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A wronged reader writes:

When is it appropriate to end a friendship?  There is someone in my life who has gotten so mean-spirited and ridiculous…I just don’t know if it’s ever OK to say you don’t want to be friends with someone.


Of course it is.  I mean, think of the alternate scenario…would you want to be friends with someone who didn’t want to be friends with you?  The acts of desperation we commit to hold on to failing relationships notwithstanding, it makes a tremendous amount of sense to realize when you’re wanted and when you’re not.

And take that hint, please.

But you asked me when is appropriate.  That, I think, is rather an easy question to answer.

Mind you – this isn’t when you want to – but when it is appropriate to do so.  You can want to friend break up with someone for the color of their hair, or their awful fashion sense.  That doesn’t make you a terribly good person, but I’m trying to define the goalposts here.

So if all other things are fine, when would you, or should you, dump a friend?

When they dis you.

When they’re disloyal.  Dishonest.  Distrustful.  Disingenuous.  That’s when I think it’s appropriate.

It is a difficult call – only you know when a friend has surpassed the threshold of burden to barrier.  I certainly don’t think we should ever throw out our tried and true friends, no matter how trying they can be – we all have our ups and downs.  But if someone tries to take you down with them…I guess that’s when I’d cut them loose.

Be careful though.  Boring isn’t necessarily the same thing as burdensome.  What passes for excitement now will wear off shortly, and you’ll be left with a collection of single faceted sycophants instead of the people who truly know you.  You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, right?

Maybe make sure the baby’s done bathing, too.


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