Friendship plays a key role in our lives. You experience some of life’s important milestones with your friends. They are your secret keepers, therapists, teachers, and companions. However, while we may often loosely use the term “best friends for life,” not every friend is for life. Some unhealthy friendships should be broken to ensure your happiness and wellbeing in the long run.
Ending a friendship can be as painful as ending a romantic relationship. But, while the breakup may be unavoidable, using certain approaches can make it smoother. In this post, we give you some key reasons why cutting ties becomes necessary and a few healthy ways to end a friendship.
8 Reasons To End A Friendship
Breaking a friendship can be heartbreaking, but sometimes, you may have to go through the bitter task. Here are a few reasons why you may have to end a friendship.
1. They betrayed you
The person repeatedly betrayed your trust and has not done anything to change. They have lied to you and have gone behind your back many times.
2. They bring negativity to your life
Your friend does not leave any opportunity to bring you down. They constantly complain about something or the other, choosing to find fault in everything you do.
3. They take advantage of you
Your friend constantly asks for your help but is nowhere to be seen when you need them. They are fake friends who borrow things from you and do not return them. They ask you to do their work but never do anything for you in return.
4. They don’t keep your secrets
Your friend constantly reveals the information you have shared with them in confidence. Even if you tell them to stop, they continue to gossip about your life’s secrets.
5. They never have time for you
Your friend constantly ditches you for other people by giving you flimsy excuses. They are not too keen to spend time with you and break dates multiple times. It is a one-sided friendship where you are always vying for their time and attention.
6. They don’t respect boundaries
Your friend repeatedly pushes you to do things you are uncomfortable with. They don’t respect your schedule and expect you to drop everything to spend time with them. They deliberately bring up topics that you do not want to discuss.
7. They begin to conflict with your values
You two do not have similar values anymore. Their values have begun to conflict with yours. To continue being friends with them, you will have to change yourself or lie to them.
8. They don’t make you feel positive
Your lives have taken different paths. Whenever you meet them, they bring negative vibes, and you feel awkward.
15 Healthy Ways To End A Friendship
If you think ending a friendship by meeting in person is a better idea compared to writing a letter, sending an email or texting, here are a few tips for proper closure.
1. Plan what you are going to say
Before meeting your friend in person to end the relationship, carefully plan what you want to say. Keep in mind the specific issues or incidents you want to address. Preparing in advance will help you pour your heart out and won’t let you forget anything, even if you are agitated. However, let your friend have their say too. Don’t overwhelm them by talking continuously. Let it be a healthy discussion.
2. Avoid blame games or bad language
Blaming your friend or hurling insults can make the situation go out of hand. To handle it gracefully, put forward your point of view calmly without using any foul language. Even if your friend raises their voice or insults you, maintain your cool. Quarrels can make it difficult for you to have a proper discussion and diminish the possibility of ending the friendship peacefully.
3. Focus on your feelings, not their faults
Instead of focusing on your friend’s mistakes, weave the conversation around your feelings. If you accuse them and hold them accountable for everything, they might become defensive. Use “I” or “We” rather than “You.”
You can tell them that you are not happy with the way things are going between you. However, avoid making unspecific and rude comments. Instead, communicate the impact of their behavior on you. For instance, you can say, “I was hurt when you couldn’t make time for me during my tough time last year.”
4. Communicate clearly
Is this the end of the friendship or just a break? If it is a break, how long will it be? Are you completely cutting off contact, or will you exchange pleasantries sometimes? If you come across each other, what should be the right approach? Communicate all these clearly so that there is no confusion or problem in the future.
5. Share the load
Your main objective is to end the friendship on an amicable and healthy note. If you hold them solely responsible for everything wrong, it will only complicate the matter. Instead, share the responsibility by using a few “we” statements. For example, say, “Lately, we haven’t seen eye to eye on a lot of things.” Don’t say, “You are always spoiling for a fight.”
6. Avoid going round in circles
If you want to end the friendship quickly and painlessly, avoid discussing incidents of the past. A long, drawn-out conversation may take you off the track. If your friend is a toxic person, they might try to argue and pull you down or manipulate you to change your mind. Once you have made up your mind, be firm about your stance on ending the friendship.
7. Wish them the best for the future
If they were a good friend, they deserve kind treatment. They once meant something to you, so make it easier for them. Be the bigger person and sincerely wish them well for the future. Acknowledge the good times you have shared and end on a positive note so that both of you will feel better when you look back at your relationship.
Here are a few other ways to end a friendship smoothly and gracefully.
8. Let the friendship come to its natural end
Instead of ending the friendship abruptly, let it fade away gradually over time. You won’t have to explain anything or hurt their feelings. Distance yourself by reducing the overall communication or not answering their calls and responding to their texts immediately. Decrease the frequency of calls and face-to-face meetings too.
9. Take sometime out
If the friend was dear to you, it might not be easy to end the friendship. Sometimes, a little time apart can serve as a “cooling off” period. However, sometimes, the distance might open your eyes to the fact that the friendship has run its course. The timeout can simplify the task of ending the friendship. Even your friend will glide into the separation, and the bitterness can be avoided.
10. Cut off contact completely
While it is good to end a friendship amicably, it might not always be possible. If your friend is mentally or physically abusive, controlling, obsessive, or has threatened your safety, then a discussion might not be an option. Block them on all your social media handles. Also, inform your mutual friends about the toxic situation.
11. Maintain distance from them
Once you have communicated that you want to end the friendship, you can distance yourself from them. If you work together, study in the same college/school, or are in the same group, moving away from them completely may not be possible. However, you can minimize the interactions with them. During your group meetings, it is best to reduce direct communication with them. If you work together, keep your interactions strictly professional. If they try to start an argument or harass you, tell them to stop politely but firmly.
How To End A Friendship By Text?
If your friend turns violent or sentimental, text them to resolve the matter subtly.
12. Convey your discomfort by texting, “We are not on the same page anymore”
If the two of you have different values that constantly lead to disagreements, text them something like, “While we have had fun times together, my beliefs and interests are different compared to yours at this stage, ”or “Our lives are on diverse paths, and we have grown apart.” If they ask for specifics, you can give a prominent and latest example.
13. Express your pain with, “Our friendship is fractured beyond repair”
If they have broken your trust and spoken ill about you, be upfront about it. Text them about how you felt rather than harping about how bad they are. Avoid getting into too many details. It is okay to touch upon their latest indiscretion if required, but don’t use any loaded words.
For instance, you may text, “I am truly hurt that you chose to lie to me repeatedly and gossip about me behind my back.” “A healthy friendship is based on mutual trust and respect. I don’t think our relationship can ever recover from this.”
14. Text you have grown apart, “We don’t connect so well”
If you have drifted apart and feel that your friendship has become an obligation, you may end it by saying, “We were great friends, however, I don’t feel the connection anymore” or“ This is not an easy decision, but I don’t see the point in forcibly stretching this relationship anymore. Let’s go our separate ways.”
15. Communicate your need with a text, “My wellbeing is my priority”
You may want to end the friendship because the person constantly humiliates you and brings you down. In such a scenario, let them know that the friendship negatively affects you by texting, “I need to focus on my emotional wellbeing and rebuild my confidence. Our friendship is taking a toll on me, and it is not healthy for me to continue it any further. I wish you well for your future.” While there might be some disparaging remarks and insults from their end, avoid getting into an argument and let it go.
Friendship breakups are never easy. Even though you don’t get along well anymore, you both have shared some great times. It is natural to feel upset and mourn the loss of something that you once held dear. However, there is a strong reason you decided to end the friendship. Remind yourself why you took such a tough decision whenever you feel like reconnecting. As time goes, you will move on and build more meaningful friendships.