It’s normal for friends to come and go throughout life.
You might drift apart naturally as you change and grow. Or you might suddenly realise you’re not getting what you need (and deserve) from a friendship and feel it’s best for your wellbeing to end it.
Ending a friendship can be painful, but any relationship that makes you feel disregarded or disrespected should be re-evaluated.
Here are some signs it may be time to walk away.
You’re always the first to reach out
Do you get radio silence from them unless you pick up the phone first?
While there can be situations where your friend may temporarily be unable to give you the time and interest you give them (e.g. right after having a baby, or during a busy work or study period), it can be disheartening when you’re always the one to organise catchups or reach out first.
If you don’t feel like a priority in your friend’s life, or you’re the only one making an effort to maintain the connection, it might be time to move on – or at least put the ball in their court.
They only focus on themselves
Relationships are about give and take. If your friend doesn’t return the same level of care or support you offer them, they may be taking advantage of you.
Perhaps they only reach out when they need something, or maybe they spend each of your interactions talking about themselves and showing little to no interest in your life.
If this sounds familiar, it’s worth raising with your friend or focusing on friends who make you feel supported and important.
We offer tips for when your friend only talks about themselves in this blog post.
Your values and morals don’t align
This is a big one, and it can be particularly common among childhood or school friends who grow up and learn who they are and what’s important to them.
You may find you and your friend disagree more often than you agree, or maybe they do or say things you don’t feel comfortable with.
Surrounding yourself with different perspectives can be a good thing, and you don’t have to agree on everything to be friends. But having strong differing opinions on the important stuff can make for an incompatible friendship.
You feel nervous around them
Some friendships can do more harm than good for our self-esteem and wellbeing.
Feelings like jealousy and competitiveness can create an unhealthy or unequal dynamic, as can judgement or passive aggression. We might find ourselves on eggshells or holding back from being our true selves around these kinds of friends.
Feeling nervous before seeing your friend, or feeling drained after seeing them, is a red flag the friendship isn’t serving you in a positive way.
If you need someone to talk to, our counsellors offer a safe space to explore your thoughts and feelings and find coping strategies that work for you. You can learn more about our counselling service here, or call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment.
Learn how to assert boundaries in your relationships in this blog post.