If you need to know how to end a friendship because they’re making your life worse, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to get through this tough time.
Nobody really wants to end friendships. They’re not like relationships where if things are going bad, you need to get out. Most people aren’t even concerned with how to end a friendship simply because they’d rather ignore the bad part than just put an end to it.
But that’s not good for anyone. You need to get rid of people who aren’t enriching your life. If you don’t, you’ll just end up resenting them more and more and that negativity will only make your life worse.
It’s okay for you to grow apart from someone
You might not even have to deal with the other friend holding you back. It could just be that you two have different lives and aren’t really close anymore. You don’t have to hold on to that friendship out of obligation. That only adds to your guilt and resentment. [Read: Signs you have bad friends and need to end the friendship]
How to end a friendship when it’s clearly over
It’s not easy to approach someone and tell them you no longer want to be friends. It can even be more awkward than breaking up with someone. What you need to figure out first is when the friendship is truly over. Here’s how to know it’s time to end it.
#1 You’re stressed when making plans with them. Friends are there to keep your life fun and interesting. You shouldn’t be dreading getting together and if that’s the case, your friendship might need to end. Pay attention to how you feel when they ask to hang out.
#2 You’d rather be with other people. When you’re hanging out and just not enjoying yourself at all, it’s time to take a deeper look at your friendship. You should never have to spend time with people you don’t like. End the friendship if this is the case 100% of the time. [Read: 10 types of toxic friends to avoid]
#3 You ignore them. When they text or call or even talk to you in person, you either ignore them or tune them out. This is a clear sign you’re not interested in anything they have to say. Not only that, but you’re also not being a good friend back. And if you’re not a good friend, you must not care about them.
#4 They have opposing views to yours. We all grow apart and form different opinions over the years. Some of those differences are perfectly fine to work through but others just aren’t. You can’t get past opposing beliefs and values.
#5 They’re negative and don’t support your goals. Whenever you bring up some goals or work that you’re really excited about, how do they react? Are they happy for you and encouraging your success or do they sit back and spew bitter words about it? I think you know which is a sign you need to ditch them. [Read: 12 ways to stop negative people from stealing your energy]
How to end a friendship for good
Now that you’ve addressed whether or not it’s time to end things, here’s how to actually do it. Keep in mind that some people will take it better than others. Be prepared for different reactions.
#1 Face the truth of the matter. Just accept it first. You have to do something about this leech in your life. When you just face the truth and decide to go through with it no matter what, things get a hell of a lot easier.
#2 Get other friends for support. This might be difficult if you’re all mutual friends but still try to get some support. Ask your friends to just talk to you about it and make sure it’s a good decision. They might be able to offer insight you haven’t considered. [Read: 18 ways to build supportive, strong friendships]
#3 Actually go talk to that person. Don’t do this over text or the phone. Just meet up with them and have a talk. It might feel a little odd but at this point, they might already be feeling like you’re not very good friends anyway. It could just help them feel better knowing you at least had the respect to say something to them in person.
#4 Explain how you’re feeling. Go into some detail about what’s happened and why you want to stop being friends. If they do care about you, they should keep an open mind. Plus, they can probably sense something is off and this could help create some clarity for them.
#5 Don’t just go ghost on them. If you try to ghost them, it’ll turn very ugly. When it comes to knowing how to end a friendship, you can’t just try to erase them from your life and stop responding to everything they send you. This is how people get confrontational.
#6 Don’t feed into their negative reaction. Your friend might freak out. It’s only natural after basically being rejected. Don’t feed into it. Just up and leave if they’re making a scene and you’ll be able to avoid a bigger problem than it needs to be.
#7 Stand your ground and reasoning. They might try to apologize for stuff that won’t make a difference or even try to change your mind. Don’t listen. If you’ve come to the conclusion that you just can’t be friends anymore, then you’ve thought long and hard about it. Don’t let them try to derail you and make you suffer through their friendship longer.
#8 Opt for a public setting. This is in an attempt to reduce the chances of a freak-out. Nobody wants to yell when surrounded by a bunch of strangers. Ask them to get coffee or a drink with you and just explain some things. Don’t drag it out longer than you have to. [Read: The 10 biggest signs to watch out for with toxic friends]
#9 Keep it short and simple. There’s no need to make it a big, long discussion. What you really need to do is explain your situation, how you feel, and why you just can’t be friends with them anymore. You don’t have to wait for their explanation because that shouldn’t mean anything at this point.
#10 Leave and don’t look back. Just pick up and carry on. You won’t be able to stay friends with everyone you want to throughout your life. Sometimes you’ll have to let people go and in this case, it’s necessary for your well-being. Just leave and don’t worry about them. They’ll recover just fine.