Read the Expiration Date: Some Friendships Need to End

Have you ever just become so exhausted with a friendship that you have to keep wondering why you are torturing yourself by remaining friends?  If you are constantly having more unpleasant days in a friendship than positive days, then you need to consider allowing that friendship to end.  Although all friendships will experience some conflicts, you should not have to have a serious battle with your friends every month.  When you have to go to war with your friends every month, then you have all of the evidence you need to end this friendship.  Seriously, why waste your time dealing with these too frequent burdens that your friends cause for you?  If people are truly your friends, you’re going to gain more positive things from them than negative things.

When we give someone the title of “friend,” it seems like many of us begin to allow an individual to take advantage of us because we idolize the title too much instead of truly assessing the relationship with the person we have given the title.  It does not matter how long or short a period of time you have been friends with a person he or she is not too great for you to not engage in a meaningful evaluation of his or her worth in your life.  While it may seem easier to get rid of those friends you have known only a short period of time, it can be much more of a challenge for you to terminate friendships with people you have known longer.  The truth is you just have to accept the reality that some friendships you have maintained for a long period of time might need to end for your (and their) benefit.

Although everyone needs a friend, you should not allow a friend to cause you constant pain.  When a friend becomes more of a burden than a help for you, then you know that this person is no longer your friend.

If a person is truly your friend, you will be able to value his or her words.  A true friend will not tell you lies just to get what he or she wants.  A true friend is not deceitful.  We have to learn that we cannot call everyone a friend.  Moreover, we have to learn that we cannot keep maintaining old friendships that have really become burdens.  When we try to avoid the truth about friendships that have turned into burdens, then we can overlook those friends who have really become our enemies.

Don’t let anyone take advantage of you.  We are most vulnerable to being taken advantage of by those we call our friends.  It is important for you to know that those who you call your friends can take advantage of you just like anyone else can.  While this reality can be quite hurtful, this is the reason why we have to begin to engage in close assessments of our friendships and eliminate those friendships that are not producing positive benefits for us.

Please don’t allow the fact that you have been in a long friendship with someone to keep you from letting the friendship expire.  You must face the truth that some long friendships need to be terminated because over the years things and people change, leading to those friendships not being based on what they originally were founded on.  When you are conducting your close evaluation of your current friendships, think about the things that developed those friendships.  Are those things still there or have they changed in some substantive way?  By seriously wrestling with this question in your assessment of your friendships, you may realize that the reason that your friendships no longer seem like friendships is the things that started those friendships are no longer present or have changed in such a significant way.

Would you continue to take medicine for an illness that your doctor has informed you that you no longer have?  Of course, you would not.  Well, why continue friendships that no longer maintain the original things they were founded on?

Do you have friends that ask you to do something for them always but when you ask them to do something for you they always have an excuse about why they cannot do what you asked?  You may have never considered this before, but these kinds of friends can lead you to having real health problems.  These kinds of friends can consume too much of your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental energy.  It is not selfish to ask and expect your friends to do what you ask of them from time to time, especially those friends who always ask you to do something for them and you always do it for them.

Make a wise decision for yourself today and end those friendships that are not good for you.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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4 comments

  1. I just did a post on friends. I personally think friend is strong word. I will call people what they are before friend; homo, slut, co worker, neighbor or moron.
    Majority of the time it isn’t your bad friend it you. You are the reason the friendship is going bad b/c you haven’t got the smarts to end it. so you deserve to be used or whatever b/c your friend is just being who they are you the one with the problem.

    1. I agree with what you have said for the most part. I have to disagree with you about not having the “smarts” because I’m one who love my friends and I believe in the biblical principle that “love hides a multitude of faults,” so it has been love that has caused me to not end some friendships that needed to be terminated. Therefore, I see love as being the issue rather than “smarts.” Of course, one of the harsh realities, as you pointed out, is one has to place much blame on himself because he allowed those friends to do the negative things that they have done. However, I don’t think that innocent, sincere, and loving people “deserve” to be taken advantage of and used–that’s another way in which I disagree with you. Yes, I believe that “friend” is a strong word and I also call people what they are before I call them friend. I very much appreciate you for reading and for providing your feedback on the article.

  2. Hmmmmmm…….friends expire?! If they do, then they were never really your friend to begin with. I value friendship very much. Letting go of a friend is similar to a cardiac arrest.

    1. Yes, some friendships do end because people grow apart from one another. Things can transpire between friends to cause them to conclude that it is best for the friendship to end. I very much understand that letting go of a true friend is similar to a cardiac arrest. However, we have to face the harsh reality that even some true friendships can potentially end. Thanks for reading and your response.

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