When to Break Up with Your Best Friend Forever. ~ Christine Hayes

Via elephant journal
on May 18, 2012
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A Make-or-Break BFF Checklist.

The phone rings. “Aren’t you going to answer that?”

“Umm, no. I’ll call her back later!

This friendship clearly isn’t working. In fact it has been failing for quite some time. Years maybe. So where do you go from here?

When a friendship has to end, however heartbreaking, it is achievable. As long as there has been no big betrayal it can even end amicably. You deal with the pain, wish each other well and move on with your lives.

But we don’t have these guidelines to follow when we know we need to break up with our friends. We don’t sit each other down and say we need to talk.

So we continue on with the friendship, try to ignore the cracks or just try to ignore each other.

Here are some reasons why you carry on the friendship:

1. You are a loyal person and you don’t turn your back on a friend. She depends on you and you want to be there for her to help her when she has a problem.

2. You have been friends for years. All your sweet and bitter childhood and teenage memories revolve around her. You were both inseparable and always thought you’d be friends forever.

3. There’s no escape! You’re in the same class, work together or have all the same mutual friends (the ones you don’t want to lose).

4. Nobody is perfect. You know she has her faults but she’s not a bad person. You have your faults too and you want people to still accept you despite them. So shouldn’t you just accept her the way she is?

And the reasons you know it has to end?

1. You feel like you can’t share happy news with your friend. This always comes down to jealousy and you should be aware of the subtle resentment in their cold or uncaring reply. Your good news and success makes your true friends genuinely happy for you.

2. You feel on edge when you are with herYou have to watch what you say and you feel you can no longer be yourself in their company. In yoga we call this blocked energy and it is literally bad for your health. When you leave this persons company you feel relieved. Your energy flows again and you feel calmer and happier.

3. When you confide in her or tell her your problems you get a strange sense of her taking pleasure in them. For example you break up with your boyfriend and instead of finding a shoulder to cry on you get a gloating I told you so response.

4. She speaks about mutual friends behind their backs. Whether it’s just plain gossip or nasty comments, if she does this, be assured she speaks about you in the same way when you’re not around.

5. She puts you down in front of others. The first thing you want to do is fight fire with fire. She has bruised your ego in front of other people and now you want to cut her down too. But remember when this happens she is the one reflecting badly not you. Other people don’t appreciate her catty comments.


Keep your cool. This doesn’t mean you let her walk all over you either. Question her about the comment she made when you are in private together and make it clear this type of behaviour is not okay with you.

So you’ve ticked all five boxes and know it’s time to kick her to the curb! But how? It’s hard but can, and sometimes has to be, done. If you have negative people in your life they are going to bring you down—because they are deeply unhappy.

Don’t get caught up in their negativity or eventually you too will end up being just like them. I’ve learned this over and over again. Now I choose my own company more and more over spending time with people that don’t make me feel happy or comfortable. As much as possible, surround yourself with people who inspire you, comfort you, don’t judge you and make you laugh.

Be yourself.

And be happy.


Editor: Jennifer Cusano

Christine Hayes is an Irish girl living in South Korea. She teaches English at an all boys Middle School where she has been unpleasantly surprised to realise that ten years on she is still the smallest person in a Grade 3 classroom. One day as she cycled home from work a motorist blew their horn at her for cycling through a red light. She had a vision of jumping up on their bonnet and smashing in their windshield for having the audacity to suggest, through their horn blowing, that she was a hazard to other road users. That’s when she decided yoga might be a good idea. It was, she no longer has a strong urge to vandalise vehicles and is currently training to be a yoga teacher.



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11 Responses to “When to Break Up with Your Best Friend Forever. ~ Christine Hayes”

  1. Great piece Christine. Really resonates.

    I've shared it on EJ FB page:

    Jeannie Page

  2. mary hayes says:

    Very good Christine, and so true to live in many ways.

  3. Christine says:

    Thank you both for the positive feedback 🙂

  4. A. Lostfriend says:

    Christine – I'm going through a HORRIBLE "divorce" with my best friend and nobody seems to understand the feelings of mourning I get over this. We have been friends for 28 years – we are 38 now. It is a situation that I honestly cannot understand what happened. When I have tried to talk to her about it, she just pulls a "I've been really busy" and then when I did finally get to sit down with her – she brought me a beautiful necklace that I have been eyeing in magazines (she knows me that well – I didn't tell her, she just knows me) It was like she was wanting to buy me off. I think she knew I was going to discuss issues with her and after she gave me that , I was the sucker again taking it as a peace offering. I am in turmoil over this and just don't know what to do.

  5. Christine says:

    A. Lostfriend – I'm sorry to hear about your turmoil over the breakdown in the relationship with your friend. Childhood friends are certainly the hardest to let go of but if this person is causing you turmoil you have to decide do they deserve your friendship. It seems you have already tried discussing these problems with your friend but she is not (yet) open to listening. I think it would be good to distance yourself from this person for a while. Clear your head, spend more time with other friends or family. Or even better; start a new activity where you will meet new people and make new friends with similar interests. I always believe when you can step away from the problem the solution becomes more clear to you. Whatever you decide to do I hope for a positive outcome to you because you deserve happiness and happy relationships.

  6. Melanie says:

    My best friend of 24 years recently, and cowardly, ended our friendship. She sent me a letter. That was it, a three page letter filled with a range of emotions. The biggest feeling I got from the letter was resentment. This feeling must have seethed within her for years. I look back and realize how optimistically blind I was to her passive aggressiveness and I am glad that the friendship came to an end. My first thought I had, after absorbing her words a little, “Hmmm no more self-help sessions with _______.” I then felt relief. I’ve had a difficult time forgetting, but the forgiving came right away. Anyways, I just wanted to say that more people should do this. I wish this friendship had ended years ago. I really loved her, but the feeling was definitely not mutual.

  7. Rebecca says:

    What timing! I am thinking about "breaking up" and the signs are all there. A new friend hung out with us and simply said "exhausting" afterwards. It's sad, but it's time. Sometimes you outgrow, or ungrow- I find she often holds me to the same person I was when I was 15. Almost 40 and have grown a lot. She won't let me.

  8. Nikki A says:

    I too had to “breakup” with my high school best friend. It was really strange to be in that place but the situation became apathetic and was best left alone as the friendship faded rather than hold any resentment. I felt relieved in some ways as I’m sure she did as well.

  9. almudenanido says:

    I found it was time to break up with a friend when good things started to happen to me and she gave me the cold shoulder and started with a series of catty comments that made me feel like I owned her big time just for her being my friend. That made me rethink everything and discover she only wanted to be with me as long as she felt superior. Not a nice feeling to realise that she made me feel vulnerable and useless and that the moment I started having nice things happening in my life (a new job, travelling abroad) she deserted me and even unfriended me on facebook. Now I canfinally say it's her loss not mine!

  10. Shalini says:

    After coming across the title of this article, I couldn't help but click on it right away. So, there are certain signs but not all of them. The thing is that I have a BFF with whom I use to hang out/talk/share most of the things 24×7. I always considered her to be my pillar of strength, my shoulder to cry on and I, too, have extended my love and support in the same way. But its been almost a year now since the things are not really great between us. First of all, I was single before so I was able to dedicate my time to her but I have a boyfriend now and that is why I am just unable to dedicate the same amount of time to her. Also with a new job came more responsibilities and I got busy with all the work in office. So, I hardly get time to talk to her now. But I make sure that we meet at least twice a month to catch up on all the things that are going on in our lives. But her behaviour seems negative these days. She keep comparing herself with my boyfriend, will always show me his negative traits only, will talk against him whenever I tell her that I had a fight with him. Honestly, I don't think so my boyfriend is that bad. No, I am not taking his side, but trust me I know the traits of a good human being and and he loves me a lot. But whenever we meet, the three of us, she'll always walk along with him which irks me sometimes. On valentine's day I showed her the video I was making for my boyfriend and she without actually watching it called it ridiculous and stupid. I got really hurt but didn't say anything considering she was in a bad mood and is single. But she throw tantrums at me more than I do at my boyfriend.
    I am confused as to is she behaving like this because she wants my attention or is she simply jealous of me. I have stopped sharing my personal details with her now.