Why do people break a friendship?

I am not referring to Hi-Bye friends or even the ones we tend to hang out with. I am talking about the category of people whom we considered our ‘best friends’.

I understand that friendships wane out after a point of time. Sometimes because of work, but mostly due to marriages/ kids and shifted priorities. In most cases, we tend to get out of touch with friends gradually and even then look forward to meeting them someday.

But what I don’t understand is, why do people break friendships? Especially after being a close friend for many years?

I have seen people dump friendships over quarrel, financial gain, jealousy and other such factors. But why would anyone break a friendship without a reason?

I am not a relationship wizard or something, and I am certainly not a person who makes hundreds of friends in a jiffy.

I am also not talking about the friends we make at work, who  almost always indulge in back biting and passing on information to bosses after being so sweet upfront. They have certain things to gain here, and I quite understand that. I don’t even consider to classify these people under the category of best-friends.

But, when a friend has been so close for years together, has already stayed with us through thick and thin, why do these people do certain things that they know would break the friendship instantly? Especially, when they have zero gain by doing such a thing.

Are we at a fault during such a situation? Have they gone through difficult times and hence want to ‘take it off’ on us? Is it some kind of envy or something? Should we handle such situations more compassionately?

I can’t get into specifics here, but why do people do such things? And what can we do about them?

Destination Infinity

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18 Replies to “Why do people break a friendship?”

  1. The reason might be emotional. If the friend in question has stood by through thick or thin, perhaps he/she doesn’t have anymore emotional strength to continue the relationship – sometimes taking a break heals everything.

  2. i have recently been through one of those “take it off” phase at the hands of my very dear friend from my PG days who i went to meet all the way to her place in another state after 1o years
    i dont have an answer
    i feel sad

  3. Well, my experience tells me that sometimes people just don’t feel that strongly about you. You might feel that they are your best friends but they don’t. And sometimes people just change with time.

    1. I agree so much with you, here! It’s odd how in our perception, we think someone cares for us, when the next minute they are out of our life for good and some even go as far as to say they never cared for you. I think those of us with big hearts, who wear everything like an open book are the ones hurt the most in the end, because we cared, they didn’t! It’s hard when some of those people happen to be your family, though, too!!

  4. May be the person does not value your friendship as much as you do! I’ve had really nice few friends whom I don’t even call, or talk for ages, but I know they are always there for me! And I know they feel the same way! If the other person does not sense the same feeling, then they tend to walk away from friendship.
    Friendship is something which people should not expect anything to be reciprocated. The moment they start expecting, things start to fall. I’ve had a friend who walked away just because I never called them.
    I absolutely understand the angst with which you wrote this. You feel that things are so unfair! There should be a reason why they behave so indifferently. It’s just that they do not deserve your friendship.

  5. I know it is sad that people choose to break friendships for very silly reasons. Like Vaish said, I think people who break so easily were never a true friend of yours. Such people dont deserve your friendship. If someone is a true friend, they will always try to get back to you and forget all the differences or misunderstandings. I’ve had some friends with whom I had differences in the past but they still are my good friends.

  6. Tell me about it .. You have read a few of my psots I cant understand myself ..
    I beleive that there can never be a Good EXCUSE or a REASON to break a relation
    and friendship is so sacred …

    Why they break beacuse they are IDIOTS, and Silly .. they dont realise it but when they do its too late ..

    I am one who will take the first step and go and say hello even after a fight and try again ..

    people have become selfish, they want the best times and when its turn for them to give something ot the relation they run away ..

    I hope people are not this careless

  7. I know it is sad that people choose to break friendships for very silly reasons. Like previous reader(Vaish) said, I think people who break so easily were never a true friend of yours. But I believe and suggest please don’t break friendship. It is the most precious gift ever in your life. You can get a support from your buddy and even you can get your 1st feedback when you are wrong. I faced it personally. Anyways, after reading this article, I have ruminated few old stories, all the characters are being alive in front of my eyes. Thanks for sharing mate. Keep it up. 🙂

  8. //why do these people do certain things that they know would break the friendship instantly?//
    If a friend does things which he knows will end the friendship instantly, I think this could only mean that he/she does not want to continue being friends but cannot bring himself to say this upfront. His actions are meant to signal his intentions.
    There could be several reasons for this. It could, as you say,very well be due to envy or other emotional factors. Or maybe one of them has moved on in life and is no longer too comfortable with the other. Maybe his expectations from this friendship are different from his friend’s. Or possibly he is too bogged down with personal issues at the moment to take care not to hurt his friends. The possibilities are endless.
    How does one handle such situations? It is tough. I think a person should accept the writing on the wall, let go and move on trying not to hold grudges (except in the ‘bogged down with personal issues’ case where it would make sense to give the friend time). It is difficult, that’s for sure.

  9. I have lost some good friends through the years! Sometimes friends drift off without any reason. Only we think that they were our best friends. When their atmosphere changes, they just forget old friendships.

  10. I once got very mad at what I assumed was a close friend of mine who did turn up at either my wedding or reception when she said that one of her distant relatives turned up at her place and they had to travel out of town. She excused herself with such casualness and then wished me happy married life. I got very pissed off and said I don’t want to talk to her ever again.
    The worst part was, she just put up a status update saying feeling the loss of a special friendship but she didn’t try to even persuade me to see WHY she really could not make it. Even then I later told her that when I once tell tgat I don’t feel like talking to her does not mean I want to cut off all ties with her ever. The friendship holds more value than that…or atleast I thot so.

    So point being, was the friendship really worth it??
    That, in my opinion, is what causes friends (whom we assume are close) to break off. But breaking off without a reason….hmm…. are you sure there is no reason at all ??

  11. I wonder if the friendship was started for some gain and when the purpose is served, the friendship is not needed anymore? Or some people are just indifferent, out of sight, out of mind? I would say one could try and communicate one’s concerns to give the friendship a chance but if that doesn’t work, then maybe it’s best to not waste time over people who are either selfish/indifferent, or emotionally immature. One should be around feel good people, not around those who we have to keep trying to understand :\

  12. I can’t quite think of a reason why people are the way they are……. perhaps it has to do with their upbringing, or perhaps their mental make-up! Thankfully, I have long before stopped analyzing another………..for its certainly not worth one’s peace of mind.

  13. When one goes through difficult times, that is the time when friendship is tested. The real friends stick on. What you mentioned about envy also can happen. It has happened to someone close to me who suddenly rose to a very high position in life. One of his friends probably got an inferiority complex or felt envy, but he suddenly became hostile!
    In any case I think if we value the friendship we need to confront our friend directly and ask what is wrong. In true and deep friendship there is no ego so one can do it.

  14. Am truly Sorry to note that you’ve had a hard day with friend(s). Just give them their space and you will see that time cures everything. Sometimes its necessary to draw a line as to how much crap you need to put up with from them in the name of “friendship”. Friendship can also sometimes be the most misused word.

    From my experience I’ve found that a friend is someone who takes your word without questioning it. Knows for sure what you say means well for them and the same you would reciprocate too. Something like a “ok da if that’s what you want me to do then so it will be”. No matter what you say or what you look like or what clothes you wear or what your qualifications or achievements in life may be, your minds are set and the relationship is unconditional and supportive. They may give you their idea of the pros and cons when you are in dire straits and yet strongly remain beside you at all times irrespective of what your decision may be.

    For the large masses who pass by us in our daily lives it’s hard to find such gems and If you do, persist and see if it stays. If it does then let the friend-ship sail! Good Luck!

  15. It might also be due to some misunderstanding or sometimes we don’t know how we might have hurt our friend (of course, unknowingly!!) or something like that… and sometimes we just drift away…

    Human emotions are quite complicated… truly!!!

  16. a freind is very expensive gift to us but they want to break up on soo small small reasons and they dont even noo that they are doing a big mistake some our who makes friend for a use and then they says us good bye

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