When to cut off a friendship?

When to cut off a friendship?

I recently removed a friend from my life since she was a major backbiter which led me to reflect on her character – I realized that this is not how I want to be. I noticed it affected me since it was nearly normalized in every conversation we had which is a dangerous state to be in. I decided to take action instead of being scared of the reaction she may have if I were to call her out. I brought it up many times that we shouldn't be talking about this person and that person but nothing ever changed with her. I knew if I removed her as a friend, I would feel much happier and stress free knowing that I gave something up for the sake of Allah (SWT). However, I feared she would talk badly about me so my own fears held me back from removing her as a friend for a long time. One day I was fed up with it and had the courage to tell this friend in a mature manner that I don't aspire to embody backbiting characteristics she portrayed. Then I told her that I decided that it was best to not be friends. Of course she argued back and turned the conversation against me, but I stood firm with my decision. After the major talk, life felt much more peaceful and I realized my fears were nothing to be scared of all along. It was the best decision to make for the both of us. 

Below are the signs and red flags that a friendship is worth removing from your life regardless of how close you are or how long you've known each other. If you fear what they may say to you or about you, just remember that these red flags are not worth living with if it is affecting your well being and personal character. Always prioritize your well being and relationship with Allah (SWT).

Doesn't bring you closer to Allah (SWT):

How many times has your friend brought up Allah (SWT) during a normal conversation or on a daily basis? Do they mention things like “this is haram” or “lets pray right now” when out and about with you? If not, then acknowledge what they talk about in day to day conversation and see if they reflect you as a person and what you stand for. If it's drama or boys 90% of the time, move on. Life is too short to focus on people and things that don't matter. Make sure your current friends have a habit of turning everything back to the remembrance of Allah swt in order to maintain a healthy relationship between each other and with Allah (SWT). 

Doesn't inspire you to be a better person:

Everyone is on a different journey in their lives and has personal struggles they need to work on. However, everyone should choose to be friends with people that constantly push each other to be better. This can be through education, your relationship with Allah (SWT), your character, and many more. If there is no growth from these friendships then there is no purpose in the friendship.  

Is not a good role model:

I interviewed Noor who recently removed a friend from her life. She realized a friendship she had was a bad influence on her in many ways she didn't realize until others brought it up to her. Noor states, “It's time to let go of a friendship when you realize you can't recognize yourself anymore and they've only ruined your character. Look around your circle and how they act. Do they align with your goals? Do they make you a better person or influence you the wrong way? Let go and leave it in the hands of Allah (SWT) and He will give you better.” Some friends may be fun to hang out with, but ultimately your character and deen is more important than temporary pleasures that friends may give you. Always choose people to be in your life if they make you a better person. 

Backbites (heavily) about other people:

There are some people that vent, and then there are others that intensely backbite and make every conversation about someone else in a rude manner. If they are too comfortable talking badly about someone they consider a friend, don't be surprised if they do the same when you're not in the room. So definitely reconsider your friends if they are too comfortable backbiting about others. I have seen two best friends that look inseparable online, but in reality they both would speak horribly about each other when left alone. So double check on who you call a friend and the amount of personal stuff you tell people in case they decide to use it against you one day. 

Disrespects you and even your family:

This may seem like common sense, but I have seen situations where some friends are very subtle with the disrespect they give to your parents or siblings. A friend may mock your parents or make remarks but take it as a red flag that they are not the best influence since a good friend would always respect your family. Disrespect towards you may also be subtle. Sometimes a “friend” may be demeaning or discouraging all of the time but take that as another sign to choose new friends. Respect should always be expected and a priority with anyone you consider a friend.


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