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National Best Friends Day: 7 signs that might indicate it is time to reevaluate the friendship

Breaking up with your best friend can be one of the hardest things to do, but it does not have to be a traumatic experience. Remember, it's okay to prioritize your mental health and happiness.

Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: June 08, 2024 16:00 IST
National Best Friends Day 2024
Image Source : FREEPIK Signs to reevaluate the friendship.

National Best Friends Day 2024 is a day dedicated to celebrating the special bond between friends. It is a reminder to cherish and appreciate the people who have been there for us through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad.

Having a best friend is not about finding the perfect person, but more about creating a perfect connection, the one who will always be there for you, no matter what life throws your way. But what happens if your best friend is acting more like a frenemy lately? Maybe it’s time to break up. Breaking up with a best friend can be a difficult and emotional decision. 

Here are some signs that might indicate it's time to evaluate the friendship, and tips on how to approach the situation if you decide to end it.

One-Sided Effort: Do you feel the friendship is one-sided? You might find yourself constantly initiating plans or putting in more effort to maintain the friendship. The dynamic feels unbalanced, lacking mutual interest.  You can see that from their side it’s now fewer texts, calls, or hangouts, and conversations might feel forced or short-lived, with less effort to maintain a connection.

Lack of interest: Do you think that your friends are showing interest in your life as before? Your friend might not seem interested in your life updates, achievements, or struggles. They don’t seem much engaged in the conversation. There's a decreased sense of reciprocity and enthusiasm for sharing experiences. You might feel a lack of ease and comfort in their presence.

Energy Draining: Do you feel exhausted after spending time with your friends? Unlike earlier days, now you feel emotionally drained after meeting or talking to your friend. It is not as exciting and recharging as before. You get easily bored or tired and exhausted after spending time with them. 

Resentment or negativity: Do your friends bring a negative energy into your life? Sometimes the friendship feels more competitive than supportive. Passive aggressive behaviours like sarcastic comments, backhanded compliments, and occasional silent treatments seem common. You might see a pattern in them of dismissing your concerns or experiences with phrases like "You're overreacting" or "It's not a big deal" and making you feel bad about yourself. 

They're all about themselves: Do your friends only talk about themselves and their problems and have no time for you? They don’t have time for hearing out your problems and they are unavailable when you need them in your hard time. You might feel like you can't confide in your friends or that they don't truly understand your perspective. There's a lack of emotional intimacy and vulnerability.

They bring you down: Do your friends make fun of you, criticize you, or put you down in front of others? Your friends might constantly criticize you, make you feel bad about yourself, or pressure you into doing things you're uncomfortable with. Focusing on your flaws or mistakes without offering support fosters insecurity and defensiveness. When you can’t feel vulnerable with your friends, then it is not a sign of True friendship.

Your gut feeling: Do you feel something is off in your friendship? Don’t ignore your gut feeling. Often, your intuition can tell you a lot. If you have a nagging feeling that something is off with your friendships, it's probably worth listening to.

Tips to navigate through such a situation:

When we spoke to Mansi Poddar, a Trauma-informed psychotherapist, she said, "Healthy friendship is always a two-way street where both people feel heard and valued. Ending a friendship, especially a long-standing one, can be difficult. But sometimes, it's the healthiest choice for you."

Reflect on the friendship: Take time to reflect on what went wrong in the friendship. It can help you learn and grow from the experience, so you can avoid making similar mistakes in the future. Reflect on the friendship from an outsider’s point of view to avoid bias or judgment. It will give you clarity and a better self-assessment.

Honest conversation (if comfortable): Always remember, the conversation is the key. If you feel comfortable, you can have an open conversation with your friend. Express your feelings and explain why you need to step back from the friendship.

Reduce contact: If efforts haven't been reciprocated, it might be time to move on. You might take two approaches.

Clean break (rare): This might be necessary in cases of extreme negativity or toxicity. It involves cutting off all contact. Set a firm boundary and don’t allow them to drain your energy anymore.

Gradual fade-out: This involves slowly decreasing communication and initiating fewer hangouts. It can be a gentler approach, especially for long friendships. Stop checking their social media profiles. 

Prioritise Self-Care: Friendship hurts and the pain is real. You need to give yourself time and grace.

Allow yourself to grieve: First, acknowledge your emotions. Bottling up emotions can hinder healing. It's normal to feel sad or lonely after ending a friendship. Let yourself cry. Allow yourself time and space to mourn the end of your friendship and process your emotions. Practice journaling to express your thoughts and emotions more healthily.

Focus on your well-being: Ending a friendship can be emotionally draining. Forgive your friend and yourself. Don’t dwell on overthinking and self-criticizing thoughts. Be gentle to yourself. Accept, forgive and move on.  Focus on activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Try to maintain a healthy routine. Engage in hobbies you enjoy or explore new interests. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members who can listen without judgement and offer comfort. 

Embrace new connections: Ending a friendship opens doors for new, positive connections. Friendship breakups can leave you feeling numb and you might lose interest in making new friendships. Remember, not every friendship will end in disappointment and heartbreak. Try to remain open to new possibilities. Put yourself out there and explore new social circles. 

Practice gratitude: This will help to bring a positive outlook to your present life. Focus on the friendships you still have, appreciate them, and see the values they are adding to your life. Practising gratitude journals will give you the space to shift your mindset from loss to appreciation.

ALSO READ: Happy National Best Friends Day 2024: Wishes, images, quotes, WhatsApp status to share with your bffs

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