Knowing When To Walk Away
“Like any successful marriage or romantic relationship, effort, time and investment is needed. If you don’t grow together, you will certainly grow apart.”
The quote above is true in most cases; there are rare situations where people don’t grow together, but somehow still connect in an odd weird way. They can be gone for months but when they finally see each other, they pick up right where they left of.
Okay, I was chatting with a buddy of mine a couple of nights ago and ended up talking about a guy we both know, me knowing this friend more so than him. Anyways it got me into thinking about this article I read: How To Break-Up With A Friend and how the people around us: relatives, friends, family, people at work, etc help us in our daily lives. When one isn’t available, there’s always another support system to be found, like the diagram above.
Losing a friend / relative is like losing your supporting systems that surround you. There are less and less people you can reach out to when you’re having a bad day for example or just want to talk to someone.
First and foremost, the article makes these points:
- No one is the perfect friend
- If you’re looking for perfection in someone, then you’ll never find it. If you are found at fault, accept the responsibility and apologize.
- People change, even your closest friends
- They can change both positively and negatively
- Casual friends don’t warrent a breakup
- We try people on like hats. If it’s a fit, great, if not, the easiest thing is to keep your distance and “fade away quietly”.
- Be honest with your close friends
- None of us want to do this, it’s what we fear most … confrontation.
- Some friendship are or become toxic
- One word: Drama …
The article continues talking about 3 “bare bones”, I like to call them “pillars” or friendship. When one of them is gone or damaged, everything slowly falls apart. So the 3 “pillars” of friendship are:
- Communication: When was the last time you actually called up your friend just to ask them how they’ve been or what’s new with them? You may find that you have unintentionally have been calling them up only to ask for something or to just talk about yourself.
- Activity: When was the last time you made the effort to set up a time and place to do something with your friend? Have you been consistently extending invitations to hang out? Carving out time for your friendships are extremely important. Quality time together deepens your bond.
- Support: When was the last time you offered to be there for your friend without them asking you? Or when was the last time you returned a favor they did for you without them asking? Sometimes, people feel taken advantage of when one is giving and the other is always taking. People don’t always realize what is going on so don’t beat yourself up. Make amends and work toward seeing situations objectively rather than subjectively.
The question they ask is, “How do you decide when it is time to divorce a friend?”
To answer this question myself, you dump them once they’ve served their purpose, (joking), haha. Seriously losing a good friend is the hardest thing … someone you truly care about. It’s not the easiest thing to let go of someone. To really answer this question, I think I would divorce a friend when both of us start to care less about each other. When one of us just gives and gives while the latter just takes and takes.
Like the example above, it really is like wearing a hat. If it fits, fantastic! If it feels weird and awkward and doesn’t make you feel like you … then just let go of it and try your best to find another one.
Looking at my relationships with my friends / acquaintances now, I’ve made a whole lot of mistakes. Do I regret some things and wish I could take it back? Of course … in a heartbeat I would. But that’s in the past now and the people that are still with me. I genuinely am grateful they’re still around, hopefully they know that by now. Would I be devastated if I lost them, yeah I would. But eventually the pain would subside and we would move on.
So … how do YOU decide when you divorce a friend?