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We have all been to the place of having to take a step back and analyze the state of our relationships, whether you are the one changing or they are. Like most of our relationships, friendships hold a special role in our lives. For a lot of us, we have developed these friendships earlier on in life and have become attached to the presence that they bring into our lives. We gave ourselves permission to open up, sometimes in the most vulnerable of ways, in order to connect and bond with these individuals. We give them a personalized piece of our space to occupy and invest our time, secrets, and energy into them. They cry with us, love with us, and support us in times of need and we hold on to the possibility that they will be there to do the same for us. Inevitably there will be some trials and tests along the way that can really tell us the true state of our relationship. We need to be able to identify them when it has come time to start questioning and letting go of what is no longer serving us. Here are some indications that it may be time to loosen your grip on your friendships.
Your efforts are in vain.
We understand that communication is key to any relationship. Before you can start to really know that your friendship might be exhausted you first need to communicate your concerns. Let your friend know when you are feeling uneasy about the relationship or with something that they have done. Don’t be so quick to excuse yourself either. If the blame falls on you, then be a true friend and offer an apology or whatever is needed to make it right. So, let's say that you have already done that, but you don’t really see a change in your friends' behavior. When you make an effort to fix the problems in your friendship but the other party isn’t doing the work, that might be the first sign to start questioning if the friendship will make it in the long-term.
You have a bad gut feeling.
You have tried as hard as you could, but you can’t seem to shake the feeling down in your gut that's telling you to let go. Throughout the relationship, there have been many instances that didn’t sit right with you or you haven’t been able to let go of. Maybe you have a feeling that you overlooked that one thing too many times and it’s really starting to bug you. Maybe you are hurt by something that they have done and subconsciously you can’t rid your gut of the pain. This may be another sign to start addressing your attachment to this individual.
Your relationship is lopsided.
Regardless of how many calls or texts go unanswered or how many plans are canceled you keep trying to keep the relationship strong. This can start to feel very exhausting and lonely, especially if you are going through a crucial time in your life. Feelings of abandonment may make you feel resentful and can be very hurtful to someone who values the friendship. It’s very easy to feel unimportant or taken for granted when you reach out for someone who doesn’t make an effort to be there. This is a telltale sign that your friendship may be coming to an end.
Your "friend" is unreliable.
Time after time again you friend fails to come through for you. Maybe you really needed them to support you with a business idea or you really needed a babysitter to be able to get to work on time because yours canceled on you. Moments like these are crucial to the strength of a friendship. Understandably, they might not always be able to be there for you, but if they always have an excuse as to why they can’t come through, it may be time to assess the relationship for what it is.
You aren't yourself around your "friend."
Do you ever find yourself being too formal or changing your behavior to be more acceptable to them? I know that I have. Too often I have tried to hide my sadness or pain in fear of always being the depressed friend. I am doing myself a great disservice when I am being dishonest with my friend or with myself in order to appear to be something I'm not. If you find yourself putting on a show or an act, or the relationship feels forced, it may be another sign that someone has outgrown the relationship.
Maybe your situation is different, or maybe they vary in some of the indications that I have above. Either way, we need to be strong enough to notice the clues of a failing relationship. We need to approach these situations without fear and prepare ourselves mentally to be able to let go when the time comes. If you aren’t receiving genuine concern and care from your friend, it just may be time to let go.