How To End A Friendship (In the most loving, least awful way possible)

Trying to figure out how to end a friendship? It's never easy or fun, but it can be done in a loving, not-totally awful way. Click through to find out how.

This guest post comes to us via the lovely and talented Mara Glatzel.  She writes about body, beauty and self love on the regular.  Pop over and say hello!

Letting go of friendships is never, ever easy.  And this is something that can be a problem, especially if you are a people-pleaser like me.  There was a time in my life where I was so timid and socially anxious that my friend choices were, perhaps, not what they should have been.

Regardless!  The reality is this: You have to put yourself first.

You probably have scores of awesome friends, great co-workers, perhaps an awesome girlfriend/boyfriend/occasional “friend”, family of some sorts, and by piecing all of those together you can create a pretty phenomenal support network.

However, when you have someone in your life who is a constant drain of energy, who is more interested in who they think you are than who you want to be, and who you find yourself spending more time on than you have to spend on yourself – You need to make a change.

Signs That A Relationship That May Have Run Its Course

Have you evolved? Are your interests different, and the things that excited you changing? Is there someone in your life who refuses to accept it, or makes fun of you for your new behavior?

Do you feel like you are exerting far more effort into your relationship than someone else is? Is this causing you undue stress?

Do you hang out with someone just because you feel badly for them, even though you aren’t really friends? Does your guilt make you feel like you have to go out of your way for this person, even though you don’t like them?

Are you friends with someone just because you are somehow benefited by their friendship?  They have things that you want, or get you tickets to all the best shows, or invites to the coolest parties, but you don’t really like them for who they are?

Does your friend make you feel badly about yourself?

How To End A Friendship In the most loving, least awful way possible

Make sure that this is really what you want. Are you in a slump? Does everything look bad right now – not just your friendships? Have you talked to this friend, brought their behavior to light, or told them that you’re unhappy? Yes? It hasn’t worked? Proceed to the next point.

Be honest. You are awesome and strong and worth loving, right? Right. You need to act that way, and stand up for yourself if a relationship is no longer working for you. Now: being honest can be the absolute hardest thing possible, but this is a difficult subject and making excuses will not help you in the long run.

Be nice. Presumably you loved this person at one point in your life – for whatever reason. Even if they are torturing you within an inch of your life now, likely they don’t even know that you’re doing it, so be NICE when you are honestly breaking up with them.

Be real – with yourself. Make sure that it is your friend that is toxic and that they are not just mirroring your toxicity back to you. If its not them, and it is in fact you – you’re reading the wrong post. Learn how to love yourself and become  the most amazing person in the room.

Consider taking a break, and not going for the whole enchilada break up. Maybe you just need some space to breathe and reassess your relationship.

Now, I am all about finding awesome friends and building amazing relationships. This advice is purely for people whom you’ve outgrown and are making your life sad/negative/hard/painful.  You’re worth the very best!

Is this a problem in your life? How do you deal with it? Do you have any tips for walking away from these types of friendships?

P.S. How to make friends as an adult

Photo by Serrah Galos on Unsplash

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  1. Kelly

    This is a great article and a great topic to explore, thanks for sharing!


    thank you! 🙂

  3. Samantha

    This was is a topic that is on my mind and I just wrote about the other day. Yes, I'm in that situation and it sucks. Truly ending the friendship is happening naturally. The biggest thing for me was setting clear boundaries with her and easing her out of my life. It's a really hard process. Thank you for writing this.

  4. Camille

    I'm having a major issue with a friend at the moment. We've been friends since we were 11, and now we're 16. If I'm honest, I never truly loved being around her – she's immature, ignorant and thoughtless. Every time I think she's getting better and growing up, she'll do something that makes me crazy. Our group of friends are all having issues with her. My problem is, I want a small birthday party next month, and I really, really don't want her to be there. My family absolutely hates her and I think she'll spoil my little night. I'm just scared, because she thinks we're such good friends, that she'll go crazy when she finds out I didn't invite her. Being a people-pleaser never sucked so much. Advice, any one?

  5. mel

    Camille: that really sucks. Especially when you're young and know you can't really "get away" from your peers due to school and such.

    I would be afraid, too! Though I don't think there is anyway to avoid the "crazy" part. 🙁 If she's that much of a drain on you all, I'm sure you deserve a chance to move on and have a party however you like. Luckily, you have all of your friends to back you up if things get rough.

    I tend to have better luck being truthful and blunt instead of trying to gradually phase someone out. If all else fails, you've only got two more years of this. A couple of months after high school, all of those fairweather friends tend to disappear.

  6. Short Presents

    I think this is SUCH an amazing post. Breaking up with your beau is easy because it can be a clean break, but breaking up with a friend… phew thats a doozy.

  7. Julie

    I broke up with my best friend about 3 years ago. It was the hardest thing I had to do but it had to be done. I tried the space thing first, I was friendly to her but not as close as before and she just started ignoring me and when I tried to talk to her we decided that we should just break up.

    I hate admitting this, but after we broke up I figured out who my real friends were, I started getting better grades, I became a happier person and I even lost weight because I wasn't constantly stressing about keeping her happy and confident.

  8. April in Autumn

    I have someone like that it my life. I haven't seen her in about a month and don't feel any real desire to talk to contact her. I'd like to be honest, but how do you nicely tell someone "I do not have fun hanging out with you anymore and I don't feel good about myself around you"? Especially when you know they deal with depression. Ugh. The guilt thing is way up there.

  9. Anna

    I just discovered your blog and I love it, and this article is very helpful. I used to have a best friend from the age of 15. She was kind of dominant…ok well BOSSY, and when I was younger I didn't mind, because I was very timid and felt more secure next to her. She told me what to do, and I somehow believed she was always right. However, eventually I started growning and forming my own opinions. Suddenly I noticed she wasn't being very nice to me. Then she encountered some big problems in her life….and discovered she was quite alone, probably because of her behavior. There was one to help her except for me and I felt like I had to do it, as an old friend. Of course this was bound to go wrong, and I got more and more fed up with her manipulating me. I tried to tell her, but she didn't really listen and immediately turned it around so it sounded like it was MY foult. I tried to keep my distance – she didn't get the message. Then I 'broke up' with her.

    It's a relief but I feel guilty too.

  10. andi

    right now i have a big problem of my own. there is this girl who was never rly my friend and i just felt bad for her. she is super clingy and i don’t want to be her friend but she has tried to herself before. ugh idk wut to do

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