New year warrants fresh look at friendship

Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are. The words are trite but true – whether we like it or not, the friendships we cultivate shape us. So, is it really worth keeping the bad ones around? With 2017 on its way out, they should be, too.

While we often hear about ways to deal with a dysfunctional family, or a distant partner, friendships seldom receive the same amount of analysis – positive or negative.

Sure, that can be refreshing. It’s a relief to not need to buy “friendiversary” gifts, or to call your entire history into question when your friend ignores a phone call. But good friendships can be just as fulfilling as other relationships – and we should treat them as such.

If you can’t, then why not? Maybe you went home for Thanksgiving, and dreaded seeing your old friends. Maybe they wear you down with their words and their negative energy.

Cases like these call for a breakup. It can be like splitting up with a significant other – but less sticky. There are no relics to burn, for one thing. And while “ghosting” is typically not recommended when breaking up with a partner, it might be the best approach for a less-than-fulfilling friendship. Ease out of texting and stop trying to make plans together.

Practically, there is not often need for a big sit-down talk – since by the time you start wanting out, that’s probably something you’ve already tried.

This can seem like a lot. We cling onto fruitless friendships because it’s convenient. But even one sour friendship can taint your ability to invest in the healthy ones. Make the cut, and resolve to be choosier about who you let in later.

While you have the scissors out, though, be careful not to cut out the wrong person. You can love, respect and care for someone without seeing them every day. Just make sure that when you do see them, you feel at ease – not unsure of where you stand.

Ultimately, while interests may change, your closest friends’ values and big-idea dreams should continue to complement the ones you’ve cultivated for yourself. That way, you have something sturdy to fall back on, even when you aren’t going out, or commiserating over failed midterms.

And even if you’re left with three or so truly close friends, well – that is worth the world. Celebrate and embrace them for a better 2018.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.