7 Signs it’s Time to Let Go of a Friend

Hey Optimist Minds!

The French Poet Eustace Deschamps once said, “Friends are relatives you make for yourself.” There is truth to this statement because we choose our friends and then love them like family.

It’s wonderful to have good friends in life as they offer support and entertainment. However, sometimes, a friend might start impacting your life in negative ways. 

For example, they could be a source of frequent stress or perhaps supporting them is overwhelming you. This effect isn’t necessarily intentional; people drift apart at times and stop being compatible.

Hanging on to a friendship despite its inherent problems is a bad idea as it might hold you back in life. In such situations, letting go of the friendship can be an act of self-care.

If you’re wondering how to know when it’s appropriate to do that, this video might be of help to you. We’re going to cover seven signs it’s time to let go of a friend. 

Keep in mind that you can always keep loving them but from a distance for your own wellbeing.

Now, let’s begin.


They frequently violate your boundaries.

Has your friend, on multiple occasions, crossed a line? Do they keep doing it even after you’ve asked them not to? 

Maybe they borrow things irresponsibly, invade your space uninvited, or take up time designated for other areas of your life. No matter how much you love them, your friends must respect your personal boundaries. 

These boundaries tend to be flexible in good friendships but if you start feeling like they’re taking you for granted, maybe it’s time to reconsider their presence in your life.


Their drama is affecting you more than you’d like.

Does your friend have an eventful life full of conflict and interpersonal problems? 

As their friend, you probably try to be there for them in whatever way you can. You might lend them an ear, try to help out, and offer your resources. Occasionally, you may even get directly involved with the issue.

The question to ask here is, what is it costing you to be that friend? Are their contributions to your life worth all this trouble? Or are you just trying to be nice and selfless?

If you find that the effort you’re putting into this friendship could be better used somewhere else, perhaps you need some space.


You clearly have different value systems.

Disagreements are normal in all human relationships including friendship. They lead to arguments, which get resolved with effective communication. But sometimes, you might find that your friend and you have completely separate sets of values.

Values are principles or standards of behaviour; one’s judgement of what is important in life. It could be that honest matters a lot to you but your friend casually lies all the time. Or perhaps you prioritise family but your friend puts their own needs first.

Some friendships last despite such differences but it takes mutual effort. If you’re the only one pitching in, consider not doing it anymore.


They’re not taking accountability.

Let’s imagine that your friend did something wrong or hurtful. It doesn’t matter if they did it on purpose or not, you expressed how you feel about it. Now, will your friend accept their mistake and try to make amends? Or will they pretend like it’s not a big deal?

Accountability is a crucial ingredient for repair in human relationships. When your friends don’t take responsibility for how they impact you, the friendship starts eroding.


You don’t feel heard anymore.

When you’re talking to your friend about things that are important to you, does it feel like they don’t understand you? Do you have to go out of your way to explain your point of view but they still don’t see where you’re coming from?

Some friendships have an expiry date that shows up when communication starts failing. If you feel unheard, maybe your time is up.


They invalidate your feelings.

What’s worse than not listening is to deny or minimise someone’s feelings. Does your friend often tell you that you’re being too sensitive or overreacting? Do you disagree with them whenever they say that?

How you feel about a situation is always valid no matter what others think. While perceptions can be right or wrong, emotions can’t. 

Your friends should first accept your feelings and then, if appropriate, share their opinion. If they don’t allow you that courtesy, maybe they’re not right for you.


They did something unacceptable.

Each of us has some notion of what behaviour is unforgivable. As your friends are close to you, they’re exposed to many details of your life and thought process. It’s very likely that they know what actions are unacceptable for you.

It could be hurting your loved ones, sleeping with your sibling, exposing your deepest secrets, or something else your find immoral. 

Again, if they don’t take accountability for what they did or try to minimise or dismiss your feelings about it, feel free to walk out of the friendship. 

And in case they do behave responsibly afterwards, it’s still the right time to evaluate their role in your life.

Did any of these signs seem relatable to you? Do you think it’s time to let go of your friend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


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