by Samantha Nasti
Dear Tower Review Advice Team,
I feel terrible even considering it, but I really don’t know if I can put up with one of my closest friends anymore. Something just feels absolutely out of place and uncomfortable every time I hang out with her lately. Would it be incredibly “wrong” of me to remove someone, who has forever been close to me, immediately out of my life because of these feelings I’ve been experiencing? If not, how would I do such a thing?
Fed Up in Fair Haven
Dear Fed Up,
First of all, you’re not in the “wrong.” In fact, most people have moments and/or periods of time in which a particular thing about a close person tends to continuously irk them and make them feel like they want to explode. What concerns me about your issue is how uncomfortable these feelings see to make you.
Such a case is subjective: sometimes little things bother us for unknown reasons, and they eventually pass; other times, traits about a person could cause a detriment to our overall attitude and personal demeanor. Those “other times” are when it might be wise and necessary to make changes to your friendship.
What I recommend first is doing your best to identify the problem. If, for example, your friend simply just has other interests and insists on always discussing high school gossip while you want to be more productive and discuss the winter trip to Vermont, then I do not think the problem is serious enough to cut your friend out of your life. It’s simple enough – just give yourself space; it is normal, healthy, and acceptable.
Now, if the conflict of interest is more serious and your friend constantly makes rude and vicious remarks to you because you don’t want to watch “Jersey Shore” for the seventh time (and you have developed a slight yearning to “J-Woww” him/her in the face), then maybe he/she isn’t the best person to be around all the time.
What I do recommend doing after identifying this problem is being proactive. Address the issue with your friend first, and if you truly don’t believe he/she is going to change, then use that information to make your judgment.
If in fact your friend bothers you so much that your physical or emotional health is potentially in trouble (for example, personal attacks that would lower self-esteem), then changes to the amount of time you spend with that friend should be made, if any amount should even still exist. It might hurt to eliminate a close friend from your life, but if that friendship is detrimental to your mental and physical well-being, then he/she is not a friend worth having.
It might seem like a hassle to address an issue with your friend, but it is the first step to making things right. Be calm and casual with him/her, but don’t beat around the bush. Do yourself a favor and think about the amount of discomfort you feel when around your friend, and what thoughts run through your mind. Use your thoughts in order to decide how to handle your dilemma. Good luck!