There are people who hold on to their friendships out of loyalty to the history. The thought process goes something like: “I really don’t know what we have in common anymore, but we’ve been friends for 10 years. I can’t just end the friendship.”
Actually: yes, you can. The beautiful gift of choosing your friends means that you get to choose people who only add positively to your life.
I recently ended a friendship with someone I was drifting away from for many years. We also lived on opposite ends of the country–sometimes in different countries–but we still tried our best to have a friendship.
Somewhere along the way I realized that I really didn’t feel good whenever we would talk on the phone. The conversations felt empty and obligatory. If I wanted to find out more information, it would be a game of 21 questions, whereas I am very vocal about what goes on in my life.
But I kept hanging on to the friendship because I figured that at some point in the future, things would change.
Then, one day, I was an hour late to a phone conversation we had planned. I was studying for school and just completely lost track of time. I looked at my phone and saw text messages asking if I’m ready to chat and a message saying if I’m busy it’s not a problem and we can reschedule.
Well, when I wrote back to apologize and reschedule, I was met with silence. One day passed by. I tried messaging again. Nothing. Another day passed by. On the third day, I decided that this was the confirmation I needed to finally let go of this person.
This person, who was so scared of conflict, so scared to learn how to communicate uncomfortable feelings, was much more comfortable ignoring a good friend than saying: “Hey, you know what, I actually need some time to process what I’m feeling about this.”
And when I expressed that I no longer wish to continue the friendship, that’s when I got a response. And that response was what I needed to read to know that many years of friendship doesn’t earn loyalty; how we treat each other in those years of friendship is what earns loyalty.
The beauty of having friends is that we get to choose them, we get to decide who will be in our life. We get to choose our team. I value transparency and communicating and feeling good. I prefer depth and meaning. If anything in life no longer serves us, it is absolutely the right time to let it go.
We are here to experience joy; we are here to live a life that makes us feel good. Anything that takes away from that is meant to be given back to the universe.