How bad does it have to get before you stop being friends with someone? This could be an ex, a platonic friend, or someone you are friends with hoping to get into a relationship with them some day. All friendships have their ups and downs, but how far down should you allow a friendship to go before you call it quits?
Friendships are such important relationships in our lives. Friends can pick us up when we are down, empower us to try things we may fear, boost our confidence, and be there for us when we need them. That is what friends are for. What friends are not for is to constantly bring negativity into our lives. A real friend should call us out on our bullshit, and tell us the truth, but to constantly belittle us, judge us, and make us feel like shit is not their job. That is the job of an enemy, not of a friend.
Please remember that your romantic relationships should also have a friendship within them as well. If your romantic partner is not treating you the way a real friend would, you don’t have a healthy relationship. Friendships, like every relationship, should have a certain balance to them. It does not have to be exactly 50/50 all the time, but it should be close enough most of the time. You should not always be the one initiating contact or making plans. If you are, try stopping for a while and see what happens. If you are using the excuse that if you do not make contact, they won’t, then you need to wake up and realize your friendship is one-sided.
Jealousy can often creep up in friendships. We have all had friends where we were jealous of their attractiveness, their job, their personality, or even their relationships. That is okay if it is kept to a minimum. We can’t help being envious of a friend who has the figure that we wish we had. What we can’t do is take it out on them in any way. Some supposed friends will do just that, and people like that we don’t need as friends. Let people like that go, because they are not celebrating you, they are going to constantly try to drag you down because of their own insecurities and/or issues. (In a romantic relationship it is the same thing.)
We should make our friends a priority because of how valuable those relationships are and have been to us. Just because we are in a new relationship doesn’t mean we should forget about our friends. Sure, we can all get caught up in the newness of a relationship, but that doesn’t mean our friends are going to be there for us when we are not there for them. If your friends have you very low on their list of priorities, put them much lower on yours. See how they like it. It could either be a wake up call for them, or the friendship will fizzle out because it was not really important to them in the first place, it was only important to you. Find friends that value you and make time for you instead of hanging on to those that won’t.
If you made the mistake of loaning money to a friend and they have forgotten to pay you back or are avoiding paying you back, you need to have an upfront discussion with them. Be prepared that you may both lose the money and the friendship doing so. Avoiding the discussion is just avoiding the inevitable. Talk it out. If they are truly having problems paying you back, put them on a monthly payment plan, even if the amount is low. Something is better than nothing. You may be able to salvage your friendship and eventually get paid back. If not, it is time to let go, learn your lesson, and not loan money to friends anymore. You are their friend, not a bank.
Everyone has the right to have a friend treat them like a friend. Everyone also has the right to terminate friendships that have run their course, are dysfunctional, negative, or just plain toxic.