Should I Break Up With My Friends?

I'm trying to figure out the right way to cut the negative people out of my life -- even if those people are my friends.
Publish date:
October 27, 2013
friends, breaking up is hard to do, breaking up

Moving back to my hometown put me in contact with many of my friends from high school and college who still live in the area. Naturally, this means we hang out; grabbing dinner and drinks, shopping, and of course, talking about men. Recently the girls and I decided to grab sushi in a centrally located restaurant. The plans choreographed easily enough, until about two hours before meeting up. One girl just had a baby, and so she asked if we could meet later. I was happy to comply, but the rest of the group was not. Between the difference of opinions to meet earlier, later, or rescheduling, by the time we sat down there was so much animosity at the table I was ready to lose it. And it has been that way every since; too much animosity at the table of our friendship.

Friends are people you like to spend time with; when they reciprocate the feeling, that's called a friendship. When it becomes an obligation, it poses a problem, right? And yet we can't always seem to cut the cord. We come up with what we deem as rational excuses to continue a friendship, like mutual friends, work, a husband’s best friend’s girlfriend, or simply longevity. The latter seems to be my excuse. My husband and family tell me that I “need to find friends with common interests, and stop bitching.” Sound advice, and moving on is not only wise, it's inevitable.

Hostile energy is unwelcome in my life, and frankly, it ruins my day. I understand we all have hard times we want to vent about, and that I'm your emotional touchstone, but being in our twenties signifies that our maturity needs to expand beyond the high school “he-said-she-said” drama. Who cares if Betty-Sue made fun of the perm you had in high school, or if Mary-Jane gave you “attitude" today?

My patience is slowing; in fact it's come to a halt. An evening of wining and dining that's become whining and dining and talking about your ex-boyfriend is not my priority anymore. He doesn’t care about being a dick, and he doesn’t care about you. I’m sorry if that sounds mean. Please don’t blame me that I suggested that you sleep with someone else to get over him, and it made you feel worse. My suggestion was just that -- a suggestion, not an obligation. You are a big girl. Instead, let's talk about how you tucked your skirt into your panties at work after using the bathroom, and didn’t notice it until lunch. Let’s talk about a new movie, or a book, hell, a video game.

So how do you actually break up with a friend if it all gets to be too much negativity to handle? Well, there are two options: to have “the talk” or let time run it’s course. For me, letting the friendship dwindle is more plausible; I don’t owe an explanation to anyone who makes me feel bad. I want to be positive in my life, and revel in all that is constructive. We get what we put out, so when we talk about negative things and wallow in them, it is counterproductive. I don’t want that. But is breaking up with a friend putting bad energy into the world, or is it just good common sense to wean myself off?

I think it's good common sense to abolish all that is negative in my life, even if that means letting people go. So I am taking active steps, and I will let things fizzle and run their course. Talking to my “friends” might be the mature thing to do, but I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to fix things, I want to be done. Even though they are not bad people, it does not mean they are the people for me. I have grown, and in that growth I have experienced a different path than theirs, one that I don’t feel relates to their path. I crave an intelligent conversation, some silly talk, and I want to laugh at least 80 percent of the time. Dammit, I’m funny, and I do a lot to make my friends laugh! But I’m tired of being the only comedian, and as I get older, I want someone else to take the reins for once. My time is valuable, and I don’t want to waste it on people with selfish tendencies who don’t have a sense of humor. Make me laugh and stop ruining my day, or get out of my life.