Finally Giving Up on Friendships That Suck

Posted September 26, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Don’t lie, you have one (or a bunch) of those friends….friends you rarely call, friends who, when they call you, you avoid their call until it’s so rude not to return their call that you finally acquiesce to having coffee or drinks. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I still hang out with her?” It’s human nature — and more likely female nature — to want to see the best in people, and we want to believe that friendships that were once valuable can be valuable again.

But the truth is, this friend…the one you avoid most of the time…is probably not valuable in your life. You’re likely in a friendship that sucks. And as much as you fight against it, you should seriously consider dropping this friend and moving on to bigger and better opportunities for valuable friends in your life.

How to know when a friendship is over (or shouldn’t begin, if it’s a new relationship):

  • You never get past the niceties of life. Sure, you can talk to people about the weather, the traffic, TV, and movies. But eventually, a friendship has to become deeper. It takes time. But if after a few months of friendship, you’re still not talking problems at work, relationships, and real issues in your life, the person isn’t your friend. They’re an acquaintance. And that’s okay. Keep them in your network, but don’t rely on them for your emotional needs.
  • You never answer the phone when they call…purposefully. If you’re not excited to hear their voice, they’re not your friend. Simple as that. If you’re in line at the grocery store, it doesn’t count. But if you’re watching TV on your couch and choose not to answer the phone, let the person go.
  • The relationship is one-sided. If you’re getting together for drinks and you spend two hours listening to your friend talk about her boyfriend or her job, and she never asks you how you’re doing, this person is not your friend. Let them go.

If you’re in a friendship that sucks, you’re getting no value from that friendship. Be honest with yourself about who deserves your time, your opinions, and your effort. But if the friendship sucks, nip it in the bud.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."