Friends are essential to our social life: we confide in them, we look to them for support and celebrate our successes with them. As we grow and evolve, so do our friendships, but sometimes not in a good way. You might feel like a friendship has had its day: maybe you and your friend don't have anything in common anymore, or maybe the relationship has become toxic? You might then decide that it's time to end it. But how do you go about doing it without screaming and without tears? Learn how to determine if it's really necessary to end a friendship, and if so, how to go about doing it as gently as possible.
Part 1 of 4: Evaluating the Friendship Relationship
Step 1. Think about whether you really want to cut ties with this person
Ending a friendship can have a major impact on your life (and that of the other person), so be careful not to make your decision out of anger. Take some time to sit down quietly and make a list of the reasons why you are friends with this person and the things that you no longer like about this relationship. This will help you understand better whether this friendship can be saved or whether you will have to end it.
- Clearly defining your reasons for wanting to end this relationship will help you be confident in your decision and speak clearly to your friend. You will then feel that you have made the right choice, for your own well-being.
- Remember that walking away from someone is just natural, it doesn't make you or the other a bad person.
Step 2. See if you want to end this friendship because of a dispute that can be resolved or simply because of a significant change in your personalities
Maybe the conflict is just a little misunderstanding and your friend might not even know they did something that upset you. It's also possible that you and this person have both changed and now don't have much in common: if you met in kindergarten and are now teenagers, you might like and are now interested in different things and then might no longer be compatible.
- Are you planning to end this friendship because your friend forgot to come to your soccer game or because he said something mean about your girlfriend? Unless it's a repeated behavior, letting your friend know that they hurt you might be enough to mend your friendships.
- If this friendship bores you or you dread spending time with this person, it means your bond has broken down.
- If you find that you now have very little in common (you can't figure out what to do together or find things to talk about), your friendship may have come to an end.
- Is your friend a caring, kind person who is constantly late or sometimes cancels an outing at the last minute? See if the issues you are having with this friend could be discussed with her in order to save your friendship.
- Is your friend uncomfortable in a group, shy, or awkward? Do you think you can help him overcome these difficulties?
Step 3. Look for the telltale signs of a toxic friendship
A toxic friendship is an unhealthy relationship in which you constantly feel like you are being taken advantage of. If your friend insults you, gets jealous of your other friends, or you feel bad after each interaction with that person, it might be time to end the relationship.
- Does your friend only come to you when he needs something? Is he using you as a therapist, never being there for you in return, or is he outright asking you to do his homework?
- Does your friend only see the negative aspects of life? See if this is a passing situation (maybe she is just going through a bad time) or if this is her usual behavior. That person would then be a negative presence in your life.
- Is your friend extremely competitive, looking for arguments with you, or is she clingy or overly pressing? These behaviors often reveal a toxic friendship.
- Is she trying to get you into trouble? If your friend steals, hurts people, or generally behaves badly and pulls you into her negative spiral, know that your role isn't to repair the damage she's causing. In this case, take care of yourself first.
- Think about how you feel after spending time with this person. If you feel bad most of the time, it's not a healthy relationship.
Step 4. Give your friend a chance to change
If there are more positives than negatives in your relationship with this person, try talking to them about things that are upsetting or hurting you. Maybe the issues can be sorted out, and you might not have to end this friendship. Remember, no one is perfect and you too can probably learn to be a best friend.
- One-on-one with your friend, tell them that their behavior is putting your friendship at risk. Tell her “it really bothers me when you flirt with my girlfriend” or “you know it's hard to hang out with you when you're always late. Could you make an effort to come on time? "
- Ending a friendship without giving the other person a chance to change can be very painful. If that person is a good friend, it's probably worth talking to them about how you feel before you decide to cut ties.
Part 2 of 4: Gradually withdrawing from a friendship
Step 1. Determine if it would be appropriate to make yourself increasingly rare or if you will need to have a frank discussion with your friend
If it's your best friend or a longtime friend, this usually won't be the best way to end your relationship with that person. If you just want to distance yourself a little bit (maybe go from best friends to just friends or friends to acquaintances), on the other hand, you can gradually pull out of the relationship. However, if you want to cut ties with your oldest friend, you owe them a frank explanation. You could still start the process by putting some distance between the two of you.
- If that person is around all the time (you are in class together, have the same group of friends, or do the same activities), you can try the step-by-step approach. Making it clear to your friend that you don't want to see him anymore while your lives are tied up could result in a very complicated situation.
- If your friendship isn't what it used to be anyway (for example, if neither of you seems to find time to see the other), let the relationship unravel itself. You don't have to tell that person that you don't want to be their friend anymore.
- Do not cut the bridges abruptly without giving an explanation. Gradually withdrawing from a relationship does not mean "playing dead". Don't ignore your friend's attempts to reach you and don't pretend you don't know him. Your friend would be hurt, confused and the situation would probably end in drama.
- Be aware that you will risk hurting your friend even if you use the progressive method. Even if you don't tell the person "I don't want to be your friend anymore," he (or she) will probably notice and feel hurt.
Step 2. Make yourself unavailable
When your friend wants to make plans with you, let them know that you are very busy. Your schoolwork, your family, your religious obligations: all the excuses will be good not to have time to see it. Take time to respond to text messages and try not to have this person on the phone as often as before. When she calls you, keep the conversation short.
- Remember not to be mean or dry with your friend. You are not trying to hurt him! Stay light and say something like "I'm sorry I really have to go!" ".
- If pretending to be busy when your friend calls makes you uncomfortable, be really busy. Join any club or do something that interests you, but your friend does not. This will allow you to meet new people and have good reason not to have time to see your old friend.
- Spend time with other friends, get closer to family, or even do things on your own.
Step 3. Don't be as open with this person as you were before
If you used to recount every interaction with your sweetheart to your friend or confide all your family problems to her, then slowly break this habit. Keep your conversations hollow and just talk about your homework, for example.
If she feels like talking to you for hours on end about her boyfriend, try to find a way to avoid the conversation or keep it short. You might tell her that you are busy and can't speak, or that you only have 5 minutes to give her before you have to leave
Step 4. Don't try to get the message out through social media
By removing that person from your Facebook friends or stopping following them on Twitter, you will make it clear to your mutual friends that you are severing your ties with that person, perhaps before they even know what they are doing. happens. By severing your virtual ties with that person, your private decision to end your friendship will become public and completely ruin the subtlety of the step-by-step approach.
Instead of removing that person from your friends list, just try to block them from accessing your posts
Part 3 of 4: be candid
Step 1. Plan what you will say
This conversation will not be easy, and you may want to write down your reasons for wanting to end the friendship or even write a script for the discussion. Since you'll want to hurt that person as little as possible, be sure to state these reasons tactfully and not accuse them of how your relationship has turned out.
You might even discuss what you will say with another close friend, relative, or sibling. Just make sure it's someone who can keep a secret. If your friend hears from someone else that you don't want to be her friend anymore (or worse, several other people), she will be very upset
Step 2. Sit down with your friend and tell them what's on your mind
If that person was a close friend of yours, you will owe them an explanation and also have to give them the option to respond, instead of just cutting off ties by email or text. Be direct (without being mean) and don't make up a bogus excuse or that person will always wonder what the hell happened.
- Choose a place that is quiet and private enough for your friend to react without embarrassment (maybe she will want to cry?). For example, avoid having this discussion in the canteen.
- It is very easy to misinterpret a letter or an email. Try talking to your friend in person, or at least on the phone. In addition, he might otherwise show your letter or email to other people.
- Try to be kind while remaining firm. Don't say “you know, you've become a real plague and our friendship is over”. Instead, say something like “our friendship has become a very negative energy in my life and I think it would be better if we weren't friends anymore”.
Step 3. Let your friend say what he has to say
Your friend might have complaints or questions for you. He might get on the defensive, scream, get angry, or cry. He has the right: let him express his feelings (unless he becomes violent, in which case, leave right away). In the end, you will both feel better after saying what you have to say, even if it is difficult at the time.
- Your friend may feel terribly guilty for acting the way she did and maybe she wants to do everything she can to save your friendship. If you wanted, you and your friend could pick up the pieces again.
- If your friend tries to start an argument, don't fall for it. Don't get involved in a dramatic scene. Even if he calls you names, don't answer.
- Stay with your friend until she feels better. Your friend may be taking your ad very badly, and you may have to stay by her side until she has recovered enough to be on her own.
Part 4 of 4: Manage the sequel
Step 1. If people ask you what happened, don't tell a story
People might realize that you and this person are no longer friends and ask you what happened. You can of course give them vague explanations, like “we just walked away”, but don't go into details. Telling mean things about your old friend would be mean and immature no matter what might have happened to bring your friendship to an end.
If your friend gets mean, spreads rumors or stories about you on social media, try not to respond. You won't have any interest in making the story last or defending yourself against someone you don't even want to be friends with anymore. Such behavior would just show that you made the right decision
Step 2. When you meet this person, be polite
Things might be weird for a while and your old friend might be angry or hurt, but always treat them with respect and kindness. Remember that this person was once your friend (maybe even your best friend), so respect what you shared with them.
Don't give him mean looks or ignore him. Smile at her briefly or nod to greet her discreetly, then move on
Step 3. If your mutual friends are angry, don't get caught up in endless drama
If you and that person have the same group of friends, ending that friendship could cause waves. Your mutual friends might take sides, ask you to reconcile with that person, or even get angry.