I lost the majority of my close-knit friends at 12:45am on January 1st, 2019. The details aren’t important right now, but for a long time my feelings were constantly hurt by my best friends. I won’t play the victim; I’m sure there were ways I acted out that weren’t fair either. Regardless, my hurt feelings are validated, and I needed to get out of the endless cycle of crying, worrying and living in a constant anxious state. I held onto friends that continually let me down and lied to me because I was scared of being friendless. No one wants to say they don’t have a best friend or a group of close pals, but sometimes you need to let go of the people you love for your own well-being.
Here are a few mental notes I made when I finally decided to let go of friendships that meant the world to me.
THEY HAVE A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON YOUR LIFE
Friends are here to help us become the best versions of ourselves. If you’re trying to get in shape, quit drinking or smoking, or just make something of yourself and be productive, your friends have to support you. If they’re enabling bad habits and show no desire to change themselves or help you for the better, it’s time to let go.
YOU FEEL MISERABLE
It’s true: misery loves company. Humans are weird in the sense that they find comfort in other people are also unhappy. If you’re miserable and unsatisfied in your friendships, take a look at the other person or people in your group of friends, and you’ll notice a trend. You may all be unhappy, unmotivated and miserable, using that negativity to bond with each other. When I realized this, I knew I had to get out if I wanted to be happy.
YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN’T BE YOURSELF
Depending on our environment, we take on different behaviors. One thing is for sure, when you are with your friends, that’s the time you get to be your true self. If you feel like you need to hide who you are or change your personality to fit in, then it’s time to take on new friendships.
YOU CAN’T COUNT ON THEM
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s important. Support should be mutual and shared. If you find yourself feeling lonely when you need your friend and they blow you off or make you feel invalidated, that’s a red flag. The longer you stay in these types of friendships, the more you learn to count on yourself and that, in itself, is very powerful.
THERE’S A LACK OF LOYALTY & GENUINENESS
Finding loyal friends who will have your back no matter what can be hard to come by. For long term friendships, it’s a given. They should stand up for you and defend you when you’re hurt or feel alienated, especially if there are long-lasting effects attached. Friends should do as they see fit. If they are not treating you with the respect and loyalty you ask for, it’s time to seek new ones.
Feeling like it’s time to find new friends? Check out Hey! VINA to see who your next girl gang could be!