Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

When a Friendship Ends … Are Friends Like Shoes?

A friend who watched my video on friendships ending wrote me an e-mail with the most beautiful analogy . She said:

As I was listening to you and watching the video, I thought about friends as being shoes in my closet. Sometimes we keep certain shoes around because they are comfortable and they are with us in sickness and when we get up in the morning and go to bed at night–these are our best friends–the ones who see us as we really are. Then there are shoes that you buy to go with certain outfits–to me, these are friends that fit you at certain times of your life’s journey, but the shoes go out of fashion or don’t serve you well or the heel falls off so you just don’t want to wear them any more and so you either relegate these shoes to the back of the shoe closet or you give them away. And then there are shoes that you have for particular occasions–like your running shoes or flip flops–these are friends who you do specific things with and who you enjoy being with.


Tonight I am going to go home and look at all my shoes. I recently jettisoned some real shoes in an effort to declutter. I still have one pair of Mom’s shoes.

I’ve also found that friends need to be life-giving. The friends I choose to be with are the ones that want to be friends with me as much as I want to be friends with them. Friendship is two-way. It’s not friendship if the “friend ship” is sailing one way! Years ago a few women that I thought were really, truly good friends just totally quit communicating with me even though I still communicated with them. I finally let go of them totally. Over a year ago, a younger woman whom I had mentored and worked with rekindled our friendship. We met monthly for breakfast. It was a few months into the rekindling that I realized she was using me to get new business contacts. When we made a date to meet at her home for dinner, with our men, she totally forgot the invitation to her home when I called to ask what I could bring to dinner. I have not spoken to her since. I realized that she didn’t really want to be friends. It hurt a lot and I lost respect for her.

Click here for a video on friendships ending …

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  • Ken Walsh

    I agree totally however I never thought of it that way.I think you deal with your relationships in a very healthy way. When I get comfortable with a pair of shoes, jumper or coat, I wear them until they are falling apart I am so comfortable with the item. It wouldn’t be the first time that I have rescued a coat from the bin that my wife has thrown out because she was embarrassed with me.Great analogy.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Liza

    Your words really resonate with me. I had to face the truth — that a few friend ships were toxic and wearing me out..I realized I was frustrated and annoyed with myself for continuing on and on and hoping things would get better. I’m in late 40’s and finally in healthier relationships where we can be ourselves and feel positive energy flowing both ways. It’s so much better! I really enjoyed this post.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sam Gyura

    Therese, have you taken up pot again?? You look stoned 😉

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cathy

    Longtime reader but first time commenting. Let me first say that I’ll miss you here! But I look forward to following you in all your new adventures.
    I thought I’d add a thought to this one because there was something about this “friends as old shoes” which made me sad. In the past you’ve talked about how positive a thing it is to have friends in your life, and from what you’ve said you definitely seem to shine from the unconditional love you received.
    But this piece about “friends” feels harsh to me. Clearly there are seasons to a friendship and not every friendship is going to go on forever. But in one of videos you speak of a friend in need who is too wounded to keep around–Maybe they need the same unconditional love you needed? This may not be the friend with whom you entrust the house keys, but in their woundedness are they a bad friend?
    I have had my high and low moments and so I would never cast a stone unless it was going to land on me. As a point of discussion, though, aren’t there times in friendships when the burden of support falls to one or the other? i.e., like Footprints, “Those were the times I carried you.”
    So, perhaps a “friend” isn’t a true friend and has used you. Alas, it happens and you don’t deserve that.
    But can “toxic” be too loosely defined so that someone going through a bad patch is thrown away because they seem to be too much of a burden?
    Shoes are inanimate, utilitarian objects whose usefulness eventually wears out. Is that what friends are?
    How could I know for certain? But I think there may be friends you let go who truly love you. I know I’ve made that mistake.
    Thanks so much for the light you shine through your blog and thank you for hearing me out.

  • Shoe clips

    The trend of attaching attractive shoe clips is back again. You can easily find out varieties of shoes with designer shoe clips attached to them.

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