Friendship breakups can often be even more painful than relationship breakups. And usually, they come with fireworks, pettiness, and lots of drama. But it is possible to end a friendship gracefully, without all of that BS. Keep reading to find out how!
Take a break from seeing them.
Ending a friendship is a pretty big deal. Most people will be hurt once they hear that you no longer want to be their friend, so it’s not always the kind of thing you can take back if you change your mind. That’s why it’s important to be really sure that this is what you want. Make sure the friendship really is toxic. It can help to take a little break from seeing your friend. See if some time apart helps you to put things in perspective. If time away from them shows you that life is so much better without them, and missing them doesn’t bother you, it might be a good idea to move forward with ending the friendship.
Arrange a time to meet in person.
In most cases, it’s best to end the friendship in person rather than via text or social media. Yep, it’s a lot harder to do it this way. But if you’ve been friends for a long time, ending things with as simple text is pretty crappy. Unless you physically can’t see them in person, or it’s unsafe to do so, then arrange a time to meet in a neutral place (not your house or their house). The other exception is if your friendship has slowly been fading over a long period of time, to the point where it would hardly make a difference if you just went cold turkey. But more on that later!
Explain how you feel in a kind way.
Once you’ve met up with your friend, explain how you feel in a kind way. If you have a lot of problems with them, try not to make it sound like an attack. Calmly tell them what behavior has been bothering you. Focus on how that’s made you feel.
Let them know what you’d like to do.
Next, let them know what you want to do. You can either give them a chance to work on their behavior or choose to end the friendship altogether. If you didn’t try having a break from them, you can also suggest that. It’s difficult to admit any of these things to a friend, but it’s better that everything is clear and they know exactly where they stand with you.
Don’t get hostile.
Drama usually happens when people become hostile. No matter how angry or hurt you are, try to stay cool and collected. It can help to remember the good parts of your friendship and the things you do like about this person, even if things aren’t great between you now. If things do start to get heated and you can’t calm down, it might be better to calmly walk away.
Don’t involve other people.
Drama is also more likely to happen when lots of people get involved. If you can, try to keep the friendship breakup between the two of you. It’s okay to vent to people who care about you. But don’t reveal the intimate details to people who don’t need to know, or are just nosey. It’s also important that you arrange the meeting and end the friendship yourself. Don’t get anyone else to do your dirty work.
It’s important to set and maintain boundaries at the end of any relationship, friendships included. Boundaries might look like no calling each other, or no persuading mutual friends to take sides. If you don’t set these boundaries, it can be much harder to move on. Things can also get petty, which is where the drama comes in. You can’t stop your former friend from breaking the boundaries you set, but you can let them know in advance that you won’t get into that kind of pettiness with them.
The slow fade.
The other option you can take to end a friendship is known as the slow fade. Basically, this is where you’ve really grown apart and drifted from one another. At this point, neither of you really makes an effort anymore. When this happens, you don’t even have to go to the effort of ending the friendship because it will fizzle out on its own. Note that it’s much harder to let things fizzle out with a friend that you still regularly see.
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