Thursday, June 25, 2015

How to Gently Cut Off Bad Friends

No one should tell you the kind of friends to keep. As a mature individual, I’d expect that you already know what’s good for you and what’s not. But the thing is patterns in relationships and friendships, detrimental as they may be can be very dangerous, and often lead to the same mistakes recurring simply because you have the proclivity to choose certain kinds of people as your buddies. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with inclination; some people come into your life, and are just so awesome, you wonder how you’ve been living without them all these years until their true colours start to show, and it starts to dawn on you that you’ve made an error in judgment.

Cutting people out of your life is not always easy because some people are always in your face. No matter how hard you try to let go of them, they stick to you like glue, and you often find yourself in the name of diplomacy enduring the friendship much more than you are enjoying it. These kinds of friends are the gossips, story-fillers, unnecessarily aggressive know-it-alls, and the ones who are always making you second-guess your decisions. Cutting them off is usually never easy because they know so much about you, you’re probably worried they’ll tear down your reputation should things get ugly. Here are a few tips to gently letting go of bad friends:

Reduce communication.  This is the first step to cutting off a friend that has become a thorn in your flesh. Many people make the mistake of cutting off all communication, immediately alerting their ‘friend’ they might be displeased, which in turn leads to discussions in circles that eventually cause them to mend their friendship in spite of the unhappiness that comes with it. To reduce communication means to check on them once in a blue moon, and give formidable excuses as to why you just can’t hang out. Work, school or a project eluding you is always a good place to start.

Be Polite. Chances are you will bump into the friend you are trying to cut off at some point, or you will be invited to come over. The key thing here is to be polite. Give hugs, smile, pay a compliment, refer to how stressed out you are, talk about plans you’ve already made, and let them understand how sad you are that you can’t honor their invitation.

Don’t gossip about them: Seal your lips with glue if you must! The fact that you are trying to cut a bad friend off doesn’t mean you have to start spreading stories about him/her, even within your circle of friends. The reason is that gossip will eventually turn the tables on you, causing you to be the one in the dog box trying to make things right.

Make new friends. Best way to get rid of the old? Come with something new! People underestimate the ability of new relations to break old vicious cycles. New friends can make the process easier. In essence new friends or friend can occupy the space your bad friend once occupied hence completing the removal process. Advice: Don’t gossip to your new friend about your old friend. If you begin the foundation of a new friendship with gossip and tales of others, that friendship will dry out when there’s no more gossip. Begin new friendships with people who are the opposite of your old friend- people who are driven, strong and uplifting. In such company, there is no need to tear anyone down, even if that person deserves it.

Ending a detrimental friendship as gently as possible can actually turn out to be a long process, but the longer it is, the more amicable the separation will be. Not everything has to end with a fight. XOXO

1 comment:

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