You may be hanging out with people because you have a long history with them and feel bad about cutting ties. However, that’s the wrong way to look at it. Sure, you knew these people for years and years, but you’ve also changed as a person. Maybe it’s time to learn how to unfriend someone in real life.
You aren’t the same person you were ten years ago. Though you love them, that doesn’t mean that you need to have them in your life. Sounds harsh, right? But that’s not the intention. This is about looking at who you are now and the type of people you want to surround yourself with.
How to unfriend someone in real life
When I was in high school, I spent a lot of my time hanging out with people I didn’t really like, and this was simply because I didn’t have much of a choice. I could hang out with them or not have any friends. But, high school ended, thank god, and I entered university.
This is where I could meet new people and make friendships with individuals who I respected and actually wanted to hang out with. But I still found myself hanging out with people from my past, just because I’d known them for so long. It happens to all of us. [Read: 12 ways to deal with the loss of a friend]
#1 Think about it. If you just had a fight with your friend, naturally, there are a lot of thoughts going through your head. But this doesn’t mean you should jump the gun and just cut them off like that. Take a day or two to calm down and think about what happened. If you really want to know how to unfriend someone in real life, you need to first remember that this isn’t something that you can easily take back as it will change the relationship forever. [Read: How to end a friendship when all they do is hold you back]
#2 Don’t slowly cut them off. This is the typical way in which people unfriend someone and cut them from their life. They slowly stop hanging out with them and talking to them. Basically, until that person becomes a stranger.
However, there are many friendships which remain strong even if it lacks frequent communication. What if this person thinks that you two are genuine friends? See? There’s a flaw in this plan. [Read: 10 scenarios when it’s okay to ghost a friend]
#3 Talk to them about it. I know, the thought of talking to them about this probably makes you feel uncomfortable, and I don’t blame you. But this person was once a good friend of yours, so they deserve some respect. You need to sit them down and talk to them about this as openly and honestly as possible. Don’t be a dick though as this will probably hurt them.
#4 Yes, you can do it online. I’m against online talks with regards to any form of breakups, but I get it. Sometimes you can’t meet up with the person face to face. If you’re living in another state, talking to them online is fine. It’ll be less uncomfortable for you to speak your mind, and they’ll also have time to process what you wrote them.
#5 Don’t back out. There will be some cases where a friend wronged you. Of course, you were hurt and don’t want to be friends with them. However, they may genuinely be sorry and very emotional when speaking to you. You’re going to feel bad, and at that moment, you may think about continuing the friendship. But don’t do it. Don’t give in. You wanted to end the friendship so end it.
#6 Make sure your other friends are aware of what’s happening. You may have mutual friends, so, they should know that you two are no longer friends. This way, they’ll be able to avoid having you two in the same room, at least in the beginning, so that your *former* friend and you can have the proper space needed away from each other.
Don’t gossip about them, simply tell your friends that you two are no longer friends.
#7 Disengage from social media. If you have them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, remove them. If you don’t want to delete them, that’s fine. But, if you can unfollow them, do it. Don’t engage in any conversations over social media, don’t like their photos or comments. This will only lead them on to think that you two can be friends again. [Read: 13 ways to give yourself a social media detox]
#8 Be unavailable. If you don’t want to talk to them about the friendship, that’s okay. Instead, you need to become obviously unavailable. When they ask you to hang out, decline the invitation politely. You don’t want to occasionally hang out with them, that’s just leading them on. Instead, if you want to know how to unfriend someone in real life, stop hanging out with them all together. If they question you as to what’s going on then tell them why.
#9 Leave other people out of it. If a friend betrayed you or hurt you in some way, you may feel like unfriending them, which is completely fine, it’s your decision. However, do not get your other friends involved and have them do your dirty work. This isn’t about other people, this is about you and your friend. So leave other people out of it.
#10 Don’t wait too long. You should take time to think about your friendship, but, don’t let these feelings harbor inside of you. If you wait too long, you’ll start to feel resentment and anger towards this person, and they don’t deserve that. You need to make the choice of whether or not you want them in your life and once that choice is made, make a move. If not, you’ll just drag them along.
#11 At the end, always be honest. Unfriending someone isn’t easy, I think the best way to do it is to be honest with them. Yes, you can slowly ghost them or ignore their phone calls, but that isn’t a nice thing to do. And if you were once their friend, you should treat them with respect. Plus, it allows them to see their flaws in the friendship as well. [Read: Prepare yourself for these 10 consequences of ghosting people]
#12 Every friendship is different. Sometimes, it’s hard to cut off people that we’ve known for years and years. However, it’s also important to know that every friendship is different. Just because this person was your best friend ten years ago, doesn’t mean this person will be your best friend now.
Every friendship has its own definition and takes its own course through life.
[Read: The biggest warning signs of a toxic friend]
Learning how to unfriend someone in real life isn’t as easy as tapping the “unfollow” button on Instagram or Facebook. However, sometimes, it just needs to be done.
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