Friendships can bring a lot of joy, aid your personal growth and help you live a longer, happier life. But they can also cause you pain.
So, how do you know when a lifetime of friendship is causing you more harm than good? Here, three therapists weigh in on some signs it may be time to cut ties.
1. One-Sided Relationships
A healthy relationship requires a balance of effort, energy, communication, and emotional support. Having one person doing more than the other isn’t healthy, and it can lead to problems in the long run.
The good news is that there are many ways to tell if you’re in a one-sided relationship. Some of these signs include:
When you have to be flexible with your schedule or wait until your partner is available before rescheduling an activity, this can be an indicator that they’re putting you on the backburner. This imbalance can be hard to fix, and you may need the help of a therapist to make sure that your needs are being met.
Another sign that you’re in a one-sided friendship is when they consistently get their way without making you feel equally valued. This can happen if they’re always making decisions about your relationship, or they’re the only ones deciding on big things like where you should go on vacation or how you spend your money.
If your partner doesn’t give you the time and attention you deserve, it can be incredibly frustrating. This can lead to feelings of insecurity, and you could even start to question whether this is truly a relationship worth investing your time into.
If you’re feeling like your relationship isn’t bringing out the best in either of you, it may be time to take a step back and rethink your commitment. This can be difficult to do, especially if you’re invested in the relationship, but it’s worth it for your mental and physical health. If your partner isn’t willing to work on a more balanced relationship, you may want to consider ending the relationship and moving on.
2. Lack of Balance
One of the reasons that friendships may not work out is that there is a lack of balance between the two parties involved. When you feel like you are chasing someone for their time but not getting much in return, it can be extremely frustrating and demoralizing. It can also hurt your self-esteem.
The best way to avoid this is to be consistent with your actions. You need to make it a point to show up when you are supposed to, even when you don’t have as much to offer in return. If you’re not doing this, your friendship will likely never survive.
Another way that people lose balance is by sacrificing too much of themselves for others. Whether it’s in work or relationships, this can leave them feeling exhausted and burned out.
If you’re not sure if this is the case, it might be a good idea to take a moment to assess your life. It can help you see if there are any areas that need more attention and what you can do to improve them.
This can include setting healthier boundaries, taking more time for yourself and avoiding toxic people who are always complaining or whining about their problems. These are all things that will help you maintain a healthy balance in your life and will benefit everyone around you.
In a world that is constantly battling a host of issues — from pandemics to climate change — the need for balance is more important than ever. It’s critical for people to have a sense of peace and security in their own lives, but it’s also crucial for them to work together in the wider world to make it a better place.
3. Inconsistent Friendships
Friendships come in all shapes and sizes — some come and go quickly from our lives, others stick around for a while. Some last a lifetime of friendship, and some bring you a benefit or help you realize something about yourself.
However, some friendships aren’t worth it for a variety of reasons. They may be a drain on your energy or make you feel like a second-class citizen. They may be incompatible with your values and beliefs, or they may even cause you to doubt yourself.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if this friend is serving your best interests, says psychotherapist Sarah Abrams. She suggests easing up on communication for a week or two to get a better idea of whether this friendship is working out.
If your friend consistently takes more than they give, this is a sign that they aren’t giving you what you need. They may be blaming you for their problems or they’re just not a good listener.
You might find that your friend only gets in touch when they have a crisis or need you for something, such as money, transportation, or a favor. They rarely send you messages just to say “hi,” and never text to see how you are.
This is a pretty big red flag that your friend doesn’t care about you or your relationship to the same degree as they do with their other friends. They might not notice if you go out of your way to talk to them or be emotionally available.
These people are also moody, and they often get defensive if you point out their inconsistencies. They don’t have the same priorities in life that you do, and they often treat you with a level of indifference that is incredibly annoying.
4. One-Way Streets
One-way streets are roads with one direction of traffic only. Usually there are a left lane and a center lane, though in some cases there are only two lanes.
The purpose of one-way streets is to speed up vehicle travel. This is a common strategy used by traffic engineers and transportation planners to improve the efficiency of surface street networks. However, this can lead to more roadway injuries and deaths.
In some cities, especially those with large amounts of traffic congestion, one-way street systems can cause serious problems. In particular, they can make it difficult for motorists to find destinations and can also confuse bus riders who are trying to get to their stops in a timely manner.
Another disadvantage of one-way streets is that they don’t encourage drivers to stop, which makes it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the streets. They can also slow down the flow of traffic, which could increase air pollution in the downtown areas.
Some cities have turned one-way streets back to two-way, which has been shown to have a range of economic development, safety, and efficiency benefits. In New Albany, Indiana, for example, repaving and other traffic-related improvements restored streets that had become one-way to a more walkable, business-friendly two-way street network.
A good way to determine whether a street is one-way or two-way is to look for signs that indicate which direction the street goes. For example, a sign that says “One Way” or a sign that reads “Do Not Enter” are excellent indicators of which direction a street is going.
Ultimately, the decision to build or maintain one-way streets is made on a number of factors, such as livability, navigation, safety, and economics. While many cities are choosing to turn one-way streets back to two-way, others are still deciding which roads should be converted.
5. One-Sided Betrayals
There are many factors that go into a lifetime of friendship. The key is to communicate clearly and forgive each other when misunderstandings arise. It takes a lot of work to create and maintain healthy relationships, but the investment can be worth it in the end.
When a friend betrays you, it’s incredibly hurtful and can impact your life in numerous ways. Sometimes, it can even lead to feelings of anger and retaliation. If this happens, it can disrupt your healing process and make the situation worse.
Generally, a betrayal is a sign that the friendship has become one-sided and not healthy for both parties. This can occur in a variety of ways, but it usually stems from a lack of trust between the friends or insufficient communication skills.
The most common way that a betrayal occurs is when a close friend drops their friendship for a new romantic relationship. This can be difficult for many people to deal with and may leave the other person feeling resentful and disappointed in the friendship.
Another common betrayal is when a friend shares private information about their relationship with another person, or talks negatively about their partner to a third party. These situations can be incredibly damaging to the relationship and have a negative effect on the relationship party’s self-esteem and self-worth.
If you find yourself struggling with a betrayal, it is important to take some time to step back and analyze the situation. A good therapist can help you understand what has happened and how to move forward. You can also try to avoid letting the situation take over your life by separating yourself from the relationship.