Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. ~1 Corinthians 15:33
Have you noticed a change in a friendship/ relationship? You can’t quite figure out where everything went sour. One of the first things we learn as we grow spiritually is that we sometimes outgrow our friends. It’s inevitable. It happens to the best of us. Don’t get discouraged!
At some point you’ll have to decide whether to continue to fight for the relationship or just walk away. Some relationships last a lifetime while others are only for a season. How do you know when it’s time to distance yourself?
Here are a few signs that it may be time to walk away:
Yes. I know. No one can make us do anything we don’t want to do, but If you’re trying to walk the straight and narrow path, the last thing you need is a crooked friend trying to convince you to walk the crooked path with them. Most times, our bad choices start with the people we surround ourselves with. Keep your circle positive.
Constructive criticism is one thing, but being critical is another. I for one appreciate my friends giving me their honest opinion, rather than telling me what I want to hear, but there are limits. Some people take it upon themselves to tell you everything that (in their eyes) is ‘wrong’ with you. This can be because undermining you makes them feel better about themselves. Friends don’t do this.
Be wary of a friend who gossips about you. Any friend who tells tales on a friend is not a friend. You can’t tell them anything you don’t want the whole world to know because they’re terrible at keeping secrets. If your friend slips up once, Have a discussion about it. However, if it happens regularly, the pattern should serve as a warning.
Setting boundaries with friends is one thing, but making sure your friends respect them is something else. If your friend is constantly overstepping boundaries, It’s time to question they’re respect for your friendship and YOU. Some boundaries should be communicated or discussed between friends, while some boundaries shouldn’t have to be discussed, and are just a flat out No No.
They’re always in competition with you. You get a new car/ they get a new truck, You lose 5lbs/ They lose 10lbs. You see the pattern? Instead of being genuinely happy for you, they are always going to try to out do everything you do because they are secretly hating on you. Whenever you have good news, They always have BETTER news. And trust me their news will always outshine yours.
They are flat-out users. They’re only around when they need you, but when you need them they’re nowhere to be found. It’s all about what you can do for them. Whenever you need someone to confide in or a shoulder to cry on, somehow the conversation shifts right back to them. It’s ALWAYS about them.
They’re always negative or trying to tell you why something (idea, goal, etc.) will not work instead of trying to help you figure out how to make it work.
So how do you know it’s time to say goodbye?
For me, I knew when I was experiencing constant arguments, often the same arguments, over and over. When the misunderstandings and emotional stress never goes away, they tend to be the emotional equivalent of a cancerous growth. If your friendship is destructive to your own self-worth and well being it’s time to let it go. Especially, if the negative outweighs the positive.
For most of us, it’s hard to accept that a friendship has run it’s course. Hopefully, this article has helped you to recognize when that time has come.