On losing friendships. Are we becoming uncivil?

Natasha Tynes
2 min readJun 13, 2022

Have you ever lost a friend over politics? Sadly I have. Some of my long-time friendships crumbled over a difference in political or cultural ideology fueled by the current nature of the devise discourse in our societies these days.

Sadly, it was bound to happen when the standard approach to debate these days is “you are either with us or against us.” You are either with the good side or the bad side. There are no nuances or middle ground.

Join us or leave us.

“If you vote for this candidate, I will unfollow you on Facebook.” A statement I have seen so many times over the past years.

Do we only pick friends who share our politics?

I have been thinking a lot about this after my current discussion with author Jessica Speer who wrote the middle-grade book BFF, NRF. A Girl’s Guide to Happy Friendships.

While this book is mainly targeted toward pre-teen girls, it somehow resonated with me, especially after reading about the”Friendship Pyramid” which depicts the shifts in friendships’ statuses over time.

According to Speer, “friendships have different phases and change over time,” so, for example, friends can move from “Close friends” to “Acquaintances” and vice versa.

I have personally witnessed the shifting of the friendship ranks among my network over the years, and some of these tectonic shifts have hurt and left a deep scar.

In the same book, Speer listed what she calls “friendship truths”, one of which I’m planning to type out, print, and frame in a fancy Pottery Barn frame.

“You choose which of your friendships to grow. Grow the healthy ones.”

The healthy ones are indeed those that are worth your investment.

During the discussion with Speer on my podcast Read and Write with Natasha, we talked about how we live in a world with less civility, where friendships are crumbling on a larger scale than before, and for something as benign as a difference in opinion.

Do you agree?

Are we becoming uncivil?

Have you lost a friend over a difference in opinion?

You can listen to the podcast episode here.

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Natasha Tynes

Writer. Journalist. Words in @washingtonpost , @ElleUK , @esquire . I write about: ✍🏼 Writing 📲 Creator economy 🌍 Mideast