Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like you.
Whilst the Plain White T’s wrote that lyric with an ex-girlfriend in mind, if you’re reading this, you may well have found yourself looking at someone who’s theoretically your friend and thinking the very same thing.
Chances are, if you’re still using the word ‘friend’ to describe them, there’s still some degree of affection there. You probably don’t despise their very being, but you might have started disliking them.
At the very least, you’ve found that there are certain things about them or their behavior that are really starting to get on your nerves.
Our friends are a massive part of our lives. Cutting them out can be deeply upsetting for both parties involved, especially if you spend a lot of time together, speak a lot, are at all emotionally dependent on each other, or have a long shared history.
It can even have an impact on a wider friendship group that you’re both part of.
Basically, it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, just as you wouldn’t take a romantic break up lightly.
If this situation sounds familiar, then you may well be wondering where to go from here. If you ‘hate’ your friend, what should you do?
Before deciding what to do about your situation, the first step is to determine what it is that’s turned the relationship sour or means they’re suddenly getting on your nerves.
Then, you need to figure out why you’re reluctant to cut the cord, and, finally, if you decide it’s the right thing to do, do it in a grown up, respectful manner.
Is It Them…?
People change. None of us stay the same. We evolve every day. You are the sum total of everything that has happened to you up until the very second you’re reading this.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, then, if your friends change.
Whilst they can change for the better, they might develop characteristics that mean the two of you no longer quite see eye to eye.
What you need to think about is what it is that’s caused this change.
It might be that they’re going through a tough time, whether personally or professionally, and what they really need is your support rather than your judgement.
Whilst you shouldn’t allow a toxic relationship to drag you down if their behavior persists and starts to take its toll on you, if someone important to you begins acting strangely, you owe it to the friendship to try to get to the bottom of why that is.
On the other hand, although their change of behavior might be due to something negative happening in their life, that might not be the case.
They might be being influenced by a new friend they’ve made or new romantic partner they’ve become intertwined with. We’ve all had a friend who’s suddenly fallen in love and seemed to have had a personality transplant as a result.
Have you considered the fact that it might not actually be your friend that has the problem, but you?
They might be the same as they’ve ever been, but a shift in YOU means you’re seeing them through new eyes.
Maybe you’re envious or jealous of the fact that things are going well for them just when you’re going through a bit of a rocky patch.
Some of us are naturally more prone to jealousy than others, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it if you’ve gone a bit green with envy.
But you should try to at least be conscious of when your actions are being driven by jealousy.
Perhaps you’ve grown intolerant, for whatever reason, and are more sensitive to things about your friends that, in the past, you’d never noticed.
Whilst it’s important not to be overly tolerant – and you should stand up for your beliefs rather than just lying down and allowing people to walk all over you – we all have faults.
People tolerate your less appealing characteristics, so you should extend the same courtesy to your friends.
Or might it run a little deeper than that? Could it be that you’re generally a bit unhappy or unsatisfied or maybe even experiencing mild symptoms of depression?
Feeling low can make us want to push those that care about us away, as we know they’ll figure out something’s up and we don’t want them to ask us about it.
To justify this to ourselves, we often invent things that they’ve done wrong in our minds in order to have a ‘legitimate’ excuse to draw back from the friendship, when what we’re actually doing is putting up walls to hide behind.
Or we might psychologically project our emotions onto them and onto the friendship in order to convince ourselves of a mutual ill-feeling (that may not exist) so that we feel better about cutting ties.
The fact that you’re no longer getting on might not be down to either them or you specifically.
Our lives take different courses and it’s incredibly easy to find yourself on a different path to someone you were once happily walking alongside.
That’s just the way things are, and, although it can be sad, it has to be accepted.
If this sounds like your case, don’t try to fight it. Just wish them well. Who knows, your paths might converge again further down the line.
What’s Making You Reluctant To Break Up?
If you’re reading this article, it means that cutting out the friend or friends you’ve found yourself disliking isn’t a decision you’re taking lightly.
Why is it that you’re thinking twice? One of the main reasons people struggle to cut ties is shared history and a feeling of loyalty.
If you’ve been friends for a long time, you might feel like you owe them something.
You may keep making an effort with the friendship despite the fact that it’s blindingly obvious to both of you that neither of you is getting anything positive from it any more.
Ask yourself whether you’d be friends with them if you’d met them last month rather than 10 years ago.
Where To Go From Here
Having gotten to the bottom of the reason(s) why you’ve been struggling with this person recently, it should be easier to decide whether or not it’s a friendship that you want to keep pouring energy into, or whether it’s time to go your separate ways.
If you want to try to salvage the friendship, it’s time for a good old fashioned heart to heart.
Be honest about how you’ve been feeling and why you think things have gone off course recently. You might be surprised at the response you get from them. Chances are that the chat won’t come as a surprise to them.
If you’ve decided that you don’t want them in your life anymore, don’t have a break-up talk unless you genuinely think they need to hear what you have to say for their own good.
These kinds of discussions are never easy and the other person isn’t likely to take it well.
Just because they’re not your friend any more, doesn’t mean you should make them your enemy, so think carefully about whether this is a good idea or not.
The other route you can take is the classic phasing out, but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. Ghosting (stopping responding to messages) is not cool, and nor is cancelling plans.
Essentially, treat them as you’d like to be treated. Let them go off and plow their own furrow whilst you concentrate on plowing yours, and refocus your energies on the friends that you truly value and that truly value you.
When it comes to your friendships, if you’re always kind, always considerate, and always have both your and their best interests at heart, you can’t go too far wrong.
Katie splits her time between writing and translation. She writes about travel and self-care and never stays in one place for too long. She’s currently based in beautiful Cornwall, England, after long stints in Brazil and Mexico. She spends her free time trail running, exploring and devouring vegan food.