7 signs it’s finally time to end a friendship, according to psychology

We’ve all heard the saying, “Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

But what happens when that family dynamic starts to feel more like a burden than a blessing?

You see, relationships of any kind, including friendships, are meant to enhance our lives, not complicate them. They should be a source of joy and comfort, not stress and discomfort.

Yet, you may find yourself wondering if it’s time to let go of a friendship that’s causing more grief than good.

So how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye?

Well, according to psychology, there are tell-tale signs that indicate when a friendship has run its course.

Let’s dive into these 7 signs that suggest it might be time to end a friendship.

1) The friendship is one-sided

Ever heard of the term ‘give and take’?

It’s a fundamental aspect of any healthy relationship. Both parties should equally contribute to the friendship, be it time, effort, or emotional support.

But what if you find yourself constantly on the giving end?

You’re always there for them – lending a listening ear, offering a shoulder to cry on, or even just being available to hang out. But when it’s your turn to need support, they’re nowhere in sight.

According to research, this imbalance can create a lot of resentment and frustration. And let’s face it – who wants to feel like they’re being taken for granted?

2) You feel drained after spending time with them

Ever had those days when you come home after meeting a friend and feel completely exhausted?

I remember an old friend of mine, let’s call her Sarah. Whenever we’d meet, she’d spend hours discussing her problems, ranting about her colleagues, or dwelling on her relationship issues.

Every conversation felt like a whirlwind of negativity, leaving me feeling drained and emotionally spent.

According to psychologists, this is a classic sign of a toxic friendship. Relationships should energize us, not deplete us.

So if you find yourself feeling emotionally exhausted after spending time with a friend, it might be time to reconsider the health of that friendship.

3) There are more arguments than conversations

You know, friends don’t always have to agree on everything. Different opinions can lead to healthy debates and can even strengthen a friendship.

But here’s the kicker.

When disagreements turn into heated arguments more often than not, it’s no longer about having different opinions. It’s a sign that there’s a deeper issue at play.

I found myself in such a situation with a friend. We would argue about everything – from movie choices to life decisions. It felt like we were always on opposing sides of an invisible battlefield.

Disagreements are healthy, but constant arguments? Not so much. They indicate a lack of respect and understanding and can strain the friendship.

4) They’re not there for you during tough times

Let’s face it. Life can be pretty tough at times.

And during these challenging moments, we often turn to our friends for comfort and support.

But what if that friend is nowhere to be found when you’re going through a rough patch?

A friend’s inability or unwillingness to support you during hard times is a clear sign of an unhealthy friendship.

Now, do you find yourself alone in your time of need, despite having reached out to your friend? If so, it might be time to reconsider the value of that friendship.

5) You feel a sense of relief when plans get canceled

We all have those days when we’re just not in the mood to socialize, right?

But here’s an interesting observation. If you often find yourself feeling relieved when plans with a certain friend get canceled, it might be a sign that the friendship isn’t as healthy as it should be.

Psychologists have found that our emotional response to the idea of spending time with someone can be a telling indicator of our true feelings towards them.

6) You’re not able to be your authentic self

What is the essence of a true friendship?

Isn’t it feeling comfortable being your true, authentic self with your friends?

Then, if you find yourself putting on a mask or feeling the need to hide parts of yourself in their company, it might be a red flag.

Studies suggest that being authentic in our relationships is key to our overall happiness and well-being.

So remember, a friend who values you will appreciate you for who you are, quirks, and all. If that’s not the case, it might be time to reassess that friendship.

7) The friendship doesn’t bring you happiness

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of any relationship is happiness.

Friends should bring joy, comfort, and a sense of belonging into your life. If instead, a friendship is causing you stress, discomfort, or sadness, it’s a clear indication that something isn’t right.

After all, it’s essential to prioritize our mental and emotional health. If a friendship is consistently making you unhappy, it may be time to let it go.

The final takeaway

If you’ve found yourself nodding along to these signs it’s okay. It’s natural to hold onto friendships, even when they’re no longer serving us.

Recognizing the need for change is the first, crucial step.

It takes courage to end a friendship that’s no longer fulfilling or healthy. But let me assure you, it’s worth it. It’s about prioritizing your own mental and emotional well-being.

And remember, letting go of one relationship doesn’t mean you’ll be alone. It creates space for new, healthier friendships to blossom. Friendships where you feel valued, respected and loved for being your authentic self.

Ending a friendship doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. You’re growing, evolving, and learning to prioritize your happiness. And that’s something to be proud of.

So take some time to reflect. Consider what you value in a friendship and what kind of friend you want to be.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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