Fri(ends)? – Deciding Whether or not to to move on from your Best friend


So what are we?

Now you’ve weighed up the biggest causes for failures and you have a blueprint to resolve your issues, you have an important decision to make.

Whether or not you want to keep this person in your life?

The decision to oust them completely or diminish their significance now falls completely in your hands

Regardless of the act or crime, you should ask yourself the following

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  • How would I feel if that Happened again?
  • Does having this person around benefit my life in the long term?
  • Can I better manage this relationship to avoid this happening again in the future?
  • Is this whole thing worth my time?
  • Is this the type of friendship I want to keep investing in?
  • Is this person holding me back?
  • How often are you having these conversations?
  • Is the situation containable or not?
  • Have you agreed on a resolution going forward?
  • Is this the 3rd or 4th time you are having these types of rows?
  • Is it time to move on?

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This time, I’m not going to go into the details of the questions above, those are very personal things to interpret but I ask that you think about them thoroughly.

This isn’t a decision to make be made lightly and the consequences of them (especially in the short term) can appear fairly drastic. So what I’ll do instead is give you the pros and cons of moving on from a friend way so you know what to expect in the short and long term future.

 

PROS

1. Shhhh, listen, can you hear that? Listen quietly. That is the sweet smell of a ‘dramaless life’

More than often, decisions like this help alleviate any residual stress and also streamline your focus on what’s important. Troublesome Friends can be considered a big distraction from your personal goals and they can eat significantly into your time.

Finally letting go, clears your mind and gives you the opportunity to set your sight on your short medium and long term ambitions.

2. With old friends, you may feel a pressure to act a certain way, perhaps the way you were when you first met (let’s say as kids or teenagers). As you grow older, you may realise you are not that person anymore and you resent having to play that role to meet someone else’s expectations. Making this break means you are now longer burdened with living out that lie and you can be the person you want to be full time.

3. If you’ve been in a friendship that has been completely one sided, taking action can inspire a positive chain reaction in your life and spur you to take action in other areas in your life. Simple acts like this, have helped people get their finances in order, get back to school, focus on work or their hobbies or their real goals. It also helps with dealing with other poor relationships within their workplace. I’ve heard people in this situation use it as a turning point to quit their jobs and ‘find themselves’. It’s amazing how one act can have such an amazing ripple effect.

4. Sometimes people have strong emotional ties to individuals which stop them progressing forward with life. By choosing to put these people with one side, it allows you the option to physically relocate to different parts of the world where people

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CONS

1. At this point, if there is any money owed between you, it’s a good time to pay it back. However if you are owed some cash, you may feel free to try and organise to get it back. You need to be realistic and understand you may not ever see it again. Here you need to prioritise whether it is cost effective to just move on or to keep in hassling this person indefinitely for money you will never see.

2.The comfort of the known, even if it is bad, is still appealing to most people. Moving on can be hard

3. At some stage of your life, this person was kind and you shared many memories with them, of the good or the bad. Those events no matter how you cut it have helped shaped you into the person you are today. It will be difficult to not remember them for how it was in the end but at the very least, take some consolation to reflect on the good times you both had together and hope you can both bring that type of spark into other people’s lives going forward.

4. All the other benefits that come with that individual might go array as well. Including cash flow, base, adventure/drinking/nightout/drug buddy etc.

5. Of course what comes with friends may be access to a further friend circle you’ve adopted over the years. This too may be forfeited in your decision going forward.

6. Remember the sacred handshake of spit you made with your friends where you were seven, that nothing would ever happen between the two of you. Does that no longer mean anything. When the going gets tough the tough gets going. Remember the sacred vow of the three musketeers, Arthos Porthos and Aramis, all for one and one for all. You can’t hit the jump for the exit at the first sign of trouble. For better or worse, this could just be a chapter in your friendship. Remember friendships aren’t always supposed to be easy sailing it’s supposed to be rocky at times but you hang in there because it should get better again right. This is an opportunity to engage in some flight/fight scenario so are you going to fight to keep your relationship you big fucking pussy or are you just gonna give up?

7. People don’t like been giving the boot so get ready for all the information you’ve confided in them to potentially come out. All your dirty laundry might become public knowledge so like I said, just be ready for some sort of backlash, especially if you haven’t been particularly subtle about the whole thing. You may want to use this as an opportunity to share some home truths with your partner and family so they can’t hold you hostage with this info. This is a tough one to gauge but if you’ve seen your friend act this way before, it’s likely it will again.

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Is there another way?

Between the extremes of keeping and cutting resides this small and usually under utilised option.

It’s to ask yourself whether you can manage your friendship under an altered dynamic.

I mentioned this before in my _____ post. To resummarise, this is where my brother had an issue with one of his close friends chatting up his girlfriends when he wasn’t around. While most people would’ve cut ties completely or let it carry on begrudgingly, he decided to retain his friendships is all capacities except for now, he never mixed with his partner and this person at the same time. Infact, he never even disclosed relationships with him ever.

And it worked.

It’s what I would like to call engaging in

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Selective interactions.

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And it’s a very practical approach to have. It’s no different from keeping management and recruiters away from your porn fave list or not having your kids are around when you’re knee deep in gimp costumes. You maintain a certain persona in order to give the relationship some integrity.

So we are capable of doing this in all other forms of life but for some reason when it comes to friends, we adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach. My question is why should this be any different?

Some may argue, I have a persona all day long, I want to be myself around my friends. Well if that is you that’s fine but remember that this is an option so you don’t have to get rid of them altogether. Remember even though you don’t realise it, you’ve probably adopted a certain persona around them if they’ve been getting on your nerves for some time. This is just an opportunity to swap it for a friendlier more productive one.

If the other options seem a lil extreme, this is a much healthier compromise.

Say for existence, if you have an issue with your friend’s behaviour while drinking, simply choose opportunities to meet up where alcohol won’t be involved.

If the don’t get on with your partner, never have them them be around at the same time or make sure there are other friends there so you can keep yourselves separate.

If you find your friend had a habit of telling people your gossip, then don’t disclose anymore personal information to them

Now there is an art to this. You either slip in the change so seamlessly that it’s never picked up on going forward or you can be abrupt with it.

If you choose to be stealthy, the change itself needs to be very subtle to start with and gradually pick up with time.

The only problem here is that your other friend may not appreciate this change. They can find the whole thing quite hurtful and at this point you may be faced with the moral conundrum of whether their immediate emotional state is more important than your wellbeing.

Again, this one is on you to decide.

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There’s 2 people in this relationship

Again, most people will see a friendship in a one way dynamic of ‘what can I get out of my friend or what do they bring to the table’.

A key point you should ask yourself is

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  • What impact do you have on your friend?
  • How do they feel about you?
  • Are you their genuine life line
  • Can they function without you present?

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Yeah, I know it is shit and it feels like you are emotionally blackmailing yourself to stay in something that is currently detrimental but it is something that has to be considered.

I remember talking to a work colleague about some issues I was having with someone.  I mentioned that they didn’t have any positive impact on my life and I was going to cut them out. They turned around and said

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‘‘Yeah but what about the positive impact you have on them?’

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With that, I kept quiet and took the rest of the afternoon to finally see they were right in the end.

Sometimes, the greater good is all that matters. Take your current altruistic viewpoint on friendships and toss that shit outta the window. In the real world, life hurts but you strive on.

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Can I change my Mind?

Also if you initially feel you may have made the wrong decision, you should also have the opportunity to make it up to them. SO whatever you decide, try not to maliciously follow through with it, with no room for renegotiation at a later date. Ease into your decision, take a couple of months to slowly implement it and see how you feel, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year  down the line.

If at those points you are still happy with the decision you made, then all is well.

Also, remember men and ladies react to these situations differently.

I tend to find men are more regretful of their actions in the long term after an initial bout off stubbornness (by this point the damage is already done).

While ladies throw out a harsher initial line which they can regret immediately, however time always tells and if they stick with it, they end up being super duper.

So if you happen to feel one of those ways after acting, then at least you’ll have an inkling why and see that your reaction over time is perfectly normal and will eventually settle (one way or the other)

If you feel like you might be on the receiving side of this, my advice is to have an open and honest conversation with your friend and see if you can come

You can’t force people to have you in their lives and realistically even if you had to, why would you want a relationship based on that

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So there you have it

You’ve now been presented with the blueprint of all your options

You can either cut your friend out and regulate them down the pecking order

Or you can keep them as is in the top spot

Furthermore, you could implement some Selected Interaction criteria to manage your relationship with them better.

The key point as highlighted in the post here is that you still must do SOMETHING. Events with no consequences is a sure fire way to

 

How I cope

It’ all fair and dandy giving all this wonderful advice about this friendship malarkey but some might ask, what the fuck makes me an expert on the whole thing?

The reality is that I’m not, I’m just a regular member of the public, like yourself.

What separates us though is that I have (and am still actively learning) from my past experiences on the subject and just want to share some of the insight of that so far.

Personally, one of the major reasons I started writing was because I’ve lost some of the depth of range of friends I used to have. And no longer have an appropriate audience for my inner musings.

My reasons for the losses you ask, My symptoms are the following

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  • I personally am horrendous in keeping in touch with people
  • the continual global shifting around the world, maintaining long distance relationship which eats all of my free time to work
  • long working hours means I only really get to meet up with people on holidays
  • A preference to holiday abroad, not everyone wants to jet set like I do just to catch up
  • I’m pretty fucking stubborn

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There are some friendhips I should have fought harder for and there are others I could’ve managed in a different capacity but that’s all water under the bridge I suppose.

But I’m writing this to show you really don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

Throughout this whole ordeal no matter how bad you feel about a situation I want to clarify that you ALWAYS HAVE the power to choose the outcome.

So Choose.

 

 

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