Breaking up with friends
Very few friendships are meant to last a lifetime.
When I was a kid, my dad used to say "you'll be lucky at my age to count your number of good friends on one hand." As I've gotten older, I realize the truth in his words.
We all have moments in our lives when we pick our heads up and realize a person or the people in our orbit no longer fit like they once did.
Maybe you've grown beyond each other and find yourself living very different values. Maybe you learn some hard truths about a friend, and realize you need to make a change. Perhaps it's stronger than that. Maybe you are in an unhealthy, or even toxic relationship.
The question is, what will you do about it?
Women, social creatures that we are, are good at making new connections and letting people in. But we can struggle to let people go, even when our intuition tells us it's best.
There are many reasons people hang on to unhealthy friendships when they shouldn't. Duration of friendship, proximity or convenience, fear of being unkind, or even (unconsciously or not) to gain social status.
Being friendly goes a long way. But trying to be friends with everyone around you shows a lack of discernment, and drains your life force over time. Though challenging, it is more compassionate and honorable to let someone go than it is to keep them close and harbor ill sentiment, or speak unkindly about them.
One of my favorite ideas about friendship is this:
You are a result of the five people you spend the most time with.
We owe it to ourselves to evaluate the relationships we hold close and let go of the disempowering ones, so we can cherish and make room for the right ones.
Below are 2 ways to skillfully break up with a friend
Give natural space -- We are energetic beings and can sense the nuance of each other more easily than we let on. If there is strife in the relationship, on an unconscious level, often both people sense it. If you allow space, the relationship may naturally run its course. If this does not work, then move to having a conversation.
Have the conversation -- With a spirit of compassion, write a letter or get together to have the conversation. Instead of blaming or getting into details, use I statements and ask for the space and parameters you need. This is about YOU asking for space in PRESENT tense. Not about something that was done in the past. Don't go down that rabbit hole. Remember, your honesty serves the other person, too. It allows them to focus on other friendships that mutually lift them up, as well.
Life-deepening friendships come into our lives for a season, a reason, or if we're lucky, a lifetime. In order to appreciate the friends that are meant to stick, we have to let go of the ones that don't fit.
Here's to your healthy friendships,