Not only is fall the best time to pick apples in the Carolinas, but it may also be the best time to do a toxic friend purge.
Do you feel like you have less energy to pour into friendships that aren’t serving you anymore? According to Instyle, it turns out, as the seasons change, you may also feel changes brewing in your social life. “What happens seasonally is our emotions mirror what’s happening in nature, in the world,” explains Dr. Christie Kederian, a psychiatrist who specializes in the psychology of relationships. “Fall is about letting go and shedding, so that you can bud and build new things.”
Kederian points out that autumn can help us focus on what matters most and where we want to put our energy. She also says the transition to a new season serves as a reminder that friendships have seasons and now could be the time to move on from one that’s become more toxic than fulfilling. So how do you know if your friendship is unhealthy? Look for these signs:
You feel drained, awful or exhausted after spending time with them.
You don’t feel like you can be yourself with them.
They minimize your accomplishments or problems, rather than listen and support you.
The friendship feels one-sided, like if they’re always asking you for help, but they don’t help you.
And once you know it’s time to break up with your toxic friend, here’s what the experts recommend:
Get centered. It’s normal to question whether you’re making the wrong choice, so therapist Stephanie Macadaan recommends getting support from mutual friends to solidify your decision.
Determine if you need to have a break-up talk. If your friend tends to get defensive or angry, trying to talk to them may not be helpful for either of you.
Recognize the big picture benefits. Relationship expert Jessica Alderson explains that just like ending a romantic relationship, when you end a friendship, you’ll feel sad and grieve the loss at first, but you’ll be happier in the long-run.
Accept and work through your feelings. If you don’t feel like you got closure, try writing a letter telling them everything you want to say, but don’t actually send it, burn or shred it instead.