IN THE MEDIA: 10 Signs Its Time to Shed a Friend

Published: September 18, 2010 | Last Updated: January 29, 2013 By | 10 Replies Continue Reading

From THE_STIR, September 16, 2010

No relationship is perfect, and all relationships have ups and downs, but sometimes it’s necessary for your own mental well being to move on from a friendship.

I caught up with Irene Levine, psychologist and author of the book Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Break-Up With Your Best Friend, to get some expert advice on knowing when it’s really time to call it quits.

Here are 10 signs it may be time ditch a friend:

1. Your friend is always critical and judgmental of you.

2. Your friend is self-centered, narcissistic.

3. Your friend is so needy that you can never do enough for her.

4. Your friend is unreliable.

5. Your friends is so jealous that she gets furious when you are with other women.

6. Your friend has poor judgment and does things that compromise her health and/or safety; you’ve tried to intervene but to no avail.

7. Your friend puts you in compromising positions.

8. Your friend is constantly negative and complaining.

9. You feel totally drained each time you’re together.

10. The relationship is unequal; you are constantly on the giving end.

If you’ve nodded your way through most of the list, you know what you need to do.

But now what? HOW do you move on?

Levine says small infractions can often be solved with a good, honest talk, but when it’s more serious and really time to move on, you should do so clearly and directly without assigning blame.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Category: IN THE MEDIA

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  1. LaTrice says:

    Maintaining a friendship with someone who’s extremely negative and disrespectful is a HUGE challenge-not to mention mentally and emotionally exhausting. I don’t think it’s healthy to be in a friendship that isn’t good for you. If no one can compromise, support, accept, and respect each other’s differences, I don’t see the point on being friends.

    I feel that best friends shouldn’t judge each other, based on the overall appearance. There’s nothing with embracing your own individuality, and honestly, that can make you stand out from everyone else. Also, I feel that there shouldn’t any type of competition among friends, so what’s wrong with celebrating each other’s successes? What about bringing out the best in each other?

    I enjoy having women as friends, but at the same, I have to look out for myself. It doesn’t feel good to be stabbed in the back, as well as being talked about-whatever the reasons. When I’m getting to know someone, I would give them the benefit of a doubt. I like to find out for myself for who they REALLY are.

  2. gretel hastwell says:

    Hi I read your column entry on unequally yoked relationships unbalanced in one not being reliable ie the letter with judy. I also have looked through this page 10 signs its time to shed a friend. Only I feel I am the one who is all of the things that are being said that correlate to myself. In other words if I might add I am the friend that should be shed. My neighbour doesnt like me and is a socialite and I feel less next to her and quute alienated which I do as im afraid of rejection which shexalready has done. I feel very insignificant she has people over all the time and I dont even know how to get out of the house let alone have masses of people over all the time fir tea or shed parties? I had a nervous breakdown and have come off some heavy prescription drugs with my doctors concent. I am having trouble and difficulties with socially integrating myself and And the mere thought of having to compete with any body else or protect myself from the differentiation that i experience as a result of my setback in life…. well lets just say it hasnt neccessarily been easily let me tell you, but i know i need help I just may not know how to go about it :-/

  3. eva says:

    I have been feeling constantly drained out of a friendship I have with this girl for about 3.5 years. We shared similar interests but we do have some different values. For example, I am close to my family while she’s always complaining about her family. She also has stronger opinions of others (including my other friends) and at first, I accepted all these differences and I tried to be understanding. I have at times felt hurt from the things she say, but I was always telling myself to accept her for her weaknesses as well. Recently, though, I felt worse and worse and I could not stand a long conversation with her anymore. What’s more, every time I tried sharing the problems I am facing, it feels like she wants nothing to do with it and will give me weird looks. I have a BF who has an interest in theatre, and he has invited her to watch his show, but she’s very disapproving and critical of his skills. He is still an amateur, but I feel that the least she could do is to support his hobby. I don’t know how to walk out of this friendship. At times, I have also asked myself if I am the one being critical and judgmental. People have thought that we are very close friends, when in fact, our friendship is mostly superficial. I feel really awful, but it is getting very tiring.

    • jacqueline says:

      Hi Eva:

      Sharing common interests with someone who is judgmental, opinionated, jealous of you, non-supportive, and critical of everything and everyone around you, is not a basis for a friendship. She constantly drains you and is no good for you, which you already know, so it is time to get rid of her. If you do not feel comfortable telling her face to face about how you feel, could you do it over the phone? Or in an email, telling her that this “friendship” is just no good for either of you?

      The truth shall set you free, and you will feel a lot better for expressing it, instead of keeping it all inside of you, which is very unhealthy for you.

  4. reah says:

    Thanks for this article, I’ve been shedding toxic vampire friends for awhile now and it really hurts and i’m feeling very lonely but it’s betterthan keeping them around and them continually damaging me and hurting my feelings constantly. I find that I used to befriend a lot of “loners” and people who didn’t understand social ettiquette. Reason being I felt sorry that they didn’t have a lot of friends so I thought “i’ll be your friend!!” but different things would end up happening including the following: a. they’d take advantage of me financially (asking for handouts/ loans/ money/ expect me to foot the bill all the time…I am now not an ATM or bank anymore…) b. emotionally withdraw from the bank of friendshp all the time until they were in the negative…never giving back and never asking me how I was, how my family was, or asking what I might like to do or want to go, or for example, blow off my parties but expect me to show up to their events, parties, outings etc…NOT fair and NOT equal at all..c. they’d get jealous if I had other friends or b/c I got married and act immature and even say things like “no you can’t move away from me to brooklyn, you’ll be so far!!” are you kidding me? the friend who said that to me now lives over an hour and ahalf away….d. not supportive in mylife decisions or health (a friend actually ignored me for 4 months b/c I chose to stay home and care for a sick relative instead of going to a friend’s wedding 4.5 hrs away…) talk about priorities being mixed up….e. being inapropriate with a boyfriend…my one friend (who always dated married men) started having an inapropriate relationshp with my ex (calling him/ hanging out with me without me etc…that wasn’t cool…) So, sadly I seem to attract friends that don’t treat me as nice as I would treat them and who are selfish…almost all of my friends are like this and it’s time to clean the slate and just hang out with my family and husband. Thanks again for this article!

    • Friendship Doc says:

      Hi Reah,

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed this article. Sounds like your problem is making the wrong types of friends! Knowing the problem is the first step in working out solutions.

      My best, Irene

      • reah says:

        How though, do you make more discerning choices when you first MEET a friend? How can I better ASSESS the person when I first meet them? That’s what I’d like to learn to do better? Thank you for answering!

        • paula says:

          Good question Reah – I’d also like to be more discerning/cautious when I first meet a person. I’ve had two narcissistic BFs and now I’m stepping away from a narcissistic female friend. She neuters and feeds stray cats and is very good in that way, which is why I was drawn to her and wanted to help, time-wise and financially. But it seems everyone she meets is only a means to that end. I’ve noticed that if one of her ‘friends’/acquaintances doesn’t do as much as she wants she slags them off to me, playing the victim. I used to fall for that and step up my efforts to help her, but now it’s backfiring as I don’t feel like helping her at all anymore. My point is: even people who are do-gooders can be narcissistic about their cause, so it is good to be cautious and build up a relationship slowly no matter how nice/fun/charming someone is.

        • Margaret says:

          I was similar to you until I began to actively ditch the vampires. As each one disappeared, a kinder heart took their place. Within yourself, value the kind ‘non stray loner’ person that you are. It sounds like a self esteem issue, like because of your kind heart, you don’t fit with the cool kids, right? But the truth is the cool kids are not all mean and the stray underdogs are not all kind hearts. Believe in yourself, raise your self esteem, read tons and learn about the difference between toxic and healthy people (this blog is great!) and the behaviours to watch out for. For me the red flags are manipulativeness, exploitativeness, financial irresponsibility, disloyalty, betrayal, vindictiveness and willingness to sabotage or wreak revenge (run don’t walk from this one!) and sadism/enjoys putting others down just for the sake of it. Anything to do with bullies, narcissists etc. would be excellent reading material for you to learn to protect yourself effectively from vipers. Also assertiveness – identify your boundaries and then train yourself to stand up to those who overstep the mark. I recommend Gael Lindenfied ‘The Positive Woman’ – fantastic book. Once you have your head even more firmly screwed on through reading about the risky traits, and you feel more confident in your own skin, it will be safer for you to let your kind heart shine and trust me you will begin to attract likeminds! I speak from personal experience and I hope it has helped you a bit!

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