Monday, August 27, 2012

When Friendships are Over

There comes a time in any relationship when we must ask ourselves if the other person belongs in our lives.  I was inspired to write this by a post on one of my favourite blogs. The topic was “unfriending” people in the real world. It is something that I’ve often struggled with.

People grow and change. Along with the shifts come new perspectives, new ideas, and a deeper and more profound dedication to good character. At some point we will all have a friendship that doesn’t fit.

Let’s look at friendship from the perspective of character. Maintaining good character is not easy. One of the most difficult parts is dealing with others’ bad behaviour.

If you start to feel uncomfortable with someone it is important to look at why. Once you have understood the reason, take a good look at yourself. Sometimes the “bad” we see in other people is about issues inside ourselves.

If you discover that you have some work to do,  take care of it. Explore yourself with openness and acceptance. Let the friendship ride for a while. When you’ve dealt with your issues its time to take a serious look at the other person.

Part of good character is not tolerating bad character form others. I let a close friend go a few years ago. They were always kind and respectful to me, but, their behaviour towards the other people was terrible. As I pulled back I started to receive the same treatment so many others had. It was no longer possible for me to remain in that friendship.

How you handle the “breakup” is a tough question. In the early stages of a friendship,  just let the relationship fade. Once you have a closer bond its best to address your concerns. There is always hope for change.  Be prepared to get shot down. If they resist simply make your point then let things be. Allowing the relationship to end naturally is the best course of action.  If they won’t let go tell them you aren’t willing to have them in your life anymore.

If they are open discuss how you’ve seen the behaviour play out, then be willing to help them work on it. Be open to feedback they may have about your own issues. Work on things together.

Have you ever struggled to let go of a friend. How did it go for you? Were you happy with the result? I’m interested to know why, or why not.

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Check out Craig Harper's inspiring post.

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