NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Friendships?

As I've discussed in a prior article, Friendships: Emotional Support From Your Family of Choice, close friendships are usually an important source of emotional support.  Longstanding friendships add to the quality of your life and you add to the quality of theirs. But sometimes it's necessary to let go of toxic people in your life who are causing you pain, so it's necessary, at times, to reevaluate your friendships (see my article: Letting Go of an Unhealthy Friendship and Do You Feel Overwhelmed By Your Friend's Problems?).

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Friendships?

Reevaluating Your Friendships:
  • Your friend, who is narcissistic, tends to focus almost exclusively on herself when you're together, but when you need support, she's "too busy."
  • Your friend engages in a monologue about herself and doesn't even ask you how you're doing.  You're just there to witness how "wonderful" she is.
  • Your friend has been gossiping about you behind your back, including revealing very personal things you confided in him (see my article: Coping With a Close Friend's Betrayal).
  • Your friend has been flirting a lot with your wife.
  • Your friend tends to put you down and humiliate you in front of others as a way to make herself look superior.
  • Your friend criticizes you a lot.
  • Your friend tells you you're "too sensitive" after you tell her that she hurt your feelings.
  • Your friend is more interested in what you can do for him than he is in you.
  • Your friend keeps borrowing money from you and not paying you back, even when she has the money to pay back.
  • Your friend cancels plans with you when someone else asks her to do something else.
  • Your friend always needs to be the center of attention when you're with a group of people, and this ruins the evening for everyone.
  • Your friend tends to sulk if she doesn't get her way in every situation.
  • Your friend lacks empathy for you about problems that you're having.  She tells you to "get over it."
  • Your friend is easily offended, so you have to "walk on eggshells" with her.
  • Your friend is so self centered that you feel alone when you're with her.
  • Your friend likes to "one up" you when you and he are around other people.
  • Your friend keeps giving you "advice" about how to "improve" yourself, even though you've told her that you don't need advice (see my articles: When to Give Advice and When to Just Listen and Friendships: Losing a Friend After Giving Advice).

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Friendships?

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Friendships?

I'm sure there are dozens more examples of things a so-called friend can do that would make you question whether or not you want this person to remain in your life.

Friends Growing Apart:
Aside from the problematic behavior that I've outlined above, sometimes friends grow apart.

The two of you might have been close at an earlier stage in your life, but you might have each gone in different directions.  This isn't anybody's fault.  It just is.

It might not be a matter of letting go of this friendship completely, but more a matter of recognizing that you're not going to be as close as you were.

For instance, it might be fun to see each other periodically to reminisce about your high school days but, other than that, you no longer have anything in common.

Challenges in Letting Go of a Friendship:
Many people find it difficult to let go of a friendship, even when they recognize that the friendship is unhealthy for them.

Sometimes it's difficult to let go of someone who has shared an important part of your life, especially if this person has been a childhood friend.

You might want to keep giving your friend "one more chance" to see if the friendship can be salvage, but as Maya Angelou once said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

Then, again, your own sense of self worth might be so low that you might not feel you deserve to be treated any better.  Often this is an unconscious feeling.

You might also be at a point in your life where you feel emotionally vulnerable and you don't have it in you to end a friendship.  But you'll need to weigh whether keeping this person in your life will make you feel better or worse.

Getting Help in Therapy
Letting go of people in your life isn't easy.

If you allow people to remain in your life who are hurting you, you might need to help to understand the underlying reasons for this so you can take better care of yourself.

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to learn if there are unconscious reasons related to an earlier time in your life as to why you can't let go of someone who is hurting you.

Rather than struggling alone with this problem, you could benefit from working with a licensed therapist who has experience helping clients to work through these types of issues.

About Me
I'm a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.