Friends Through Thick or Thin – Or Until Your Baggage Outweighs You

We’ll always be best friends. You know too much about me.

Ahhh… there is so much truth in that cute little statement. Your besties were there long before the man was and definitely before the kids were there interrupting your phone conversations. So of course they’re the ones you reach out to when you’ve got good news to share, bad news to break or just have to tell them you ran into your Senior year head cheerleader and OMG! you should see her now.

But what happens when that fun conversation starts to become more of a chore than a treat? When you see her number come across your caller id and push the off button on your cell phone? There comes a time in your life when you have to evaluate your relationships and sometimes you have to make the tough decision to divorce a friend.

We can’t choose our family, but we can choose our friends.

Friends are supposed to be our happy spot. The warm and fuzzy place we go when we’re at our wits end – they’re not supposed to be more painful than working the Saturday shift at Chuck E Cheese.

So, when is it time to take a friend off your speed dial and cross them off the Christmas card list? Here are the times that I’ve had to do it or had it done to me:

You spend your entire time playing therapist. Look, we all have problems but if the majority of your time is spent talking your friend off a ledge, it may be time. I’m not talking about a major life event that they’ll get thru eventually. I’m talking every single time you talk it’s “whoa is me”. Especially if it’s the SAME situation over and over again. You listen, offer your advice, they agree and 3 weeks later, they’re back with the same catastrophe.  Wash, rinse, repeat. I’m sorry, but if you trust me enough to bear your soul and ask my advice and then come back time and time again with no improvements, at some point I’m going to get frustrated at the headache I have from banging my head against a wall.

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Your views are night and day. We’re not all going to believe in and support the same things. And that’s a good thing.. differences are healthy. IF it’s done with respect to the other person. There was a person that I was really close to when we were in high school and our early 20’s. As life has a way of doing, we seperated for a long time but thru the wonders of Facebook, we were “reunited” about a year ago. We were all set to meet in person for lunch and then California passed the rights for gays to marry happend the first time. I made a post on Facebook that essentially said “Props to California.. now let’s hope the rest of the country can get on track”. She wasn’t sure what I meant so she replied to that post and I responded “California passed gay marriage!”. The next day, she sent me a private message saying that she was sure that I was a wonderful person, but that our views were so different that she couldn’t see any way that we could be friends. Have a nice life and so on.  And then she unfriended me.  I was a little stunned but quickly realized that she had done me a HUGE favor because she’s right. There’s no way I could have been friends with anyone who was that narrow minded.

She is a gossip whore. Unless you’re a gossip whore, too. Then it’s okay. But I just don’t have time for the petty BS.  I would much rather spend my energy on positive than sitting around talking trash about people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll swap a story or two every now and again but if it’s the main source of conversation, it’s time to cut the Gossip Girl ties.

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She is a negative Nellie. Sort of goes with gossip whore. Really? Your life is so miserable that you can’t think of one thing to say that’s pleasant? Life’s too short, sister. There’s the door.

Understand that I’m not flippant with my relationships but I also know that I’m in the 2nd half of my life and if our relationship is more exhausting than a 90 minute workout, I just don’t have the time. I give a lot to all my relationships and the ones that I have with my girlfriends are the ones that I cherish the most next to my girls and the Rooster. I think as women, we tend to hold onto things longer than we should because we’re inherently “fixers”. We think we can fix all that is broken so we hold on and try and try and try. There just has to be a point where we realize that it’s okay to walk away.

Trust me. You’ll be happier once you do.

I know I haven’t hit them all. What reasons have you had for walking away from a friendship?

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Stacey @ Life So Lovely
April 24, 2013 at 9:54 am

Extremely timely post for me! Glad you ‘recycled’ it 🙂 I don’t make friends easily so it’s hard to let one go…but I’m at that point now. One of my best friends for the last 13 years, but since moving away 3 years ago, it’s like I’m the only one making an effort, I’m her “therapist” but she doesn’t ever give a hoot about what’s really going on with me 🙁
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April 23, 2013 at 7:15 am

I’m with you! Friendships are something I cherish, but I don’t have time to let them be a negative aspect of my life.

April 22, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Those are great points. It is so easy to stay in a friendship out of obligation… and I struggle with letting go of friends, even if they are in one of those categories you mentioned! As I get older, I tend to value my time even more- therefore naturally “weeding out” those that truly burden me in any way.
BUT- I also believe God calls us to love people that aren’t loveable…which means that there are times I must sacrifice some of my time with perhaps less than “lovable” people. It’s a delicate balance really, and we need to make sure we surround ourselves with people that love and support us and “fill us up” so we can then give of ourselves…
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    April 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I agree, Chris.. there haven’t been too many that I have let loose because I believe that people are in our lives for a reason. I also TRY to believe that everyone has at least ONE redeeming quality about them. But if the relationship doesn’t have some kind of balance, I just don’t make it a top choice of where to spend my time.
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December 30, 2012 at 11:20 am

Men would just you say, “F U Fool. Stop being a whiner, negative Nelly or narrow minded prick and buy me a beer!” Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s fun to throw it out there and try.

Truth be told, as I have gotten older I find myself being more compassionate and less tolerant at the same time.

You women just got there way before us guys.


    December 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    One of the many reasons I love how guys react to things. Life’s too short though to continue to “nurture” toxic relationships. Many of us hold on to them because they’re a big piece of our history but you reach a point where that’s not enough. Let the historical memories remain intact without crashing the future.

February 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I would add one additional reason…
When the so-called “friend” makes you feel unsure of yourself, or insults you repeatedly.

February 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I would add one additional reason…
When the so-called “friend” makes you feel unsure of yourself, or insults you repeatedly.

February 25, 2012 at 7:47 am

I agree with you 100% women are “fixers” so walking away from a friend is tough.  I recently decided to give up a friendship of 30 years it was a painful decision. I held onto the friendship a decade longer than I should have. I’m not sure if I’m better off but I feel good about standing up for myself. Thanks for the insightful post.    

February 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Emotional vampires and those who take but never give get the boot.

    February 24, 2012 at 12:16 am

     @TheJackB What was the (horribly written) book in the 90’s about giving your energy away and there is no coincidence?? I can’t believe I can’t remember the name. It was all the rage. Anyhow… it reminds me of this. Those who suck your energy aren’t worth the time you spend on them.

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