Sometimes we get trapped in destructive relationships with people we call “friends”—but are they really? Here’s a way to know whether it’s time to let go and some steps you can take to make that happen.
Wake up. Reflect on what’s really going on. Do they put you down regularly? Do they act negatively toward your other friends? Are they a bad influence—do they try to get you to do things you know you shouldn’t be doing? If you’ve answered yes, the “friendship” is trouble.
Don’t let guilt take over. When a friendship brings more frustration than joy, you need to do what is best for yourself. You have the power to let the relationship go. You don’t have to stick around. Take responsibility for what you need.
Don’t second-guess yourself. Replaying memories will make you miss her and doubt whether you made the right decision. Remind yourself of the unpleasant times that made you want her out of your life.
Be honest. Approach the person and explain how you feel, but don’t be aggressive. Hear her point of view, but don’t get caught up in it. If she tries to get the last word in—let her. Be the bigger person.
Don’t be manipulated. It’s possible she will try to make you feel like you didn’t live up to your part of the bargain, but don’t get sucked in by that. You are not the problem, and you are standing up for yourself.
Set clear boundaries. She may continue to contact you after the friendship has ended. Be firm—explain that it is non-negotiable. If she persists, take further measures like blocking her on social media so that you can’t be reached.
Allow time to heal. Losing a friend—good or bad—is hard to deal with. Give yourself time to grieve, but know it’s not the end of the world. Life without this person will get better despite what you may think at the moment.
Distract yourself. The best way to overcome loss is finding a new way to occupy your time. Join a gym or take up a new hobby that will keep you from feeling that you need her around—you don’t.
Remember who your real friends are. Look to those who have always been there for support. This change can allow you to enrich the bonds you have with others and meet new people along the way.