Why It's Okay To Walk Away From Friendships That Don’t Work

by Duval Culpepper

You’re sitting around at the same old bar, having the same old drink with the same old people you’ve been hanging out with since college. They’re old friends—funny, loyal, and familiar. You also kind of hate being with them. It’s not their fault, necessarily, and it isn’t necessarily an indictment against their character. Still, you can’t help but shake this gnawing feeling in your gut that says, “I’m over this.” And that’s okay.

Take author Matthew Kelly’s words from his book The Rhythm of Life, “The people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards. They either help us to become the-best-version-of-ourselves, or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.”  

Now, it’s obviously not that easy to just drop your old pal, because you think he or she isn’t making you the best version of yourself. Before biting your lip through any more sourness, consider these thoughts:

Seek Satisfaction for Yourself

Try not to have an epic meltdown and call out everyone at “the group’s” next dinner party (I’ve done it, and it's a bad move. Sorry, Katie!). Instead, take it upon yourself to seek out situations and people that are more in line with where you are mentally, spiritually, even physically. You can take a break from friendships without ending them, and often, time apart can strengthen these stagnant relationships. Regardless, taking care of yourself in the now is the only way to cleanse your social pallette. 

Also on Z Living: 5 Ways to Break Accomplishment Addiction

Think Different, Not Better

Here's another thing to consider: Distancing yourself from your existing friends doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking for “better” friends. So knock off that crippling fear of arrogance. It simply means you’re looking for different types of things from people and life in general. We often get caught in familiar patterns that, while comforting on many levels, don’t do much in the way of challenging ourselves to evolve.  

Also on Z Living: The First Step to Creating a Life You Love

Time Apart Can Make Old Friendships Stronger

Time apart is actually good for relationships. After you get over being sick of your friends, you might start to miss them. Reconvene in the future and share your new experiences, ideas and perspectives. New is good, for you and for those longtime buddies that you need a break from. 

WATCH on Z Living: Kim’s Rude Awakenings, where Britain’s biggest housekeeping celebrity, Kim Woodburn, attempts to overhaul the rudest, laziest, and messiest families. 

Have your own stories about old friendships? Tell us in the comments. 


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