One of the most difficult choices we face is our relationships is when to hold onto someone and when to let go.
Sometimes we hold onto unhealthy friendships because we’re afraid of losing the person. Other times we hold on because we hope that things will get better. And then there are times we hold on because we don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings.
Whatever the case, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself to assess whether or not it’s time to let go:
Does my friend support me in all that I do?
Are you supported by your friend? Are you encouraged to grow through positive feedback or do you feel that your friend is competitive and critical? Many times friendships go bad due to jealousy.
Remember, it’s not about you. Healthy relationships should support you to become all that you can be without fear of out shining one another. A healthy friend will not only push you to succeed, but will be genuinely happy when you do.
Can I trust my friend?
Do you feel comfortable sharing freely with your friend, or do you find that you edit your conversations due to lack of trust? Is your soul whispering to you that you should not trust your friend?
Often we wait for concrete proof to substantiate what our intuition tells us about an untrustworthy friend. If you feel it, know it to be true. It is time to listen and allow your intuition to guide you.
Am I at my best when with my friend?
Do you like who you are when you spend time with your friend or do you find that you become someone else when in her presence? Do you behave differently, allowing your values and personality to shift?
Often, when engaged in an unhealthy relationship, we will mirror behavior out of our need to please and recapture the approval of the friend gone bad. Look deeply and acknowledge if this is taking place.
Is the friendship energy equally shared?
The difference between a friendship and an acquaintance is the equally shared attention, affection, energy and support. Does your friend reciprocate or take advantage of what you bring to the relationship? Do you feel that your generosity is taken advantage of ? Is your friend is never available when you need her?
If you are always giving support to your friend yet receive little or nothing in return, you are in a one-way relationship, which is not a friendship at all. It’s time to make room for friends who will give as much as they take.
If I met my friend today, what would I think?
Many of us maintain friendships simply because we have been in the relationship for years. Yet, if we were to be introduced to this person in the present moment, we may find that we have nothing in common.
Ask yourself if you still share interests and values. Look at your friendship with a fresh perspective. This person may not be someone you would want to develop a friendship with at all if you met her today.
Has my friend become toxic to my world?
Toxic is an extreme word, but the behavior in such relationships is often extreme. Toxic friends are the friends who drain your energy, are unsupportive, degrading and never share the friendship energy.
In comparison, a rewarding and healthy friendship is one in which you feel uplifted, supported, encouraged and the friendship energy is equal.
How to Let Go of a Friendship Gone Bad:
It is time to say goodbye to the friends who no longer elevate you and enhance your life. Breathe. Stand tall. Be Brave. It is time to stop taking care of an unhealthy relationship. It is time to take care of you.
Give yourself Permission
When any relationship is defined as negative, exhausting or toxic, the healthiest thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation. It seems there is an unwritten code that tells us we must be loyal to a friend even when the friendship is not doing anything but draining and sometimes sabotaging us. Why is that? We are certainly told in regard to all other relationships to set strict boundaries. Just us we end other unhealthy relationships or even business partnerships, it is necessary to end friendships that have gone bad.
The Break Up
You may either chose to have an open conversation, write a letter or simply let the friendship fade away. Be forgiving, loving and kind and do not look for an answer from your friend. Remember, you are finished spending energy on an unhealthy relationship. Your communication of your feelings should be just that.
Life experiences will change who we are and as we change, we alter the people we attract into our lives. It is time to make room for those who align with who we are today. Just as clearing your closet of things that no longer fit you leaves room for more fabulous clothes, clearing your life of friends who hold you back and drain you will only make room for new and fabulous friends to come into your life.
It is time to embrace the idea that by releasing and letting go of a friendship turned bad, you will create more space for positive change within you. Our life is a result of the choices we make. Own that you are making the best one for you in this present moment. Let go, move on. You will find that you shine brighter and soar higher in all that you do.