It’s not always easy to tell when your friendship is dying or when you should give up on a friendship. Here are The 22 Signs Of A Dying Friendship You Should Know.
The 22 Signs Of A Dying Friendship You Should Know
1. Your friendship is one-sided
If one of you often or always has to make the first move, your friendship may have become unbalanced. When one person starts relying on the other to do all or most of the work, the person who has to make more of an effort often starts feeling resentful and disrespected. Being stuck in a one-sided friendship can make you unhappy if you are expected to always take the initiative.
2. You can’t trust your friend
If your friend has betrayed your trust, for example, by speaking badly of you behind your back, it’s hard to feel relaxed around them. When you can’t open up to a friend because you worry they will repeat everything you say to someone else, you probably won’t be able to enjoy a close friendship.
3. You feel down or tired after seeing your friend
If you often feel drained, gloomy, or pessimistic after spending time with your friend, it could be time to reassess the friendship. Ask yourself, “How did I feel the last time I saw my friend?” Maybe hanging out with them has begun to feel like something you have to do rather than something that makes you happy; if so, you might want to move on and find people who make you feel good about yourself and life in general.
4. Your conversations feel forced
Long silences and uncomfortable conversations can be a warning sign that you and your friend have nothing in common to talk about. Or you might always talk about the same memories and shared experiences from a long time ago because you have nothing in common in the present.
5. You don’t want to hang out one on one anymore
If you can only tolerate someone when other people are around, it might be time to distance yourself. For example, if you always invite mutual friends along when you hang out with your best friend, ask yourself whether it’s because you no longer have fun when it’s just the two of you.
6. Your friend’s drama takes up a lot of your time
Friends help each other out in times of need, but if your friend goes from one crisis to the next and always talks about their problems, you may begin to feel as though they are using you as an unpaid therapist. They might ask you for advice but never take it on board, which can be frustrating.
7. You can’t talk about problems in your friendship
If your friend changes the topic or denies that something is wrong when you try to talk about any problems in your friendship, they may not care about your feelings. It can be awkward to ask your friend to change their behavior, but a real friend will want to improve your friendship even if it means having some difficult discussions.
8. You don’t feel happy when they get in touch
If you feel annoyed or anxious when your friend calls or messages you, it may be time to end the friendship. In general, you should be pleased to hear from your friends and look forward to seeing them.
9. Your friend competes with you
It’s normal for friends to occasionally feel envious of each other. But if they struggle to be pleased when things are going well in your life, they are not a true friend. Real friends celebrate each others’ successes. If you have recently taken a positive step forward in your life—for example, graduating or buying a home—and your friend can’t be happy for you, it may be a sign that your friendship is unhealthy.
10. Your friend doesn’t respect your boundaries
Some people are naturally overbearing or bossy, but if your friend keeps ignoring your boundaries and doesn’t listen when you ask them to change, it’s probably time to cut contact. At best, people who overstep boundaries are rude and thoughtless; at worst, they can be abusive.
11. You are making excuses to avoid your friend
It’s normal to want time to be alone, especially if you’re an introvert. But if you find yourself repeatedly turning down invitations to hang out, you may no longer be invested in the friendship.
12. You don’t like who you are around them
Real friends make you feel good about yourself. They don’t make you feel as though you need to hide your true personality, feelings, or opinions. Even when they disagree with you or think you’ve made a bad decision, a good friend will still respect and support you. If you find yourself behaving out of character around your friend or doing things you don’t want to do, it may be time to let go and find people who accept you for who you are.
13. They use you, or you use them
Friends do each other favors from time to time. But if someone often asks you for help without giving anything back, they might see you as a useful resource rather than a friend. Over time, this can make you feel resentful.
It may also be time to walk away from a friend if the situation is reversed and you have been using them. It can be hard to admit that you’re only friends with someone because the friendship makes your life easier, but it’s best to be honest with yourself. If you only keep someone around because they often help you out, take a step back. Give them the chance to invest their time in more balanced friendships.
14. Your friend is abusive
Abusive behavior is never acceptable in a friendship. If your friend is abusing you, it may be best to drop them.
For example, an abusive friend might:
- Threaten you with violence
- Try to emotionally manipulate you, for example, by threatening to hurt themselves if you don’t do what they want
- Try to undermine your other friendships, for example, by spreading lies or gossip about you
If you often feel as though you are going crazy after talking with your friend, they may be gas-lighting you. Gas lighting is a form of emotional abuse where someone makes you question your memory and judgment. Health-line has a useful guide to gaslighting and how to deal with it.
15. Other people warn you about your friend
If your friends or relatives warn you that your friend isn’t a very nice person, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Your friend doesn’t have to like all your other friends or relatives, but they should be polite and respectful around them. If a friend is often abrasive or rude, you need to face the possibility that they aren’t a positive influence in your life.
16. You have an intense unrequited crush
If your feelings for your friend are getting in the way of your friendship—for example, if you can’t bear to hear about their boyfriend or girlfriend because you get jealous—it may be best to see or speak to your friend less often. You don’t necessarily have to stop being friends with them forever, but taking some time apart and meeting new people may help.
17. Your friend lets other people treat you badly
A real friend will not bully you, and neither will they stand by and let someone treat you badly. For example, they should not laugh when someone else makes you the butt of a cruel joke. Someone who is OK with seeing others treat you with disrespect is not a trustworthy friend.
18. Your friend is possessive
Possessive friends get jealous when you spend time with other people. Their demands for attention can quickly become exhausting, and they might continually ask you for reassurance. If you’ve asked your friend for more space, but they still make you feel smothered, it may be time to break up with them.
19. Your friend doesn’t accept that you’ve changed
Sometimes, friends that you’ve known for a long time might not seem able to realize that you aren’t the same person that you were many years ago. If you often feel annoyed because your friend insists on treating you as though you never changed, it might be best to let them go.
For example, you may have been shy in high school but gradually became more confident in your twenties. If your old high school friends keep treating you as though you are still shy, you’ll probably feel frustrated with them.
20. You’re relieved when they cancel plans
If you make plans with your friend but secretly hope that they will cancel, it’s probably time to move on. It can be simpler to go along with your friend’s wishes and meet up, but it’s hard to pretend that you are enjoying yourself. Eventually, your friend will probably notice that you’d rather not be around them.
21. You haven’t laughed together in a long time
If you can’t remember the last time you had fun with your friend, you may have grown apart. Your sense of humor might not match theirs anymore, or you might not like the same activities. If your friendship isn’t bringing any joy to your life and hasn’t been fun for a long time, it may be time to give up on it.
22. You’ve lost respect for your friend
It’s difficult to be friends with someone if you don’t respect them. You can lose respect for many reasons.
For example, perhaps your friend has made a series of poor choices, and you’ve started questioning their judgment. Or maybe they have started spending a lot of time with someone you think is a bad influence. When your friend is friends with someone you don’t like, you might lose respect for them if their other friend appears to be a toxic person.