Sometimes we work as hard as we can to keep a friendship going but it just doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced what many refer to as a toxic friend before and so many can attest to how taxing this can be on everyday life. Once a friendship is truly toxic and you have done all you can, it may be time to say goodbye for good.
So, how do you end a friendship with someone that you care so much about even though you know that it is unhealthy to remain friends with them? The first thing you should do is mentally prepare yourself to have a conversation with your friend. If it is possible, talk to your friend face to face about your feelings and your decision to end the friendship, this can be beneficial to both of you.
This step is beneficial for you because it will give you a chance to get your feelings out in the open and be completely honest. In toxic friendships, things often get bottled up over time and the best way to get past them and move on is to openly admit that they bothered you. It is important to remember that you are sharing your feelings, not actively trying to put your friend down. Focus on sharing to feel better and avoid using this as an opportunity to make accusations and argue.
This step is beneficial to your friend because it gives her an opportunity to understand what happened, what went wrong, and gain some closure on the end of the friendship. If you just simply send a text or start avoiding your friend without explaining your feelings, your friend is left not even knowing where the friendship became toxic. Instead of being left completely hurt and confused, they will have closure and the option to learn from the past.
Just as you should mentally prepare yourself to speak to your friend, you should also mentally prepare yourself to listen to your friend. Hearing you share your thoughts and feelings may inspire your friend to do the same. Some of what they say might be true while other points may not have any validity to them. It is important to remember not to argue just for arguments sake. If you don’t want to continue the friendship anymore, there is no reason to solve every dilemma and comb through every last detail. At this point, it is just important to listen and respect each other. You don’t have to worry about understanding each other or agreeing on everything.
After your mental preparation, you actually need to have the conversation. I know it is easier said than done but you will feel better after having it. It is best to avoid sugar coating the situation with your friend. Let her know that you have something really serious to speak with her about and you would like to meet with her soon. I suggest picking a semi public place such as a park or a slow self-order restaurant with plenty of space between you and the next table. Being in public may help both of you avoid yelling, but not having too many people around will allow you to actually express your thoughts and feelings.
After ending the conversation as kindly as possible and wishing your former friend all the best in life, you have to actually stick to your decision. In our social media driven world, this part can be really difficult. You may find yourself trying to stalk your former bestie on Facebook or Instagram but it is important to resist the urge. Yes, your former friend will go on with their life. They will hang out with other people, they will still go out for lunch, and they will travel to new places without you. Worrying about their every move will only keep you from focusing on having fun in your new drama free life. You earned this time to be happy and no longer deal with toxicity in your life, so enjoy it! If you feel tempted to contact your former friend, call a friend who makes you laugh, participate in an activity you love, or make lunch plans with a good friend.
Enlist positive friends to help you through the transition. Most likely, some of your friends have become involved in some of the drama between you and your former friend. At the very least, most of your friends have probably at least heard about it. Thank them for being there for you when you needed to vent in the past and let them know that you really want to focus on making your life more positive. Make plans with fun friends who you may not have had time for when your toxic friend was around. Remember that even though your toxic friend was not the type of person who you could lean on when you needed something, you still do have great friends who will be there for you if you need them to.
In life, some things work out fantastically and others do not. Embrace your freedom from your toxic friendship, forgive, and move on. A positive life is a beautiful life and you obviously have taken steps toward having happier days, so now it’s time to start being happy. Forgive your toxic friend for the hurt that she caused you and know that even though your friendship didn’t work out, you learned some valuable lessons along the way. Focus on being the best friend you can be, surround yourself with positive people, and put a smile on that gorgeous face!