Just like romantic relationships, not all friendships are built to last. Sometimes people drift apart. It’s sad, but it happens. However, sometimes, your bestie either changes into a completely different person, or you’ve realized that maybe she wasn’t so great to begin with. Toxic friendships can be just as bad as toxic relationships. No one deserves a friend who treats you poorly. If that’s happening, you need to break it off. Here’s how.

First, decide how you want to do it.

Meaning, do you want to do it in person? Over the phone? Via email? It all depends upon the nature of your friendship. In any case, I would advise not breaking up via text. No one likes that. And while it may be tempting to just ghost on them, if they were truly your best friend, you owe them an explanation. If you think meeting in person or calling on the phone would be too weird, it’s okay to send them a heartfelt email. In some cases, it’s even better, because it allows you to take a deep breath and say exactly what it is you need to say, in a calm and rational way.

Acknowledge the good times.

Just because you’re breaking up doesn’t mean you have to erase every good memory you have of her. Plus, it will help to soften the blow. Surely there must be a good thing or two you can say (or email) to them, before focusing on the negative.

Explain very clearly why you’re breaking it off.

Is it because of one particular incident? A series of events? Whatever happened, make sure you clearly highlight it, without getting overly emotional. Explain why this hurt you and why you feel you can no longer continue a friendship.

Don’t hurl insults.

Maybe you really want to call her a “backstabbing bitch,” but it’s more effective if you don’t. Insulting her will only bring a temporary satisfaction, and it won’t help you in the long run. It’s always better to take the high road. It’s usually less crowded, too.

Stand your ground.

She might apologize and she might beg you to reconsider. If you feel she’s being sincere, and if you feel you have the time and energy in your life to devote to this person, then go ahead. But don’t bend to her because that’s what you’re used to doing, or because you feel bad. If someone hurts you and damages a friendship, they have to learn that there are consequences.

Keep it off social media.

This should be a private matter, so keep your break up between the two of you. Don’t post any passive aggressive, vague Facebook statuses. Don’t involve other people in your drama. Don’t post her photo on Instagram with “#WorstFriendEver.” Remember the high road.

Wish her well and don’t look back.

Leave her with a simple, “I wish you all the best” and leave it at that. Realize that at one point in your life, this person meant a lot to you, and hopefully, this experience will stick with them. Maybe they’ll change for the better because of it. Maybe they won’t. But once you’ve said your piece, you’re done. Don’t linger on it. Don’t let it ruin you. Move on.

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