Friendships are an integral ingredient of happiness, and they often help you feel better—but not always. Some friendships are just bad for you.
Occasionally, you can fall into the trap of hanging onto unhealthy relationships because they’re familiar—even when you’re constantly let down. Worse yet, ‘ambivalent relationships’ can cause you more anxiety than being with people you actively dislike.
It takes two to define a friendship. Relationships are grounded in social exchange, and with unbalanced friendships, the other draws more from the “friendship bank” over time than they care to put into it. If you’ve set clear expectations and boundaries, and the other isn’t consistently sticking to them, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship.
What you get out of your friendships ultimately affects your physical and emotional health. It pays to focus your attention on strengthening healthy relationships and letting go of toxic friendships.
Luckily, most friendships are not too difficult to escape. Downgrade the friendship. Make yourself less accessible. If the relationship isn’t very close, merely drift apart.