When is it Time to ‘Unfriend’ in the Real World?

Unfriend (v.): To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook

We all know that friendships can be lumpy, bumpy affairs from time to time. We also know that they can be amazing and rewarding. Naturally, we’re all prepared to endure some pain with our pleasure and most of us are willing to work through normal healthy friendship differences and issues. The people stuff. After all, each of us have our moments and we’re all pains in the butt at times. Naturally, we’re not expecting the perfect, problem-less friendship but when is it time to say, thanks but no thanks? When do we acknowledge that we’re trying to breathe life into something that’s not worth resuscitating? When do we accept that a particular friendship is not a good investment of our time or energy? And, most importantly, when do we recognise that a friendship might be sitting somewhere on the scale between unhealthy and dangerous?

Well, I’m no professional friend-ologist but here are my thoughts.

Maybe it’s Time to Pull the Friendship Plug When:

  • It feels more like a competition than a friendship

  • It tends to be one-sided a great deal of the time

  • You often feel like you’re in a lecture, not a conversation

  • You leave every encounter feeling mentally exhausted

  • Your friend uses you as their emotional dumping ground

  • You friend behaves like a creepy stalker, not a friend.

  • The friendship produces more anxiety than joy

  • The friendship is not built on mutual trust and respect

  • Your friend makes regular unwanted romantic advances

  • You are subjected to a level of coercion, manipulation or emotional blackmail

  • You are regularly given feedback, judgment and/or advice that you haven’t sought

The Unfriendly Friend

I’m often amazed at the kind of behaviour (treatment) that some people will tolerate from their alleged friends. Personally, I’ve always been of the opinion that if someone treats me like crap on a regular basis, they’re not my friend. On Planet Craig, genuine friendship has nothing to do with the label and everything to do with the behaviour. But then, I’m just a simple male. My not-very-complicated-or-scientific friendship criterion is based on one simple question:

“Is my life better with this person in it?”

If the answer is ‘yes’, then I’m in.

If not, not.