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Friendship: When to Dump and When to Keep

Are you a good friend to others?  Have you ever dumped a friend?  Have you ever been dumped by a friend? Have you ever done something to a friend that you deserved to be dumped over?
Today’s blog was inspired by lots of things. Our neighborhood planned a field trip to the Fire Station for any kids wanting to attend.  My sweet friend Amy emailed me and offered to take Sophia with her and her daughter knowing that I couldn’t go because I had to pick Isabella up from the bus stop. I was so appreciative that I have been blessed with wonderful friends. It got me thinking about all of the special people in my life. 
On the flip side of the coin, we have had a few people email us suggesting that we write a blog about how to end a friendship with someone you just aren’t compatible with. You know those people, the ones that are truly nice people (or not), but you really don’t have much in common with, or you just don’t have much fun hanging out with.

We are excited to have a guest blogger who will answer many of these questions. Dr. Truthbetold will tell people whether they should keep or dump a friend. 

*** Disclaimer, Christa and I are not perfect people and have been guilty of many of these things.  We generally strive to be the best we can be, but sometimes fail. 
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, One of my friends since childhood has moved across the country and we barely speak anymore.  We are friends on Facebook and if we happen to be in the same city, we will get together and have a great time catching up.  Is this friendship worth it?    Long Distance Friend
Dear Long Distance Friend,  If both of you are ok with going long periods of time without talking, but enjoy catching up every few years, than I say, keep the friendship going. You both understand the expectations and if it isn’t broken, why fix it?
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, I have a friend that is a sweet person, but we have nothing in common.  We don’t have the same values and have completely different interests and social circles. She doesn’t love unicorns and I feel that I can’t be friends with someone who would have such poor taste. I feel bad and want to know if I should keep hanging out even though it sometimes seems like a chore.  Unicorns Rock
Dear Unicorns Rock, 
You are facing something that many good people face.  This often happens when people just grow a part.  it sounds like both of you are very nice people, but a friendship is a two way street. If you are not giving her the attention that she deserves (because you feel you have nothing in common) my advice is to politely decline invitations, but continue to be nice. It might hurt her feelings if you are honest and say you have nothing in common, but soon she will seek out other friends who can give her the time and effort she deserves.
Dear Dr. Truthbetold. My kid has a friend in class that he truly adores.  We make play dates, but I am not a huge fan of “the mother”.  She is very negative, takes advantage of me, and is not someone I would normally hang out with.  What do I do?  I Love My Son
Dear I Love My Son, Just because your kid is friends with another kid doesn’t mean you have to be friends with the mom. I would recommend that you set up playdates where “the son” can come over one on one.  You could offer to take the boys to a movie or do other activities that doesn’t involve hanging out with the mom.  In this case I would always remain polite to the mom, but just set boundaries. 
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, There is this woman I work with that is very negative.  We are teachers and she is always talking about how much she hates the kids.  She has a child that is my kid’s age and tries to arrange play dates.  I have gone a few times, but have not enjoyed myself because she spends the entire time talking bad about our co-workers. She tries to manipulate me into hanging out with her by buying me presents and giving my kids toys. She never asks me questions and spends the entire time talking about herself and others.  I have to work with her and don’t know what to do.  She has very few friends because others don’t want to be around such a toxic person. Her daughter is very sweet and I feel bad.  Feeling Pressured
Dear Feeling Pressured, It is not your fault this person is the way she is.  Maintain a positive, professional relationship with this co-worker, but do not feel you have to be bullied into playdates.  She will hopefully get the hint.  I would normally advise that you be honest with her, but in this case, I am not sure that this will make your working situation worse. Good luck!
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, I have a friend that is such a fun person to hang out with. The problem was that once she met her significant other, she kind of dumped the rest of the group so that she could devote her time to hanging out with her “new love” and his friends.  It hurts my feelings that she fosters his friendships but not ours. Feeling Dumped
Dear Feeling Dumped, Don’t take it personally.  When girls dump all of their girlfriends to spend their time with their guy and his friends, it is not about you, but about them.  Sadly, this is a situation where they may feel insecure in the relationship and want to do whatever to make “him” happy.  This person will probably not change while they are with “the guy”.  I say you should move on and be appreciative of the friends who do want to spend time with you.
Dear Dr. Truthbetold,  I have a friend that I have known for years.  Lately she seems like she is not as interested in hanging out as before.  In fact, there have been a few times recently that she has “better dealt me”.  We make plans and then something better comes along so she cancels.  I cherish the friendship but am hurt.  Better Dealt
Dear Better Dealt,  Friendships are a two way street built on respect.  If she is canceling plans with you to do something “more fun”, then you should accept it for what it is.  She might enjoy spending time with you, but just “not enough”.  I would not cut her out of your life completely, but I would not make plans for the cherished “Friday or Saturday” nights knowing that she may or may not cancel on you. Instead, focus on the friendships with people who don’t do that to you. 
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, I have had a friend that is very fun and nice, but she lies.  I have caught her in a few, but haven’t had the guts to call her out.  Some of our conversations even seem “rehearsed”.  What should I do?  I Caught You 
Dear I Caught You, Your friend has issues that she feels she needs to lie.  It is probably insecurity.  I probably would not call her out on the lies, but I would limit my contact with her knowing that this is probably not someone you really want to be friends with.
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, Is it ok if I have different types of friends?  Very Social Person
Dear Very Social Person, Of course!  Just know in life you will have a wide assortment of friends.  You will have neighbor friends, school friends, mommy group friends, work friends, church friends, etc.  These different categories of friends will look different in expectations, amount of time and effort, etc.
Dear Dr. Truthbetold, I am the nicest person ever.  Everyone would want to be my friend.  There is a girl who just REFUSES to be friends with me. I don’t get it.  How can you NOT want to be my friend? I am the BEST FRIEND ever! I will do anything and everything for my friends.  I will organize fundraisers if my friends are sick.  I will buy my friends lots of expensive gifts.  I will let them use my expensive accessories anytime they want. I will let them vacation with me in my Aspen mansion anytime they want.  Who could not like me?  How Dare You
Dear How Dare You, It’s not you, it’s them! Just joking, it is you.  You are trying too hard.  Friendships aren’t forced.  Everyone is not everyone else’s cup of tea.  Foster friendships that are mutual. When “they are just not into you” don’t try harder…just move on.
And that wraps it up.  Thank you Dr. Truthbetold for your wonderful guest blog about friendships.  Just know this.  Friendships should be fun and not forced.  You are a wonderful person and if someone is not treating you the way you deserve to be treated, move on.  Focus all of your attention on the people who treat you like a true friend!

Our question for you, what are friendship deal breakers for you?

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