I’ve droned on a lot on this blog about how important I find it to have good friends. By good friends, I mean friends you actually like and want to spend time with. Friends that make you feel supported and happy but you know you can rely on for the truth when you need it (that dress makes you look like roadkill, burn it. etc etc). It’s also good to have friends you miss when you don’t see them for ages. Missing people is important. You know like, “OH MY GOD I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN SO LONG HAS YOUR HAIR GROWN HALF AN INCH?”
It sounds obvious that you would of course have friends like this, but actually, it seems pretty normal for people to keep company with so called friends who they actually don’t like. I know people do it, because I see it all the time. I hear it from people who moan and say things like ‘well she’s my friend but I actually can’t stand her.’ Errrr….sorry? ‘Friend’ and ‘can’t stand her’ don’t belong together. My most shared post is about this, so I guess people relate.
You know when a friendship has gone bad. You just do. The prospect of seeing someone makes you feel anxious, unexcited and probably bloody miserable. You probably also put it off to the point you’ve moved onto medieval ailments and who’s likely to believe you have scurvy? You can’t be bothered, you have nothing to say and you worry about what they’ll think about your clothes or hair or that you have nothing impressive enough to tell them. You also suspect they want to see you partly to brag and make you feel a bit crappy.
In my friend culling experience, there are signs that tell you exactly when to pull the plug.
1) You feel anxious before you meet up. Why? Because they make you feel shit and you feel the need to impress when all you should be doing is eating too many carbs and laughing about that time you tripped over a dog and cut both knees. (That happened to me). You worry about them not messaging you, when actually you have nothing to say anyway. You probably also worry they’ll go away and talk about you after.
2) You don’t want to be alone with them. If you can’t happily lounge on a sofa with a friend one on one and at least fill half hour, why are you bothering?
3) Silence is concerning. You absolutely think OMG THEY DEFINITELY HATE ME. THEY ARE TELLING EVERYONE I AM AWFUL. Bet you have friends who you also don’t speak to for weeks but never worry about it? Yep. That’s a good friend.
4) You would definitely rather they weren’t joining in. Maybe you’re now only friends with them because other friends like them. I’ve been in situations where hearing a ‘friend’ is joining a social event has made me feel disheartened. You know that sort of heart sinking bitter disappointment you get from hearing a piece of news? A bit like when the milkshake machine is broken in McDonalds.
5) You just DON’T like them anymore.
It took me too long to realise the above mean a friendship isn’t working out. Working it out meant a happier but smaller friendship group and a happier me.