Divorcing A Friend (Because Adult Friendships Are Tough AF)
By Sola Onitiri
Maintaining friendships isn't easy - we all know that. But doesn't it seem like we all have friendships that are little more exhausting than others? Gone are the friendship- bracelet making- talking on the phone all night days of junior high. Adult friendships are a whole 'nother ball game. It takes killer communication skills and time management savvy to pull off long-lasting friendships.
Some of you probably read this headline and immediately knew who you wanted to file against. Or maybe some of you wanted to make sure you weren't the ones being served the papers. No matter where you fall in this divide, we can ALL agree that keeping the friends you've happened to make as an adult is an immense balancing act. And some people are better at it than others.
There are a few patterns and actions that make up a bad friend. Granted, a lot of these issues can be discussed in a good meditation session before pulling the plug, but if the person(s) you're thinking of, has all of these qualities it might be time to think about a separation or divorce.
There is literally nothing worse than a Shady Sadie. They're the person in your friend group who is determined to lower the mood by relentlessly, yet so casually, throwing shade at everyone and everything. I mean nothing is off limits for these kinds of "friends". They relish in re-telling embarrassing stories from your past and insulting your intelligence while wielding a false sense of concern. Hiding behind a so-called veil of honesty, this shade thrower, this ego deflator is probably banking on the fact that you won't confront them. You deserve a group of friends that are both positive and uplifting. So if you feel attacked or embarrassed every time you're with this friend, divorce is totally the best option.
Their Problems Are Bigger Than Yours
This phenomenon is also known as the one-sided conversation. And the conversation always starts the same way. You barely get a chance to say hello before they are launching into a long-winded negative story about their day. They stop to ask for advice that they will never implement before launching into the next dramatic topic - all the while they never once asked you about your day or how you were. Now, it's easy to get sidetracked with life, and part of being a good friend is being there for the rant sessions. But if weeks go by and they haven't asked you about your life, it might be time to address this issue. A good friend is more than someone you just talk at. If you talk to them about this and they still continue this behavior, it's a sign of deep-rooted centeredness and it's time for you to bounce.
You Are Their Last Priority
Trying to hack the work-life balance equation is far more complex than we give it credit for. Work is hard enough but let's talk about life. "Life" involves fitness and finances and romance and family and are you dizzy yet because I am. The best way to show someone you care is by taking time out of a whirlwind schedule to catch up or hang out. Even if it's once week for an hour or two - this will go miles in a friendship. But if every time you call that friend for a kiki, they are going here and hanging out there and you don't see them unless you happen to be going to the same place - that's a bad sign. Friends make time for friends. Full stop signed sealed delivered. Even if it's not in person, a simple check-up-text or this made me think of you Instagram mention, is the least a friend can do.
They're Not Honest With You
My best friends help me keep it real. They give me a point of view that helps me make a sound decision, especially when I'm feeling particularly high key (And I have a tendency to be high key). They're the second set of eyes on a situation that I'm too close to call myself. The advice isn't always pretty - hell sometimes it's downright harsh - but it's something that needs to be said so that I can move forward. If your good friends can't keep it real with you, then maybe they're not good friends. And that goes the other way as well. Think about the last bit of advice a good friend gave you. Did they listen to you before giving the advice? Do you feel like it came from a good non-judgey place? In fact, before you answer those questions answer this: Would you go to this person for advice in the first place? If you're shaking your head to any of those questions that's a major red flag.
So What Do you do Now?
Let's get existential for a hot minute. Are you a good friend (gasp! #PlotTwist I know)? Are you expecting friendship that you are not coming anywhere close to giving yourself? Before you determine what to do about the state of your friendships, take time to self-reflect. Make sure you yourself are not falling into any of these bad friend pitfalls before confronting a friend. If you check out, then let's get real about fixing the issues.
I like to think of these points like a checklist. If you have a friend that each of these items describes perfectly then you have a bad friend on your hands and you need to get out of this friendship immediately. If you feel the need to talk with them and explain it for the sake of closure, do so. However, don't feel bad about ghosting this friendship. It may feel terrible at first, but remember you deserve positivity and harmony in your life.
If they are only guilty of one or two things, then it's time for mediation. Sit them down and tell them how you feel. Don't invite a whole bunch of people over brunch and lay into them a la the Real Housewives of your respected city. One on one, sit down and be honest about the state of your friendship, how important it is to you to see it rehabilitated, and how you think it can improve. Granted, this may not go exactly the way you want - it never does. But it shouldn't stop you from trying to salvage a friendship.
Friendships are some of the most meaningful relationships you will have in this lifetime. So work on them, cry about them, and above all, cherish them.