Ending a friendship isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, especially if you’ve been friends for a very long time. Still, sometimes friendships run their course and there’s nothing left to be said. Breaking up with a friend might be difficult but there’s really no need for negative feelings and unnecessary drama. Here’s how to handle it like an adult.
Talk to them about how you’re feeling.
If they are a really close friend of yours but you’ve recently found yourself not agreeing with their life choices and opinions, then try to have a conversation with them about it without it sounding like you are attacking them. A good way to do this is to start off with something like, “It upsets me when you do this,” so they can understand that their actions are affecting your friendship. Try to refrain from pointing out all of the bad things that they have done and instead focus on how they can change their behavior. If they aren’t willing to listen, then at least you know that you gave it your best shot.
Don’t send hurtful messages.
When arguing with a friend, some of us type out whatever comes to mind and it can often be something that we don’t really mean. Honestly, there’s no excuse. You have time to think before you send a message and use that time to try to work out the best way to approach the topic. If you really don’t see the friendship working out anymore, then break it to them gently. Unless they’ve done something truly awful, there’s no need for rudeness.
Don’t unfollow and block them immediately.
Unless they’re toxic and damaging to your mental health, then you shouldn’t remove them from your life completely. At one time you considered them a good friend, so is it necessary to wipe out all memories of that? To pretend like they never existed? It’s not a healthy way of ending a friendship and it can end up causing more drama.
Send them a long message.
If this is your preferred way of breaking up with a friend, then make sure you make it as kind as possible. Instead of focusing on why you don’t want them in your life anymore, remind them of some of the good times you had together. I once broke up with a friend by email. There was no argument or hostility, just a bittersweet ending.
Think carefully about what you’re going to say.
It’s easy to get angry in the heat of the moment and say things that you really wish you hadn’t, whether you meant it or not. It’s not healthy to have so much anger inside of you, so make sure you get out all of your anger before speaking to them. Despite how you might be feeling towards them, it’s not going to benefit either of you to end things on bad terms.
Keep it between the two of you.
There’s no need to tell everyone that you’re not friends anymore as that makes it seem far more dramatic than it needs to be. You’re both adults who have simply decided to not hang out anymore. There’s nothing bad about that. It happens.
Choose the right moment.
If you’re trying to be sensitive about it then it’s a good idea to know when is the best time to contact them. They might be going through a really tough time at the moment and you don’t want to make things more stressful for them by springing the news on them that you don’t want to be their friend anymore. Check that things are okay with them beforehand.
Let it fizzle out.
Perhaps you would rather not make a big deal out of it and that’s fine, too. Sometimes it’s best to just let a friendship fizzle out naturally. Stop sending the first message and see if they notice. I once stopped messaging a friend first and I never heard back from them again. It speaks volumes.
Try to forgive them.
If the reason why you don’t want to be their friend is because of something that they’ve done towards you, like making hurtful comments or doing something behind your back, then it might be hard to forgive and forget. But feeling resentful isn’t going to help you move on. If you can, let go of some of that resentment and accept that this is all for the best. They served their purpose, and now you can both go your separate ways.
Understand that some friendships don’t last forever.
Quite often, friends come and go. Sometimes there’s a genuine reason why it had to end, like for the sake of your mental well-being. Other times, there isn’t necessarily a reason. As long as you learned something from it, then it probably wasn’t a total waste. Maybe they provided you with a lot of fun memories to look back on or maybe they taught you how to put yourself first. Whatever it may be, they taught you something.
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