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You No Longer Have a Friend in Me – When and How You Should End a Friendship

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Goodbye (AttributionRequired)When we hear someone say they are, “ending a relationship” we assume this to mean the person is breaking up with their significant other.  However, “ending a relationship” could also mean severing ties with a friend.  Friendships can be challenging to maintain especially over extended periods of time.  Life provides many excuses for a friendship to end: you move far away from one another, you work more, you have more responsibilities just to name a few. But what about those friendships for which you deliberately choose to walk away? When should you end the friendship? How do you end it?

Ending a friendship is not easy, but coming to that decision requires careful consideration, especially if you have been friends for a long time.

When should you end a friendship?

While it is entirely up to you if and when you decide to sever ties with a friend, there are several junctures where the choice to walk away may be obvious.

  • You can’t trust them. Your friend has done something to betray you whether it was talking about you behind your back, telling your personal stories, hitting on or becoming romantically involved with your significant other are just some examples of how trust can be broken.
  • You feel self-conscious when around them. Your friend consistently puts you down or make snide remarks about your appearance, behavior, or any other aspect that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • You recognize the friendship is one-sided. You’re always the one making an effort to get together or connect. Or, your friend only reaches out to you during times when they need something, but they don’t reciprocate for you. Then you are likely in a one-sided friendship.
  • You no longer have anything in common. You grow up, develop different interests, make other friends. It is a part of life.

How do you address this dilemma?

  1. Make sure it is what you want. Rekindling a friendship after you have explicitly made a point of ending it with your friend will be most difficult, therefore, it is important that you are absolutely sure it is what you want. Think about what you will lose by cutting ties with your friend and if the loss is worth it. Consider whether mutual friends will be impacted by this decision. Be mindful if you are still angry about what has occurred, making rash decisions in the heat of the moment most often never turns out well.
  2. Silently Part Ways. If you are in a situation where your friend is no longer reaching out, then it may not be necessary to have a face-to-face conversation. It that situation, perhaps it may be better for you to stop making an effort to reach out and connect. Take some time to consider whether silently parting ways will be the best option or if a face-to-face conversation is the better route to take.
  3. Don’t bring others into it. Meaning, don’t speak poorly or encourage bashing of the friend you are severing ties with in an attempt to gain allies. Involving others friends has the potential to cause damage to more than one friendship.
  4. Be truthful but not mean. If you decide to end the friendship, it may be best to do so in person so that closure can be had for you both. When speaking to them be truthful in your reasons for cutting ties. The strategy of sugarcoating and dancing around the topic will only make ending the relationship worse. It is important to be descriptive and to stick to how their behaviors have made you feel rather than pointing out their flaws. For example, you might say, ” Danielle, I need to end our friendship because for some time now I feel it has been one-sided. I feel frustrated and annoyed as I only hear from you when you need someone to talk to or when you and your boyfriend are fighting.” Rather than, ” Danielle, I’m done being your friend. You are just using me, and I am sick of it.”
  5. Set boundaries for moving forward. If you are severing the friendship make sure it is clear to both you and the person you are walking away from what that means, so there is no confusion. For example, “Danielle, moving forward I feel it is best if neither of us makes efforts to explicitly hang out. However, if we happen to run into each other we still remain cordial.”

 

Have a Good Week,

Abigail R.C. McManus

Guest Blogger/ Host

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Stop Being Sensitive!” – A Reflection on Over-Sensitivity

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My entire life, I have been told I’m too sensitive. During this past week, a dispute arose between my husband and I that had everything to do with my over-sensitivity. I keep a journal and after many disagreements with my husband and others I usually write about what happened, why I reacted or felt that way, and what I need to do differently next time. It occurred to me as I was writing in my journal that my over-sensitivity has caused many disputes and hurt feelings in my life.

Why do I believe I am so sensitive?

  1.  I over-analyze everything. A friend could say to me, ” You look skinny today!” My initial thought process after I say, “Thank you” is: Do I look fat other days? Did she mean that or was she just being nice? Or was she trying to be mean? Has she been talking to others about me being overweight?
  2. I am self-conscious about certain things that trigger over-sensitivity. Being intelligent is   something I am very self-conscious about, ever since my second-grade teacher referred to me as stupid in front of the rest of my class. I have made it my life goal never to come across as unintelligent. If someone speaks to me in a condescending manner, or implies stupidity, etc. I immediately get defensive.
  3. I jump to conclusions. I get upset because someone said something that I perceived as offensive. Rather than pause and give that person a chance to explain, I get defensive, or immediately believe that it was said maliciously.

I outlined in my journal these reasons above, and I began to brainstorm how I could work to control my over-sensitivity so that I didn’t find myself in conflicts with others.

  1. Pause and Breathe. Breathing is a great regulator of your heart rate and your mind. I love doing yoga, and breathing is a huge part of it, as it helps you remain centered. In situations where I find myself being over-sensitive, I need to remember to take deep breaths, this will allow me to stay calm and centered.
  2. Think positively – Not Negatively. I have to remind myself that not everyone is out to get me. I am unsure when my distrust of others began, or if I have always been this way. However, anytime I find myself getting upset by something someone said, I have to remind myself that they are not saying it maliciously.
  3. Listen, Clarify, and Ask Questions. It is important that I don’t jump all over someone immediately after they offend me. Many times I have found myself not allowing the person a chance to explain themselves or refine what they say. So in the future, I am going to listen, clarify points they make, and ask questions to make sure I understand their point.

If you find you are over-sensitive, ask yourself why? Reflecting and looking inwards has allowed me to make changes that I have found better myself and my life. You can too!

Have a great week!

Abigail R. C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice

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