How to Know When It’s Time to End a Friendship

Deciding to end a friendship can be a tough decision, sometimes even harder than ending a relationship. Sometimes friendships naturally drift apart, while other times a bad fight can be the reason you’re no longer on speaking terms. If you’re not sure whether or not the friendship is worth it, continue reading for our tips to know when the friendships might be over.

Have you ever had a friend break up? Tell us about it in the comments.

1. You Don’t Trust Them

Trust is the foundation for all relationships. If you can’t trust the person, do you really have a friendship? Without a certain level of trust, it’s hard to imagine you truly moved past the acquaintance phase. As we get older, friendship is more about quality over quantity. Part of having quality people in your life is being able to trust them and their intentions.

If you used to trust your friend and now don’t, it’s a clear sign that something isn’t right. First, figure out why you no longer trust your friend. See if there was an inciting incident or if it’s a more general things that’s occurred over a period of time. Once you understand the reason for the distrust, it’s up to you to decide if there’s something your friend to do to make everything right. What would it take for that trust to be rebuilt, if it can be rebuilt at all.

2. You Feel the Friendship is One-Sided

Another problem in friendships is when it’s not equal anymore. Are you always the first person to text, call, try to make plans? The friendship might be one-sided then, especially if you feel the burden of putting in all the effort. The truth is that people who want to be part of your life will make an effort to be there. If you feel you’re doing all the work, maybe start a conversation about this with them and see how they react. There are a few valid reasons though for a person to not make effort, which include going through a difficult time, struggling with mental health and being incredibly busy in a highly demanding job/going through school. It’s up to you to see if there is a real reason for their lack of effort or if it’s time to end the friendship.

3. They Don’t Show Up for You

Showing up for you can be in many different forms. Some examples are not coming to important events in your life, with no valid reason not to or not even taking the time to do the simple things, like check in when you’re struggling. This happened to someone we know recently regarding a formerly close friendship. Their friend didn’t come to their wedding and dropped out of the wedding party, claiming they couldn’t get the time off because of their job. At first it seemed like a valid excuse, just for that friend to go to someone else’s wedding the weekend after. If this person can’t show up for their friends, especially after making a commitment, they’re not worth having in your life. Especially if it includes a lie.

4. They Act Dismissive Toward Your Feelings

Being able to talk to your friends is very important. That doesn’t mean you have to tell them everything, but it should mean they can be there for you when you need someone. If they act dismissive toward your feelings, it might be time to move on. This can be done in multiple ways: from telling you your problems aren’t a big deal, to changing the subject, to flat out ignoring you. If this person treats you that way, then they probably aren’t worth having in your life.

5. They’re Too Competitive

This can be especially apparent if your friend shows narcissistic tendencies. They may try to make everything about them, so when you tell them something that happened to you, they start talking about themselves. This can be done with both the good and the bad. If you accomplished something, they try to outdo you. If something bad happened, they can say how they are dealing with much worse. It can be exhausting to have these people in your life because you feel like every interaction is turned into a competition.

6. You Don’t Live in the Same Area Anymore

Sometimes the reason for a friendship’s end is because of distance and neither (or one) of you don’t want to make the effort anymore. While long distance friendships can work, it requires equal effort from both participants. Sometimes friendships naturally drift apart when you don’t see or talk often enough. Or maybe it become an acquittance, where you catch up every few years or so and your only communication is liking each other’s social media posts. These friendship endings aren’t super dramatic and usually happen gradually over time. While it can still be hard, the good news is their the easier to come back from if you decide to get in touch and restart the relationship.

7. There’s Too Much Drama

Is drama this friend’s middle name? According to Bowling for Soup, at least for some people, high school never ends. If this friend constantly has drama surrounding their other friendships, relationships and even you, you might want to reevaluate if this person is worth it. Especially if this person is an adult. Nobody needs constant drama and stress in their lives. If you have a friend like this, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate behavior trends. Is the drama all their own making? if the answer is yes, consider why this person is still part of your life. if you need some space for the drama, keep your distance for a while and decide if this person is worth the crazy antics.

8. Ending the Friendship Will Make You Feel Happier

At the end of the day, even if the act of ending the friendship hurts, will you feel happier with this person not playing a big role in your life? Your own mental health and happiness have to be number one for you. So that’s where the decision lies: will you be happier without this person and feel as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders?

This can be tricky to answer though. You might still miss your friend, while knowing you’re better off without them. Don’t take this decision lightly and weigh the cost and benefits. Just take our advice and prioritize yourself. Also, prioritize the friendships that keep you happy.

16 thoughts on “How to Know When It’s Time to End a Friendship”

  1. Friendships are hard to navigate sometimes and end when needed. As the saying goes… we’re the sum average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. It’s good to create the habit of reviewing our friendships too. Thanks for sharing and for offering these insights. They can help us make better decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are all so true! A lot of my friends are super competitive and whilst I like that they can challenge me, I think it becomes a problem when they try to one up you on everything. Most of my friends and I are starting university in September too so it will be interesting to see how the friendships fare with the distance! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Friendships are tricky. Most of my friends have drifted away. I was usually the one to reach out and make plans and then I got tired of that and stopped trying. At this time in my life I’m looking for quality friends who will be there for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

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