University can be a great time for students to socialise and make new friends. While this process is incredibly important, it can be just as important to know when it is time to end a friendship. While it can be difficult to end a friendship, doing so can contribute
greatly to your mental health and overall well-being.

Friendships can contribute greatly to your life. As mbg relationships explains, there may come a time when friendships “end up draining us more than they nurture us, cause us significant stress, and have a negative impact on our mental health. With those friendships, it is OK to set boundaries and even OK to call it quits. Staying friends with someone only because there is history or because you feel guilty for leaving them is a recipe for burnout and resentment”. According to Kailee Place, licensed professional counselor, at her private practice, Shifting Tides Therapeutic Solutions, in South Carolina, the common theme in working friendships is having a friend who leaves you feeling supported and cared for. “Occasionally, friendships go sour, and it’s incredibly hard to cut off a friend, but keeping a toxic friend around is draining”, she said.“In the long run, it’s better to cut ties, and find people who appreciate and support you.”

There can be many signs that you should end a friendship. Some reasons for ending friendships can include distance, negativity, toxicity, lying or simply a change in circumstances, verywellmind describes. As Insider explains, it is not always obvious when you should end a friendship. It might be time to end a friendship when the friendship feels like a “transaction”, has become one sided and, “you are holding each other back from getting healthy” or where you cannot count on your friend in times of need. They explain that “good friendships represent an equilibrium of mutual support”. You should also feel like you can be yourself around your friends, explains Insider. If you “feel pulled to change or hide who you are, or you feel ashamed after hanging out with your friend, it may be time to try on other friendships”.

Mbg relationships explains it can also be important to end friendships with people who do not respect your boundaries. In these relationships “[we] end up betraying ourselves by having a friend who continuously violates our boundaries. This can lead us to question our sense of self and cause resentment and frustration—the opposite of what a healthy friendship should do for you”. Feeling drained after spending time with a friend is another sign that you should consider ending that friendship. “Just because you are friends with someone does not mean that they are entitled to your emotional energy”. Mbg relationships also says that someone who is emotionally draining can also leave you feeling anxious, unheard, unsupported or disrespected. “Regardless of the reason, you are allowed to end a friendship with someone who frequently drains you of your emotional energy”.

While it can be very beneficial to end certain friendships, there is no closed list of reasons for why you should decide to do so. According to mbg relationships, ultimately, “how you feel within the friendship is a big indicator that it is time to end the friendship. It’s important to listen to how we feel and to end relationships that are not positively contributing to our personal growth and mental health. It is important to strive for friendships that leave us feeling heard, respected, appreciated, safe, and loved. There is nothing wrong with ending friendships. This is a healthy part of sending boundaries and practicing self-care”.

Image: Cletus Mulaudi

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I’m Kirsten, a law student who loves writing, making spreadsheets and consuming an unhealthy amount of caffeine.
I love writing about student issues and current events.