Moving back home after college definitely taught me many many things about friendship but one of the more important things? It’s so okay to not be friends with someone. There are so many people that I kept in my life simply because I felt like I had to – we had a long history of being friends, convenience (location, age, etc), etc. After awhile though, I realized that being friends with someone out of nothing more than a sense of obligation and guilt does nothing good for anyone involved.
As time goes on, we grow and change and become different people than we were moments ago. Going to college in a different town (hell a different state hundreds of miles away) changed who I am and the people I knew in high school also changed during that time. Trying to continue a friendship with people years after the fact can be really difficult – not impossible but at least for me, most people I knew then aren’t necessarily people I want to spend time with now.
What I’m really trying to get at is that it’s okay to stop being someone’s friend if it’s not working out. Again – people someone’s friend out of a weird sense of social obligation does no one any good in the long run.
Josette Souza wrote about the three tell tale signs that it’s time to drop that friend and included the fact that you deserve friends that cherish being around you, that support you and uplift you. And that’s so important – I’ve found that surrounding myself with people who challenge me (and are willing to be challenged in return), who support me, who make me feel safe and welcome has been life changing.
All of this though, it doesn’t take into consideration abusive relationships (whether romantic or platonic because friendships can be abusive too). Being in any sort of abusive situation (whether it’s a romantic relationship or a friendship or a family member or the like) is hard but I hope anyone in an abusive situation knows how much they are worth and that you are so wonderful.
Ultimately though, dumping a friend can be hard but it can also be incredibly liberating. Everyone deserves to be in supportive relationships and with people who genuinely care about their well being (and not just out of a weird obligation).