Broken Boundaries (Best Friends)


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However, as i t is natural for people to grow together or apart , it is essential to consider whether we are acting out of obligation rather than genuine concern for ourselves and our friends. It is helpful to delve deeper by considering what may have caused the fracture. Is there a mismatch between caring, sharing, time, energy, interests or even how you view friendship? Is it a new concern that arose out of a shift in context? For example, have either of you moved, found a new partner, or started a new job?

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Understanding the root of the concern is the key in being able to fix your friendship. In order to move forward, it is imperative to reflect on the role you may have played in the process. Is this a concern that has existed from the beginning of the bond and that you opted to brush under the rug?

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In a situation such as this, there is a shared responsibility that both friends need to accept in order to foster change. You might be hesitant about discussing this with your friend, and that is quite all right. If the friendship is meaningful to you, it is understandable that you would not want to risk exacerbating any discomfort that already exists.

However, even if you are somehow able to ignore the pain of the fracture, if you choose to avoid addressing the concern for the sake of maintaining status quo, you are also ignoring your ability to prevent a future fissure. Try to be cognizant of your prior reflections as well as your hopes for the friendship.

Remain calm and take your time. When your friend is sharing their view, be sure to listen attentively; avoid jumping ahead by considering what you are going to say next. Ultimately, this is your friend.

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Having a conversation is pivotal in paving the path for your growth. By this time, you would have already grown by considering how the problem arose, contemplating your influence, and addressing your concerns. But the opportunities to grow from this fracture have just begun to arise. After your chat you will have a better idea of how to move forward.

At this point in time you may realize that it may be best to honor the friendship you once had and heal by growing, separately. On the other hand, you may now know what is needed from both sides to not only maintain, but capitalize on the friendship. If you and your friend are able to come to a shared understanding of what occurred, you can work as a team to address the problem.

Even if your stances vary, you have the potential to consider and respect both of your unique needs and hopes as you tend to the friendship in the future. In order to avoid cycling through and re-experiencing the concerns in the future, be mindful of your boundaries.


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Having transparent, truthful talks from time-to-time can help you to stay aligned with your shared hopes and ultimately foster your friendship. Overall, you have the capacity to grow from a fractured friendship.

How to Set Better Boundaries with Your Friends

You may choose to take that path independently or you may choose to give your bond another chance. Given the uniqueness of each individual, and subsequently each friendship, it can be difficult to discern which path is promising, however, both are equally valid. Regardless of the option you choose, you have the opportunity to heal. Shainna Ali, Ph. Three consequences of helping others without helping yourself. Understanding if your job stress is more serious than you may think. Six reflection prompts to help you consider if this is the right path for you.

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  8. How We Read a Room. You'll probably have a gut feeling which one is the right and mature way to go about your specific situation, says Bonior. Go with that one. If you need a specific need met, be specific, says Bonior. For example, if they text you constantly, an easy boundary to set is letting them know that you can't text them back during the workday because it's affecting your performance or, you know, your boss is starting to get pissed.

    But if you're just looking to take a step back from the friendship in general, then you might not be able to give them exact guidelines and that's OK. In that case, Bonior recommends saying something like, "I still want to be able to hang out, but I have to admit I just can't do it as much as I used to because my life is changing. And if your friend doesn't respect those boundaries, then you might need to reevaluate things again and try one of the other routes.

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    The "slow fade," as Bonior calls it, is essentially the ghosting of the friendship world — except in this case, you're both pulling away for your own reasons. Maybe this is a friend who you were never super close with, and now they moved and neither of you really feels motivated enough to make plans. Or maybe it's a friend who's lifestyle is now super different from yours and you end up bickering more than hanging.

    In this case, you can cut back on how often you text them and hang out, become less involved in their lives, and eventually, you'll wake up one day and the friendship will be no more. For obvious reasons, this option is super tempting for the non-confrontational, but you have to be careful, says Bonior. You obviously don't want to over-plan to the point that it sounds scripted or unnatural, but having some phrases at the ready and a general idea of what you're going to say will save you from losing your nerve or saying something you'll regret.

    When trying to break up with your best friend doesn't go so well Try to be honest with yourself. If you want to dump your friend via text, is it because it's easier or because it actually makes sense for your friendship? If texting is your main mode of communication and it's not unusual for you guys to have in depth chats there, then go for it, says Bonior.

    If not, come on.

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    Just don't. Meaning some place private when your friend doesn't have anywhere important to be afterwards, says Bonior. Not only is this an obvious blowoff because everyone knows you make time for the things you want to make time for , but it most likely won't be effective, either. In general, you'll want to use a lot of "I" statements, says Degges-White. Think: "I feel my life being pulled in a different direction and I just wanted to tell you how much I have valued our friendship.


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    I'm not able to devote the time to it anymore. It's completely normal to have the urge to go into detail, but you have to be realistic about what they'll be willing to hear, says Bonior.

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