First things first, there’s a big difference between a friendship breakup and a friend time-out. BFF breakup = toxic relationship through and through (if you need further explanation, read these signs). Time-out … well that’s what we’re getting into today.
The good thing about acknowledging you and your BFF or friend (doesn’t matter how close) need a breather is that you know how much they mean to you and, for the sake of your friendship, you just need to put it on pause. Repeat, a friendship time-out is temporary. It’s a “hey, I need a breather.” (The true Linda and Heathers will understand).
It can get complicated though because sometimes it stems from something you’re going through personally and you can’t give the relationship the attention it needs. In that case, it’s an “I need an attitude check with myself” situation, and asking yourself “why am I so bothered with this person right now?”
Or it can simply be caused by pent-up irritations in the friendship. Either way, it’s something that needs to be chatted out. Read on for signs it’s time for a friendship intermission.
You resent seeing their name pop up on your phone.
A notification from a friend shouldn’t trigger a bad mood. If they are texting you too much, say, “Hey, not trying to ignore your messages, can we catch up on the phone soon?” And then either have the convo about space/boundaries then or plan time to have it in person.
You don’t look forward to seeing them.
🙁 After the BFF time-out, you’ll look back and be like, “wait … how did I let it get that far?”
You nitpick behavior that typically wouldn’t bother you.
Again, you’re irritated. The boundaries and time not talking will do ya good here.
Step one: be honest and let them know you need space. Have the courageous conversation and come prepared with reasons why. These conversations should be normalized and a learning experience for both parties on setting personal and relationship boundaries. At the end of the day, if you look at it this way, it’s a raw conversation sharing how you’re feeling and expressing out loud what you need to change to keep a healthy friendship. The good and true friends will get it and most importantly appreciate it (even if it takes a little time). And ya, there’s really only one step to it, and that’s having “the conversation.” If they aren’t receptive, see our toxic friendship article.
Here’s to Linda and Heather reuniting after their best friends’ time-out (yes, they need it too—we all do every once in a while).
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