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 her. You 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.
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.