Maybe we do. Most friendships don’t exist in a vacuum; they’re intertwined with other friendships and relationships. So who gets whom “in the divorce?” Will your breakup divide other friends? Will people take sides? Or can you break up “quietly?”
Should you tell a toxic friend why you are breaking up with them? To this day, I have only broken up with a friend once and she doesn’t understand why. Did I do her an injustice? Jack Welch says if you don’t give people honest feedback and critiques in the workplace you are doing them a disservice because they keep moving along as if they are on a good career path without being told where they need improvement and eventually, one day, they get a serious “kick in the ass.” So should I have told her why she was toxic to me? At least, even if she thought I was completely off base and out of line, she would have another tool with which to evaluate her future friendships.
When is it okay to break up with a friend?
I don’t know the answer. Okay, maybe I know what my tolerance level is or when it would be OK for me but I’m not telling you.
What do I know?
I know that the beauty of aging, if you can find any beauty in aging … NO, there’s no beauty in aging … let’s call it “growing up,” … is the “process.” As you go through the “process” you learn … so that if you had a toxic friend in your past you could file away in the recesses of your mind the qualities you’re sure you don’t find attractive in a friend and do your damn best to avoid them in the future. Eventually then, you find your place, your “home,” with your true friends.
May you find your “home.”
May you embrace the idea that sometimes letting go takes more strength than holding on.
Leslie Adler is a mother, lawyer and “friend-proclaimed humorist.” She blogs at thevuvclub.com.