When someone is unhappy with a boyfriend or girlfriend, they might decide to “break up” with their partner- but what if you’re unhappy with your friends? Should you “dump them”, too? Can you?
The answer is yes. If your friendships are no longer making you happy, and instead are acting as a stressor, the only healthy choice is to cut them out of your life, like a tumor from a formerly healthy body. Here are some clues to help you determine whether or not your friends need to be dumped for good. You should consider “breaking up” with your friends if…
…you have a hard time relating to them.
Friends exist, primarily, to have good times together, comfort each other, and talk about the perspectives they share. If you come from a vastly different socioeconomic, political, or religious backgrounds, it can be hard to relate to one another’s perspectives and find common ground. Don’t get me wrong- embracing diversity is good- but when it becomes a struggle to find something to discuss without the conversation becoming an argument, you should begin to question your friendship. It can be hard for a wealthy person to discuss their day-to-day activities with someone living on welfare- and imagine a conservative evangelical and a liberal die-hard atheist trying to discuss absolutely anything. Broadening your perspective is healthy, but it’s not always what you should look for in a friendship. If your relationship with another person is making you uncomfortable, and you feel that you have to excessively censor yourself, you probably shouldn’t be in that relationship.
…you turn into a different person around them.
If you see yourself picking up bad habits from the people around you- excessive swearing, doing drugs, gossiping, violence, getting drunk- reconsidering your friendship would be wise and healthy. Friendships should make you a better person, not drag you down.
…they gossip, criticize, and back-stab.
Friends should be able to trust each other. If you see your friends gossiping about each other, you can bet that they’re ripping you apart behind your back, as well. Friends also shouldn’t force you to change for them. Unless you’re indulging in harmful habits like self-mutilation or drugs, your friends should accept you for who you are and not get hung up on minor traits, like having a weird-sounding laugh, not liking tattoos, or believing in alien abduction. People who try to change your personality- and especially those that freak out over minor flaws- are not friends with you, and never were. They are friends with person they want you to be. Friends shouldn’t try to control you. Real friends can be trusted, and will accept you for who you are- if your so-called friends criticize every little flaw and back-stab you constantly, they are not your true friends. Dump them like yesterday’s garbage, and replace them with true friends who have more kindness and integrity.
…if they can’t be happy for you.
If you were to win the lottery, would your friends be absolutely ecstatic to hear about your good fortune, or would they resent you for it? A true friend will be happy for you when you’re successful- even if you’re more successful than they are. A “friend” that is jealous or resentful of your good fortune is no friend at all, but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Kick them to the curb!
…if you’re unhappy around them.
Being around friends should make you happy, not angry or sad. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a platonic one- it’s better to be in no relationship at all than a bad one. If you’re happier alone than you are with them, you’re better off alone.
Don’t sell yourself short- remember, the people you’re with will rub off on you. Do you want to be a happy, well-adjusted, compassionate, and successful person- or a cruel, depressed, angry liar with serious mental and emotional problems? You are shaped by your environment. Make it a good one!