I am someone who thinks about friendships a lot. Who do you really call a friend? How do friendships evolve? How do friendships end? Am I a good friend? And being an introvert I have fewer but quality friendships. Recently I ended a friendship, actually with someone I was pretty close to. So let’s get into some of the aspects which determine when it’s time to end a friendship.
Generally, I prefer to end friendships with long bouts of silence. Quietly leaving a friendship seems to be the easiest thing to do. I have indeed tried this method twice before. One time it was a success, the second time, however, not so much: the other person continued trying to track me down and call me up, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to directly tell them that I didn’t want that friendship anymore.
Now getting into the reasons of ending those two friendships: in one case, an ideology of the person didn’t go along with my principles, and in the second case, we just grew into two very different individuals, and I didn’t want to hang out with that person any more. At the same time, I had undergone some transformation that I was pretty sure that person would not be able to understand or accept. And nor did I give them the opportunity to try to understand. In my mind, the friendship was finished.
Now coming to the recent fallout. This time I tried the direct, straightforward approach. Yes, I initially thought taking some space would be beneficial, but then, in trying to even give a reason for that space I needed, the words didn’t come out the right way and appeared to be blunt and harsh. I am not proud of the way the words failed me.
For a couple of days I kept feeling a sense of guilt for the way my words hurt the person. We were really close friends. We talked everyday. We used to go to each other’s house, had had night stays, partied together, discuss everything. What went wrong you may ask. Well, to be honest, I did have an inkling that the friendship wouldn’t last for long, but I never imagined it would end for the reason it did. No matter what I said to end it in an impulse, the real reason dawned on me a week later.
The reason I actually gave to end things was the reason that always caused that inkling I had that the friendship would some day end. But the actual reason was that a change in their lifestyle had brought on another factor which made me feel judged and having to defend a part of my lifestyle. The change in their lifestyle was good, but one of their actions in relation to that change felt toxic to me. I ignored it for quite some time, but then I just couldn’t anymore.
What I conclude from these three instances in which I had to end an otherwise good friendship is that sometimes the actions of some people in accordance with their beliefs, especially beliefs that you don’t agree with on a deep level, can lead to ending a friendship. Growing into different individuals who can’t understand each other anymore can lead to an ending. Also, actions of a person that make you feel judged, defensive, and on the edge can also lead to a fallout.
I believe in certain quotes when in it comes to friendships like “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I like to be around people who know more than me about some things. People from whom I can learn something. People who inspire me. People who are focused on their own growth each day. People who have goals and aspire to reach them.
Of course, not all of us have the same beliefs or live life with the same principles, but if the differences outweigh the common ground, then it is better to not hang out with some people for your own sanity.