Podcast # 5: When to End a Relationship

In the last episode of the Growing Leaders Podcast, we discussed the a missing step in today’s parenting path (based on this blog post). In today’s episode, we are looking at When to End a Relationship.

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Episode Summary

There is a custom in Italy in which at midnight on New Year’s Eve, people will throw objects out of their windows and doors. Any object that carries with it a negative memory gets thrown into the street. (Out with the old, in with the new)

We need understand that it’s healthy to give ourselves permission to end a relationship.

  • The people who start the journey with you may not be the ones who end it with you. (John Maxwell)
  • Social media actually pushes us to accumulate, not subtract.
  • The average person cannot maintain real relationships with more than 150 people.
  • discovered that of respondents, over three quarters “said they’ve had a toxic friend at some point. For a third of them, it had actually been their best friend.”

Pass on the Left

  • In traffic, it’s appropriate to move on and to pass on the left.
  • We need to do this when we see a relationship is no longer relevant or helpful.

Determining if someone is toxic and we need to “pass on the left” in the relationship?

  • The False VictimAlways the victim; don’t take responsibility for their lives.
  • The NarcissistAppear to be friends, but are all about themselves.
  • The Chronic DownerThey seem to sap the fun out of almost every situation.
  • The BullyThey manipulate people so they can look good.
  • The UnderminerHard to spot at first; they tend to gossip and backbite.
  • The Flake They aren’t reliable in appointments, pledges, dates, etc.
  • The Overly ReligiousThose that use religion as a tool to control others.

Baggage Fees

  • When traveling, if you are going to check a bag, its going to cost you.
  • The airline industry made 1 billion dollars last year on baggage fees.
  • People have baggage and it’s healthy to transition out of a relationship when baggage is costing the relationship.

How to Break a Friendship in a Healthy Way

  1. Begin with the end in mind – Know exactly the healthy conclusion you must reach.
  2. Be careful, but truthful.
  3. Practice and role-play if necessary.
  4. Get the tone right. Be caring and empathetic.
  5. Validate the relationship and the person. Be clear about how you value them.
  6. Get agreement.
  7. Deal with defensive reactions.
  8. You may need to bring others along for support.

Who Do You Let Stay Close to You?

  1. Do I feel better after spending time with them?
  2. Do they bring out the best in me? Are they a positive influence?
  3. When I haven’t been in touch, how do I feel?
  4. Do we both make an effort?
  5. Do they celebrate my successes?


1. Habitudes for the Journey is now available for preorder. If you found the images we discussed today helpful, Habitudes for the Journey contains 13 chapters designed to lead students through transitions well. Click here to preorder your copy today.

2. National Leadership Forum is coming soon. Register before December 31st to lock in the lowest rates. This year our topic will be “Marching Off the Map: Charting a Course for the Next Decade of Student Development.” Register now by clicking here.

3. Check out Growing Leaders. If you’re new to the podcast or blog, visit our website to learn more about the resources Growing Leaders offers to equip those who lead the next generation.

What topic would you like for us to address on the next episode of the Growing Leaders Podcast? Leave a comment below.

Podcast # 5: When to End a Relationship