101 WAYS TO DITCH YOUR FRIENDS
How to Ditch Your Friends
It's sad when two close friends decide that they want to part ways. It's even sadder when one party has to let the other know when the formerly close friendship is now over. While it's never going to be easy, by sticking to your own resolve about why the friendship isn't working for you anymore and being honest and ultimately caring, you will find a way to end the friendship with dignity.
Being Honest with Your Friends
Be certain in your own mind why the friendship is no longer working for you.Before you go about getting rid of people in your life, make sure you’re doing it for sound reasons. Are you stressed? Are they stressed? If so, now may not be the right time. But if this has been going on for a prolonged period of time and you just don’t feel good around them anymore, this is probably the right decision. Life is too short to be around those who don’t make us feel our best.
- Knowing exactly why you want to the friendship over with will help you explain to this person (or persons) why you’re deciding to cut off the friendship. When you’re strong in your convictions, they’ll be a lot harder to argue with and to get angry about.
- Make sure you're not doing this on a whim or out of anger. If you get the impulse to end the friendship, sleep on it. If you still feel the same urge the next day, it may be safe to move forward.
Get your friend in private and speak your mind.Initially, telling the truth about your feelings that the friendship has drawn to a natural conclusion may seem hard, but it can be the kindest thing to do in the long run and may save you the trouble of having to go through any other steps to end the friendship. Broach the topic gently with them. Take care to avoid placing blame or suggesting that your friend has character flaws that you can't stand anymore. This is partly about you, too.
- For example, you might say something like, “I don't know know how you feel and I am willing to listen to what you think. But it's important that you understand that I don't feel like our friendship is working well anymore. There are now many times when I feel we've [grown apart/started to bicker all the time/gotten too used to putting each other down, etc.] and even though I've thought hard about this, I just don't feel we can fix this anymore. I feel we should see less of one another and be honest about what has happened to our friendship."
Stay objective and blame-free.Be aware that if you give specific reasons for ending the friendship, these reasons must be as objective and blame-free as possible. Any reasons that attack the character or actions of the other person are open to your friend responding by saying that they'll be a better friend, etc. and you risk getting stuck in an unwinnable argument. Focus on you and how you feel – things they cannot change.
- To avoid a defensive response, keep your reasons for ending the close friendship broad and non-judgmental. You want to stay the bigger person in this situation.
- Do not say negative things about your friend's character; this will raise defensiveness and can make you look mean and petty. If that happens, you may feel obliged to "repair" your nastiness and it'll take many more months before you feel strong enough to try undoing the friendship again.
Try to focus on facts, not opinions, and your own feelings.Criticize howyoufeel in the friendship rather than picking on your friend's annoying habits. You do not want them to feel attacked – nothing good can come from that (especially if you have mutual friends).
- Be aware that anything you say will likely be construed negatively. This is only human and is a way of coping with pain. With this in mind, keep your message simple, kind and clear.
Be prepared to listen to what your friend has to say.This isn't a case of being "won over" by your friend's arguments that things will still work – it's about having the courtesy to show that you have listened. You can summarize how you see their side of the story and then repeat that despite that, you still feel that it's over from your side of things.
- This conversation is likely to cause a lot of sadness, hurt and even anger on behalf of your friend. Be prepared to acknowledge this but don't let it be a reason for sweeping the problems under the carpet.
If things get heated, suggest that you meet up later to finish the conversation.Don't stand about taking abuse; angry responses are a sign that a timeout is needed. If closure doesn’t happen, that’s fine. You did what you had to do.
- If your friend becomes upset during the conversation, don't feel compelled to explain your ways. Just repeat that you don't want to be close friends anymore. Emotions are going to be on high alert during this time, so it’s important you stay as logical as possible.
Be realistic when assessing the fate of the friendship.In some cases, it will be obvious to both of you that the friendship has been going nowhere for a while. Most likely, the friend will be having the same feelings and be relieved that you have been open about it – so try it. You shouldn't have to be stuck in a friendship that you aren't interested in.
- Since you did it openly and honestly, both of you know where the pieces lie. It'll be easier for both of you to interact in the future, if and when you need to. However, if this isn't doable, the next section discusses abandoning the friendship in an indirect, passive way.
Slowly stop associating with the person.Sometimes “having the talk” just isn’t an option. In those cases, withdrawing from being friendly and chatty can help to send the message home. Begin to hang out with other people and don't return your former friend's texts or calls. If they question why you aren't texting back, just reply with a nonchalant, "Sorry, I was busy" or "I can't do long chats anymore, I don't have the time.” The other person will be offended, but in time they will get over this.
- Don't meet up as you used to. If this means changing plans with other friends, you may need to do so for a time. Not seeing one another is a good way to create distance and help your friend realize that you really mean it.
Stop sharing things on social media networks.Block the ex-friend if this works best for you. Don't reply to anything texted, IM'd or sent to you online from this person. Avoid making comments on posts, even if the rest of your circle of friends is doing so. Your absence will speak volumes to your ex-friend.
- If you pick up your phone only to see 15 texts and 3 missed calls, it will be something you will have to deal with. In this situation, text or call them back to arrange a time to meet. You’ll then have to talk about the break up in person.
Adjust your routine, if necessary.If you have a fitness class together, hang out at the same diner, or even have the same friends, you may have to adjust your routine to avoid this person. Sometimes that will mean not doing what you want to do, sure, but you’ll be so much happier not having to deal with this toxic relationship that you might not even notice.
- This can always be a temporary change until the worst blows over. Give it a few weeks, and then return to normal. He or she will then have time to calm down and get used to you not being around.
Be honest if confronted.It’s very possible that your friend will notice you slipping away and ask you what’s up. If this happens, be honest. Say you’re making other friends and that you two are simply growing apart. That’s natural. You two don’t mesh together anymore – you just bring each other down. Odds are they’ll know what you’re talking about.
- If you chose the “slowly fading away” approach, be honest about why: you didn’t want to have an argument about it and wanted to avoid conflict. You were nervous it would be sad and maybe a bit scary. If you open up yourself like that, they won’t be able to argue or attack you.
Going from Friends to Acquaintances
Be polite but distant with your former friend.After the friendship draws to a close, avoid being too cold; this is unfair and unkind. Instead, in time you should find yourself able to be polite and engage in meaningless small talk on occasion. However, refuse to have a chat or conversation beyond the pleasantries that acquaintances exchange, such as saying hello and goodbye and mentioning the weather. Laugh at the occasional joke together. But always have an excuse up your sleeve for getting away from them, such as needing to meet someone or get something done, just in case your former friend thinks you've opened the door to rekindling the close friendship.
If you must, address the former situation.Eventually you may find that you can't simply brush off your friend with simple comments. You may be able to see them itching for the closeness you once had. In this situation, you'll need to be incredibly blunt, telling the cold, honest truth.
- Here's an example of what you might say that is both honest and blunt, but civil and mature: "X, I know this isn't easy for you but I really meant it when I said I don't want us to be close friends anymore. I am not going to keep having these conversations with you and it's important for you to know that I mean it when I say that I am no longer your close friend. I will never be rude about you or unkind to you but I am not going to get involved in the same pattern as before. Please understand that."
Avoid being aggressive.Cursing at your former friend or openly ignoring them around other friends are mean-spirited things to do and won't make the breakup any easier. Do not spread rumors about your friend either; gossip is cowardice and will hurt your friend. It will also likely backfire on you, as gossip tends to breed more gossip.
- Unfortunately, bystanders love a good catfight and some people won't hesitate to encourage one, so don't give them the pleasure – instead, be a role model for how to end a formerly close friendship with dignity.
- If you're aggressive, don't be surprised if others think your friend ended the friendshipwith you.Staying calm, cool, and collected is the only way to handle this delicate situation.
QuestionMy friends leave me out of everything they do. They go on trips and days out and have sleepovers without me and I feel like they don't want me around. Should I stop being friends with them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt seems like your friends prefer hanging out without you, and you deserve friends who enjoy your company. Take some time to actively seek out friendships with other people, and don't waste any more energy on this bunch.Thanks!
QuestionShould I be friends again with my ex-best friend who ditched me for my enemy, or stay with my new best friend who is a bad influence on me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, if your ex-best friend ditched you, and your new best friend is a bad influence on you, then neither one are not worthy of being your best friend. Find another best friend who you can trust.Thanks!
QuestionShould I get rid of a friend who continues to bring up touchy subjects, or should I stick it out and hope they'll stop, even though others are starting to dislike me because of it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should talk to your friend and explain that certain subjects should not be brought up because they are upsetting, hence 'touchy subjects'. If they do not stop, you should definitely ditch them, because they do not understand you and are probably not going to be a good aspect of your life.Thanks!
QuestionIs there a way to distance my friends? Can I just not make more friends?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo distance your friends, you talk to them less, and go to less places with them, such as if they're going on a shopping trip. There is no need to make more friends; perhaps you just need some alone time.Thanks!
QuestionI have two friends who I always hang out with, but I was thinking of avoiding them for a long time. Is there a way to avoid awkward questions or talks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust tell them upfront that you need a break. I just recently had to do that with two of my friends. It is scary at first, but just be brave.Thanks!
QuestionMy friend and I only talk over school email, with no personal meetings. She is clingy and sends me a lot of messages. How do I dump her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should talk to your friend in person and let her know you just don't have time to respond to so many emails, and you probably won't be replying in the future. She may be "clingy" because she feels insecure about your friendship. If you're interested in building a relationship with her outside of email, try to set up a time to hang out.Thanks!
QuestionSometimes when we hang out together, she wants to go places I can't go. What should I do?ItssqueenCommunity AnswerTell your friend that you don't want to go there and ask her if there is another place she wants to go. Make sure both of you guys agree to it and not just go to a place that one person only wants to go.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if my best friend keeps going off with our other friends and sometimes they exclude me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry talking to them about it and being honest and open. As they're your best friends, they should understand. When talking with them, don't try to blame them like it's their fault. Try to explain your side of things and let them know how you feel.Thanks!
QuestionIf my friend gets emotional about the friendship ending, should I hug them?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it's okay to hug them if they're upset. But if they're angry or they tell you they don't want a hug, don't try to force it.Thanks!
QuestionI am in a one sided relationship with my friend. When I told her that we shouldn't be friends anymore, she got really upset. I don't want to hang out with her anymore what should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust stop hanging out with her and ignore her attempts at communication.Thanks!
- Think thoroughly of the consequences and reasons before you end a friendship. After it is over, it will be hard if not impossible, to start this same friendship up again.
- Don't let them be very emotional, or hug them if they are, as that might lead them to think that you are not serious about ending this friendship.
- Don't talk about the friend behind his or her back. It will get back to them, and there will be a lot of upset feelings, and rumors will be spread about you as well!
- This is general advice. Only you know the realities and context of your friendship and the reasons for breaking up. You will need to put in the groundwork of thinking about the consequences of what you wish to do and what you say and while advice is helpful, listening to your instincts and using your own relationship skills matter most. At the end of the day, the best advice is to do your best to avoid turning your former friend into an enemy – draining your energies in that way is absolutely pointless.
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