Most people don’t choose their friends. Many times, people become friends during school, and they stay friends throughout the years. Other friends are situational. For example, you go to the same church, or you work together. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making friends this way, but there is something wrong with keeping those friends long after your time together has expired.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It has become cliche’ because so many people overuse the saying, and post it on social media whenever they are mad at someone in their life. I mean, we say we understand that people serve different purposes in our lives, but we tend to take everyone who enters and sign them up for a lifetime membership.
A few years ago was the first time that I have ever consciously decided that someone’s time in my life had expired, and I dismissed her. I felt terrible about it, but I knew that it had to be done. There are a few things that you must consider at all times, to be sure that your life and the people in it are in sync with your intentions for yourself.
When Is It Time To Change Your Circle Of Friends?
When that friend drains you of more energy than he/she gives.
We’ve all had that friend that is full of drama. A day doesn’t go by when he/she isn’t in trouble, stressing over something, or just going through. While you may love that friend, it isn’t fair that they get to keep dumping their “stuff” on you. Why should you be up every night stressing over drama that doesn’t even concern you???
When that friend is abusive.
Abuse doesn’t have to come from a romantic partner. If a “friend” speaks negatively about you, picks apart your dreams and goals, criticizes you on a regular, or isn’t supportive, that person is not a friend.
When that friend is constantly in competition with you.
While there is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, a person who is always trying to one-up you is not to be trusted. He/she may be jealous of you, and jealousy is toxic to friendships. Some people disguise themselves as friends, but they really just want to know what you’re up to, so that they can make it their personal business to stop it.
When that friend makes you uncomfortable.
Some people are forceful and are constantly pushing and pulling others out of their comfort zone. If you have a friend who pushes you toward your dreams, keep that friend. I’m talking about the friend that is impulsive, and who does things to put him/herself in crazy predicaments that you have to then bail them out of.
When that friend crosses a line over and over again.
I totally get forgiveness, but when a person commits the same offense more than once, or that person repeatedly ignores boundaries, you have to dismiss them of their duties as your friend. A friend would respect your boundaries, and a person who doesn’t or pretends to not understand that doesn’t belong in your life.
When the friendship is one sided.
If your friendship isn’t benefiting both you and the other person, there is a problem. If only one of you enjoy the time that you spend together, a conversation needs to happen. Our friends make us feel comfortable and safe. We should be able to confide in each other and to help one another grow. If that isn’t happening in your friendship, you may want to reevaluate it. All friendships are different in nature, but they all function pretty much the same…in love. One sided friendships can be unhealthy. Everybody appreciates reciprocity. If you can handle being the giver all of the time, by all means, keep those friendships in tact. I am the more hangout-on-occasion and call-to-check-up-on-you but if you need me during the in-between-time-I’m-right-there-for-you kind of friend. I’m not the kind of friend who will talk on the phone with you for hours and then come over to your house for dinner. For me, that’s just too much. What kind of friend are you?
When you are remaining friends out of obligation.
This one happens a lot in romantic relationships too, but I won’t get into that today. Maybe your friend was around while you went through a rough time in your life. Maybe your friend seems a bit emotionally unstable and you are afraid to end your friendship for fear that he/she will hurt him/herself. You must know that you are not responsible for the choices that someone else makes. If you think your friend will hurt him/herself as a result of your friendship ending, try to get them some help, but don’t carry that burden yourself. That is a very unhealthy situation to be in, and you shouldn’t be forced to remain someone’s friend for any reason.
I hope all of your friends pass the test, but sometimes you have to clean house. My life has been less stressful, since I’ve made some cuts of my own. Every now and then, I reassess just to make sure there’s nothing or no one else weighing on me. You can absolutely love people without being their friend. Sometimes, childhood friends are just that. Maybe that person at your job is someone to have small talk with and not have over your house. Maybe that person who was once your best friend hasn’t grown at all since high school.
Highly successful people all say that you should surround yourself with people who are inline with your goals. That doesn’t mean that you should cut everyone out of your life who aren’t where you want to go. It does mean, though, that you should cut those out who are hindering your progress.
I would say happy trimming, but I know that this process isn’t a happy one. Afterwards, when you see how your life has changed, you will feel better. Good luck!
What are some other determining factors you think should go on this list?