Call this a blog post. Call it a PSA. Call it an article on the ins-and-outs of friendship.
Whatever you see it as, call it a message that needs to be HEARD.
I have one particular issue that people around their mid-twenties (girls, especially) seem to continuously encounter, whether it hurt you in the past, bothers you daily, or keeps popping up in your life like a flower you’re allergic to. This rant is on the issue of cutting off friendships.
We all have that one friend, usually from high school or college, who you were just BESTIES with. You did everything together, the Bert to your Ernie without all the rubber ducky mumbo-jumbo (or perhaps even with it, after a night of tequila shots and childhood reminiscence- we’re not here to judge.)
You were inseparable. You were sisters. You were each other’s secret keepers, confidants, and best friends. And when graduation came, you promised each other that nothing would change, you pinky-swore to the sky that your friendship, solid as diamond, would remain intact.
Well, kids… people grow up. Jobs happen, marriage happens, babies, new cars, more degrees, other friends, addictions, illnesses, new hobbies—they HAPPEN. And one day, two years or ten years after graduation, you wake up and realize the solid friendship you once cherished has crumbled.
This is when it’s time to take a good look at your life and evaluate who deserves to be in it.
There are two kinds of people in every relationship.
I’m talking about the leader and the follower. The one who tries and the one who complies. The top-tier and second-tier. There is always, in every relationship ever established, a person who cares more than the other. And you my friend, if you are reading this article, are probably on the side of the follower. The trier. The second-tier. (Sorry to break it to you.)
Why else would you have clicked on a ramble-rant about letting go of the dead-end friendship?
It’s okay, though. These types of people are the ones who have many friends because they excel in keeping friendships afloat. You’re exceptionally good at planning and getting people to open up about their feelings. You’re the comfort friend- and that’s a good thing.
What’s not okay is when your efforts are unappreciated and unnoticed. Now, admittedly, I’ve been both of these types of people. I’ve been strung along by someone I called my best friend, spending years putting in effort where it wasn’t appreciated or acknowledged and got my heart broke time and time again from it AND I have, admittedly, been the friend who keeps a person around simply because I’m too nice to say ‘hey- this was fun. But we had our run. See you around!’ to someone’s face.
Consequently, you either get hurt or hurt other people when you are in either of these positions. This is why you should CUT IT OFF NOW.
Think of the person you’re spending all your time and energy caring about- the one whom you pictured when you read the title of this article. YOU ask about their life, YOU invest your time and effort into their problems, YOU go out of your way to see and love them because YOU are a good friend.
Now do yourself a favor and cut the dead weight of a long-gone friendship away from your positive well-being and LET IT GO.
This will be hard.
Yes, you will have memories you cherish. YES, you might see each other around or at gatherings years from now- yes, you will reminisce. I’m not saying you have to tell them everything you hate about them and leave the scene a bloodbath. I’m not saying that not being close now invalidates the friendship you once had, either.
What I am saying is… now? Now, you’re upset because you’re not the way you guys once were. You’re not putting in equal effort, you’re not feeling the same sentiment about each other that you once did. You’re a shadow of your former selves, holding onto them because they remind you of a part of the past you love, not because of how they positively lift you up, now.
This is damaging for multiple reasons, but the forefront of them is the simple fact that YOU are holding onto something and someone who simply doesn’t want you to grip them so tightly anymore and that realization is PAINFUL. It hurts and it’s hard, but that’s what it is.
And you’re worth more than that. We all are. Life is short and adventurous and messy and sporadic and dammit, it’s hard enough without having to put in effort where effort is certainly not deserved.
In the long run, you will be happier. What’s the quote about being precious with your time? Be fiercely protective over it. Be very selective about who you spend it on because it is a finite amount that you will never be able to find more of. This is an attitude I’m trying to put forth in my everyday and you should, too. Be better than a person who lets other people take their time and effort and concentration from them. Make sure you’re a priority in the lives of those you care about. Spend your moments on people who make you feel like you MATTER because you do.
I know I’m going to.