Break up with your friends? –The Red Twins

Question: How do I tell a friend that I think we should stop being friends because it’s a one-sided friendship that they only use when convenient?

First and foremost, I would like to applaud you for understanding that you deserve more than a friend who is using you when convenient. You’re right, true friends give, take, and laugh at you when you fall flat on your face. If the person is only taking the benefits, then s/he isn’t a friend at all. As Euripides said, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not happiness.”

We’re glad that you want to express your displeasure because  communication is extremely important and is the fundamental basis of every friendship. Whether it’s communicating about ho you bombed that math test or about how you’re feeling after a breakup, our friendships revolve around the art of expressing our thoughts and emotions to one another. Now, how you come to express those feelings is the tricky part. You can’t just go up to this person and say, “Hey _____, we’re over. And it’s you, not me.” I know you were being honest when you submitted this question (and I’m thankful for that) but when you approach this friend, be less blunt. Even though this person is not the greatest of friends, s/he still has emotions.

Because this is a very personal and touchy subject, try to have this be a private one-on-one conversation. Before you dive in about how this person has not been doing her/his part as a friend, you may want to give her/him a heads up that the conversation is about your relationship. First, tell this person what you like about her/him. You wanted to be friends with this person at some point in your life, so now would be the perfect time to express what qualities and traits drew you to your friend. Maybe you don’t have to completely burn your friendship to the ground, and starting positive would be a good way to let her/him know that you don’t hate her/him (we’re also buttering them up before the bad news).

Okay, now to the not so pleasant part. I’m going to try to help you but a lot of this part is about perceiving the other person’s reaction. Start slow by talking about how you may be feeling unappreciated or that you wish the person were more supportive of you. If the person is having a negative reaction, don’t bother trying. If the person is responding in a positive manner, then you could try to fix your friendship. Regardless of the person’s response, I personally don’t think explicitly telling her/him that you no longer want to be friends is a good idea. You’ll understand the future of your friendship based on the other person’s reaction.

Best of luck,

The Red Twins

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Categories: Advice, Features, Red Twins Advice


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