When is it OK to cut someone out of my life? I realized that my friend isn’t a good friend to me. She’s manipulative and I realized that she’s been talking behind my back a lot. What should I do? -Friend without Benefits
Dear Friend without Benefits,
I know this sounds weird, but I lost a lot of friends in the past year and I’m proud of it. Marie Kondo, my literal spirit guide, has revolutionized my life. Her KonMari method declutters a person’s home under the principle that you should only own items that spark joy within your life.
Despite the fact that the KonMari method relates to physical items, I find myself using it for other aspects in my life. Whenever I have questions about who I should follow on social media, what shows I should watch or even what friends I should keep I ask myself, “Does this spark joy for me?”
I know it’s dehumanizing to think of a friend as something as bare as someone to spark joy for you. But it’s so important that your relationships make you happy within your daily life.
It’s important to note that friends are meant to add happiness to your life. This is different than making your friends responsible for your happiness. Your friend isn’t responsible for keeping you happy, but they shouldn’t constantly keep you upset either. By the description of your friend, it’s obvious that she makes you more miserable than happy. Life is way too short to spend it with people that you no longer like. It’s obvious that it’s time to end the friendship.
The question is: How do you leave a friendship? You can either directly confront your friend, ghost them or slowly phase out your friendship. I personally believe that you should directly confront your friend but I’ll go through the pros and cons of each option.
Slowly phasing out the friendship is a long, troublesome road. I don’t recommend this method because you still have to be friends with this girl for awhile. Not only is this unhealthy way to spend your time, but it’s also a counterproductive way to cut your friend out of your life. Ideally, you only stay at college for four years. Do you really want to spend one of them with a girl you can’t stand?
Ghosting someone is desirable because it’s an easy way out. It’s easy to ignore someone on a college campus because it’s so big. But you can’t avoid someone forever. I guarantee that you’ll see this girl around school and it’ll lead to a mini heart attack. It also is an option that lacks any sort of closure. You leave yourself and your friend without the chance to say goodbye to a relationship that meant something once upon a time. If you think that you owe it to your friend to say goodbye, you probably should.
This leads to my preferred method of ending a relationship — confronting your friend. I can’t tell you exactly what to say when you say goodbye to your friend. You have to make that choice yourself. But I know that you have to be honest and stand your ground. Don’t work toward a friendship that you don’t want to have. Don’t try to win the argument either. The thing about manipulators is that they know how to dodge blame. I can’t tell you how many times that I left an argument and realized that I took the blame for everything when I did nothing wrong.
Plan to get the weight off your chest and say your piece. Sometimes living a better life is a better victory than winning an argument. Good luck Friend without Benefits, I believe in you.
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