One of the worst things that can happen to you is when you have to end a friendship. It’s never fun, but if someone is bringing you down or making your life harder, it’s important to know how to do it. Breakups are never easy, but by following these steps on how to end a friendship, you can make it go as smoothly as possible.
1. Be honest with your friend about how you feel
If you want to be a good friend, be honest with your friends about how you feel. If they’re doing something that’s bothering you, say something about it. Don’t be passive-aggressive—tell them how you feel. If you see that someone isn’t taking care of themselves, try to offer a solution. Maybe they need to see a therapist or get some help exercising. Remind them how much self-care you give to them.
If emotional reasons are blocking you from being friends, tell them. If you don’t have resources or attention, offer those to them. If other people are upset, talk about the situation. Sure, this has the potential to hurt someone, but being open about how you’re feeling can make things better.
I always assumed, as a man, that being friends with someone meant having to feed, clothe, and house them. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re not sure if you’re compatible, it’s better to be friends with someone for who you are than for who they need you to be.
If you see that someone isn’t developing emotionally, grow apart. Your relationship won’t survive if you stay the same person no matter how much they change. Establish boundaries early in your friendship, and stick to them.
If someone is clingy, abrupt, or disrespectful, the sooner they move out the better. Giving someone a chance will benefit both of you—your relationship will be healthier, and you’ll be able to move on from past mistakes.
I used to think being friends was the best way to be close to a person and still interact regularly with them. Being best friends also meant that the friendship could be trusted, which made me trust and rely on them less.
You can’t be friends with someone if you can’t be honest with them. Don’t act like the best friend you can be and expect the other person to follow suit.
2. Don’t leave them hanging and don’t wait until the last minute to end the friendship.
If you decide that you want to end a friendship, you shouldn’t just cut off the communication without any warning. Be honest with them and tell them why you can’t be friends anymore. Let them know that you still care about them and hope they have a great life. But don’t keep them guessing on why you want to cut ties.
There are certain times that any conversation won’t benefit either of you. These are times to let go and let things go.
Letting go is a fundamental part of any breakup. It’s very difficult to deal with not knowing why someone is leaving, but there is one thing you’re not supposed to do. You shouldn’t try to fill the gap yourself. That’s extra work and leads to resentment.
You want to let go because you’ve made your feelings clear, but you also need to know when to let go and when to get a replacement. Don’t send the other person self-care gifts or ridiculous compliments about their accomplishments. You don’t have to buy anything. Just tell them why you’re cutting ties.
They have to be OK with it. They’ve got to know that you aren’t taking them on a date or inviting them to hang out again. You don’t owe them anything, so just be gracious and let them know you don’t want to be friends anymore.
Trust is everything when you’re trying to keep communication open when two people are no longer friends. Getting to know each other better and building a relationship will make you both feel happier. You deserve to try many new things before committing.
How you act in this conversation will shape your relationship for a long time. The first thing you want to do is make it clear that you still care for them. You don’t need to proactively plan more dates or invite them over. You just need to let them know why you’re no longer friends.
3. Make sure you end it amicably, even if you’re angry or upset
If you’re ending a client relationship, make sure you do so in a professional way and don’t burn bridges. You never know when you might be working with that person or their company again, so you never know when you might need them to do a good job for you. Here are some explanations of how breakups work, so it becomes clear what to do, when, and how to make other people involved feel happy.
An ex will always have a cloud over their head when they are with you. This is because they dislike boundaries, and breaking a sweat with someone from the outset is all they can think of to do with you. You may get along when you first start hanging out with them, but as soon as they start getting pushy or threatening, it sours the relationship.
What they may not realize is that this cloud seeping over your head is an indication that boundary issues are brewing internally. It’s also not cool to hurt your ex-partner’s feelings, especially if they hurt yours the first go-round. So avoid being pushy unless the other person is ready to hear that kind of talk.
Your relationship with an ex-partner is filled with strong emotions, but there are a few behaviors you should avoid if you want to feel more comfortable around them.
Show your ex that you aren’t trying to break anything off, even if you’re not ready to. See this as a sign that other people are affecting your relationship negatively, and don’t push your ex-partner into making a difficult decision that will probably end it. A member of your family may be pushing for something, and you shouldn’t be blindly following them.
Taking up space in your life is usually a bad idea right after a breakup unless there is a very specific reason why your ex-partner would want it. Never take up their space at the grocery store or on the phone while you are talking with them.
4. Don’t involve other people in your breakup unless necessary
Do not involve other people in your breakup unless necessary. Sometimes you need to vent and be with a friend, but don’t be the person who tells everyone your entire breakup story. Be clear on why you are breaking up with the person and who your new best friend will be, but avoid excessive emotion.
Alone time is crucial in a breakup. When I’m dealing with a breakup, I take the time to grieve for some things, like a friend I’ve lost. I spend some time alone by myself to process the problems in my life and come up with some good solutions for them.
Think about this before you hurt someone else — what do you need from them right now?
“It when one person in a relationship has less control over their emotions and their life and one or both people are unhappy. They may try to play therapist to ease the pain, but the relationship invariably becomes worse in the long run.” — Commonwealth
In your new friendship, make sure the relationship is mutual and equal. Someone else has fewer rights and more responsibilities than you, just like in any friendship. Try to keep the power and decision-making power in the relationship creeps back to you or the person you left.
Keep the promise you made. Breakups are painful, but it counts more how you behave than what you say. Don’t lie about things, and make sure you keep the promises you made. Don’t lie to someone and expect them to keep their word. Grieve your broken heart, but don’t let it consume you.
“There’s a difference between the grief that is genuine and grief that has been manufactured to make your heart feel better. Your relationship with someone has nothing to do with whether or not your heart feels happy.” — Commonwealth
Stay safe. Change can hurt, but the good things can outweigh the bad.
5. Make sure your friend has come to an end before moving on with your life.
When it comes to friendships, it’s important to know when it’s time to move on. If you’re still friends with an ex, for example, you’re probably still in love with them and haven’t fully let go. That’s the real problem.
If you’re still hanging out with someone who is causing immense guilt and fear, it’s probably time to cut ties with them. It’s normal to want to put someone on a pedestal, but once they have one, you need to put yourself on a pedestal, too. During the hardest parts of breakups, projecting your energy onto someone other than yourself is incredibly helpful.
If you’re a dating addict, being with someone who doesn’t value your time is going to be hard. It’s easy to spend hours texting someone days at a time before you even meet them for the first time.
If it’s hard to do with someone else, you may need to find a new friendship partner. It’s normal to want to put someone on a pedestal, but once they have one, you need to put yourself on a pedestal, too.
There’s a surge of energy that comes with ending a friendship, especially with someone who is causing so much drama. It’s natural to want to crawl back into your shell and pretend as nothing happened. But if you want a new friendship partner or to be happy for someone, you’re going to have to let go of the feelings you have currently.
Like it or not, you’re going to face moments like these, and your emotions are going to be running in all directions. While it might be uncomfortable, with a little mindfulness you’re able to come out of these tough moments with your head clear and ready to face your new best friend.
Given the way our world is right now, it’s so easy to lose touch with our friends and family if we don’t live together.
These few steps will guide you on how to end a friendship without making a mess in the process.