or you simply no longer share interests. None of these things is necessarily bad, they just are what they are. The bottom line is that relationships with some friends are more stressful than they are beneficial.

Why do we ignore these things and try to maintain failing friendships? Here are some reasons:

Habit – you’ve been friends so long that it has simply become a way of life, even though the friendship has become dysfunctional.

Guilt – they “need” you and you feel you must be the shoulder to cry on that they so desperately require. This is fine and it’s a wonderful thing to do for a true friend, but if you get nothing in return and they show no interest in you or your life then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Loyalty – perhaps someone really came through for you at some point and you feel that you “owe” them. For example, he flew across the country to attend your mother’s funeral and “be there” for you, or she saved your life (literally), or she stepped in and dropped her own life to take care of your children during an emergency.

I’m not suggesting that you dump all of your friends. I am suggesting, however, that when a friendship becomes stressful because your “friend” no longer shows an interest in your life, or promises to do things and doesn’t follow through, or becomes a troublemaker, it’s time to think about your options. Dropping a friendship is an option to consider if doing so will remove stress from your life.

Ask yourself if they are worthy of your friendship, your time, and your energy. If not, you will run yourself ragged and endure a lot of stress trying to make them worthy: it’s just not possible to change the unworthy into the worthy!

We sometimes end romantic relationships when they no longer work; why is it so hard to end friendships when they no longer work?

Add a Comment1 Comments

This is a great reminder! I personally know that as I age, I have come to realize that I'm getting too old to chase people around to be my friend. If friends aren't good at keeping in touch, I now may let them fall by the wayside and instead focus more attention to the people who are active participants in my life. It is particularly applicable when I travel home to visit family. I used to feel like I had to look up all my old close friends, and I would be a terrible person if I didn't call and let them know I was coming to town. Now I may post a notice on Facebook that we're coming to town, and if anyone responds, we may set up a time to get together, but we no longer run ourselves ragged trying to see everyone. It can be exhausting and unnecessary. Thank you for putting this in writing for everyone to consider.
warmest regards,

December 30, 2010 - 1:26pm
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