Knowing When To Walk Away

January.31.2008 at 9:31 pm 11 comments

(Photo Credit: Lifehack.org)

“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:

        1. 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.
        2. 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.
        3. 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?

          - A

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          11 Comments Add your own

          • 1. SAB  |  January.31.2008 at 9:59 pm

            I love the post you shared on this beautiful last day of January 2008. It gives the reader a lot of food for thought. Happy Feburary 2008.

            Reply
          • 2. cherry  |  February.3.2008 at 12:01 pm

            i will divorce that friend when my friend divorce me.

            Reply
          • 3. AZ.CP96  |  March.5.2008 at 1:45 am

            I found this to be helpful but I hate facing the truth that the hat has seen better days… I’ve been friends with this person for 10 yrs. We’ve seen ups and downs.. A financial problem she went through almost made me part ways with her, in fact, most would have done so. I’m very forgiving, that’s my only down fall. I couldn’t justify or even bare the thought of flushing 8 yrs of friendship down the toilet over money.. But, I could care less about the danm money, it was the disloyalty that hurt me the most. Everyone makes mistakes and deserves a second chance but these last two years of the friendship have been moreless disappointing because It seems that the level of respect, that excists in a friendship is slowly fading. Sometimes It seems like I’m putting more effort into this friendship than her and other times I’m left in total numbness, emotionally put off by her shifty behavior. And by that I mean, she acts like a friends are baby blanket. Her actions speak loud when she’s done with you for a while.

            Reply
          • 4. AZ.CP96  |  March.5.2008 at 3:40 am

            I think a friends should be there to support eachother day or night, but what I don’t agree with is swinging from one security/baby blanket to the next and then disrespecting her friend of 10 yrs through crude behaviour that she is done with me for weeks/months untill she gets tired of the other and snags me back up. I don’t mind the fact that she has other friends but I don’t like being disrespected… My 10 years of effort, loyalty, and having a forgiving heart deserves more respect then what is being delivered. Walking away from this friendship is easier said than done, shes married to my cousin. Taking the slow fading away approach to end a friendship would not work. Seeing her at a family reunion would not be good emotionally. To me, if I walk away from an emotionally painfull friendship… I don’t care to see that person ever again. Seeing a former friend at a family gathering and trying to act like all is good would be like having my teeth pulled without being numbed up. Its hard to do.

            Reply
          • 5. welshgirl87  |  November.6.2008 at 2:42 pm

            Oneday things started to go wrong in our friendship. She was my best friend and like a sister to me. But one day she let me down, I forgave. Again she let me down, I forgave, This happened time and time again. She picked me up when she needed someone and ropped me again when things were going right. She was never there for me, always busy with her own life, talking about herself. When we were out she always phoned or text other people and I felt hurt. Even though I loved my friend more than any other friend in my life I had to walk away. Oneday I just told her that was it, i’d had enough. it was harsh and I never meant to hurt her but she would never have been able to understand. Everything was my fault to her. I couldnt stand the feeling of being used and the whole time I was with her it felt fake. I didnt enjoy being around her and like you say people change. It broke my heart but I had to do it. I think we are both deep down better off without each other rather than making each other miserable. We changed and grew apart, Some friendships last, some dont. Its all part of life and finding those special people who never walk away or who never change for the worse. Those people are the ones who you spend your life looking for. But everyone, will find that friend oneday, even if they have to walk away from friends from time to time who just dont turn out to be the best friends forver u always wanted and believed them to be. do whats best for you.

            Reply
          • 6. - A  |  November.6.2008 at 11:59 pm

            Thank you for the comment. The way your friend treated you .. I had a “metaphor” you could say .. it’s like they used you as a toy .. played with you when they were bored and toss you to the side when they didn’t need you anymore.

            Friends should be there for each other, or at least try and be there. There are a lot of people you meet .. some are genuine and some fake.

            Like what you said, you should be around people that make you feel happy and not miserable. It’s difficult these days to find a great friend .. it really is.

            For me as I’m getting older, I just realize great friends are rare and few .. and if you’re lucky to find one of them .. those are the ones worth keeping.

            Just make sure you don’t treat our friend like that “toy” though.

            Reply
          • 7. siobhan eyers  |  October.4.2009 at 2:53 am

            i love this toit is great

            Reply
            • 8. siobhan eyers  |  October.4.2009 at 2:54 am

              this is wonderful

              Reply
          • 9. MoNi  |  February.6.2010 at 7:44 pm

            It’s not easy to get rid of a friend you truly love, but when they show little interest in the friendship and become selfish it’s time to let go. You’re right the pain will subside, but will you give your all to the next best friend?

            Reply
            • 10. - A  |  February.6.2010 at 11:16 pm

              Hi MoNi,

              Part of me would, but I think that thought of losing someone again that was close makes me hesitant to get close to someone again. Just that fear I guess … to get hurt again.

              Reply
              • 11. MoNi  |  February.7.2010 at 9:40 am

                I feel you. I like your page, you should post other topics

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          About Me

          The short version: Guy in his late-20's, loves technology (especially Apple) and his close friends, eating ice cream on his bright yellow couch and finally .. I'm gay.

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