Needless to say, not all heartbreak comes from failed romantic relationships. Family can break your heart and so can friends. Usually when people recount the heartbreak they have experienced in life, they don’t think of the heartbreak caused by breaking up with friends. I’m a firm believer that friendship is just as intimate a relationship as a romantic relationship can be. Just like with a romantic relationship, with friendships your choosing to accept, love, and be loyal to someone in spite of their flaws and imperfections. This requires trust–and I always say, anything that involves trust can lead to disappointment and heartache because it’s not always a two-way street.
I want to touch on something before we get into the signs of a failing friendship. I don’t want you to confuse the signs of a failing friendship with being involved in a meaningless friendship because I, for one, believe them to be two different things. A failing friendship means that somewhere down the line, your once healthy friendship began to lose its value–it’s pizzazz–but all is not lost. Things can still be fixed and nurtured. A meaningless friendship is a façade that brings about no sense of growth and no benefit for the two involved–it’s simply meaningless and should be avoided at all costs. Hopefully, you haven’t found yourself involved in any meaningless friendships, but do yourself the favor of checking just to be safe. Today, we’re going to recognize what it feels like to break up with friends and we’re going to identify 4 signs of a failing friendship just in case the friendship is in a place that can still be salvaged. Let’s get into it!
Common interests and feelings are no longer mutual.
You and your friends won’t always have the exact same interests, but chances are the reason you became friends in the first place is because the two of you have similar interests and feelings towards certain things. These things can change over time, but with healthy friendship, there is usually always something that you two are mutually interested in. This is how you spend quality time together. Going to your favorite restaurants, seeing a movie, or whatever it is that you two like to do together is usually because of a shared interest and shared mutual feelings toward that interest. If you find that the two of you are no longer interested in the same things, this could be a sign that you two are losing a bit of the bond that drew you together in the first place.
Growth is unproductive and stagnant.
We’ve all had to outgrow a friend at some point in our life and that’s not always a bad thing. There might be a time within your friendship that growth is not necessarily ‘dead,’ but is more so unproductive and at a standstill. This may occur when you’re both comfortable with where you are in life and have failed to challenge each other. This could also be a result of not communicating enough. If you’re not communicating about where you are in life or what you’re working on, how will either of you know how or when to encourage your friend? Be careful not to become so comfortable in friendship that you forget to challenge the growth of each other individually and collectively.
Support seems forced or artificial.
Maybe you two still seem to have similar interests and you’re even talking about your latest endeavors, but does the support of your friend seem genuine or forced? Friends are supposed to support each other through the best of times and the worst of times. The support you feel is supposed to be comforting, not make you feel like your hindering your friend in any way. It took me a while to understand that I am supposed to lean on my friends. If you realize that you’re not able to lean on your friend for genuine support, whether the situation is good or bad… that’s definitely a red flag in the friendship.
Lack of empathy and passion.
Overall, our friends are supposed to be the family members we get the luxury of choosing. They are supposed to make us feel loved and appreciated. We let them into our hearts. If you notice a lack of empathy and passion, what is the foundation of your existing friendship? I often tell people, I don’t make friends… I make family. If you begin to feel like the love is leaving in your friendship, speak up. Your friends response will let you know whether or not the relationship can or should be rekindled.
Again, do yourself the favor of evaluating your friendships. Are you getting the things you need from your friendships? Are you giving your friends what they need within the friendship? Don’t waste your time with meaningless friendships and repair any friendships that might be losing their value. Friends are supposed to be forever. It’s not too late to rekindle what could be lost for good.