A psychologist identifies 7 signs it’s time to let go of a friendship

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  • It’s a challenging decision to end a friendship. Often, reasons aren’t clear-cut, but you should generally follow your gut. If a friendship feels off, or transactional, it’s okay to cut it off. 
  • Other reasons to end the relationship may be riends engaging in unhealthy habits that bring you down, or people that are friends with you simply because you’re similar to them.
  • If you can’t count on them, or always feel like you’re doing all of the work, consider whether the friendship is worth it for you.
  • Friendship should make you a better version of yourself — not bring you down. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Despite what the Spice Girls would have us believe, it’s not true that friendship never ends.

Research actually confirms what we’ve all experienced: most middle school friendships don’t even last a year. And while some adult friendships last throughout life, some make us feel like we’ve been sentenced for life. So how do you know when to make a break for freedom?

Sometimes it’s obvious: a so-called friend steals your money or your partner, or in the case of Taylor Swift, your back-up dancers. Now we’ve got bad blood, indeed.

But sometimes it’s not obvious: Do you tough it out with a friend struggling with addiction? Can you stay friends with someone whose values undergo a radical change? Do you leave behind a boring friend or remind yourself true friendship isn’t about entertainment? And of course, what to do when a friendship starts off strong and just fizzles? Nothing happened, but there’s just nothing there anymore. Is it OK to let go?

Fundamentally, you don’t need a checklist of legit and non-legit reasons to end a friendship. Go with your gut and your heart. That said, here are seven questions to ask yourself to make those fuzzy situations a little bit clearer:

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