By now all of us have had some type of break up with a significant other. It's not hard to see break ups are a part of life when there are love songs about all over the radio about relationships gone wrong, break up therapy books, and movies all catered to the topic.
Today on iVillage.com's message board there was a topic about breaking up with a friend. It asked how many people experienced having to rid of no-good friend from their lives. Has there been a time when you've broken up with a friend? I can think of a few situations I've encountered before that could be labeled "breaking up with a friend."
Breaking up a friend can be as devastating if not more than a romantic relationship. In hindsight many friendships outlast boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and it's hard to cast away memories, jokes, and other unique aspects of your friendship. Also, if you've been friends for awhile you may have met one another's families or feel like you are a part of their family. Betrayal, lack of effort, rudeness and bossiness are key reasons why some chose to break up with their friends. I've had "friends" who labeled themselves friends who were so self-centered and only cared about themselves that I slowly stopped my contact with them. A friendship needs balance and while you may need to lean on one another for support from time to time it cannot be about one person.
Now, if you choose to break up with a friend who is toxic in your life you should tell her exactly what has made you upset or what you think you can't deal with anymore. This decision should only be made after the friend's negative contributions to the relationship outweigh the positive contributions. No one likes to be left in limbo and although you may think it's more punishment to stop talking to her, make her confront her wrongdoings. Breaking up with a friend is not the end all of everything, sometimes you may just need time apart before you can continue with the friendship. Keep in mind there are several consequences to the split such as she may become mad/spiteful, she may play the pity card and make you out to be the bad guy because you broke off the friendship, and it can be extremely difficult when you share mutual friends.
The saying, "friends are like the family you choose" rings very true, so choose your friends wisely but also pick your battles. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, so you need to learn how to work through it if it is worth it. However, if you can't get over someone's actions against you or feel they cause you more harm than comfort it's time to cut the strings. To learn if you have toxic friends in your life read this article on ivillage about 6 types of toxic friends.