Wellbeing

So You Want To Break Up With A Friend? Here’s How

Having a group of likeminded people to call your mates is great, and having a reliable support network is important when it comes to your mental wellbeing. By surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people you can rely on, and who can rely on you in times of need, you’re certainly setting yourself up for a more fulfilled existence.

But what happens when someone who once was a positive force in your life turns out to be pretty shitty?

Look. There are a bunch of different and totally justifiable reasons as to why you mightn’t want to be friends with someone anymore, and if you can pick up on these signs sooner rather than later, you might save yourself some time hanging around a not-so-good person.

Disclaimer: we always recommend trying to salvage a friendship before straight up kicking them to the curb. It never hurts trying to repair a relationship. But sometimes it just gets to the point where you can’t deal anymore, and you’ve tried everything you can to salvage that unsavable wreck of your friendship.

These are the times you might want to reconsider a friendship.

They’ve seriously done you wrong

Seriously screwing someone over isn’t exactly the friendliest act. In fact, it’s like the opposite of that – something that friends just don’t do to one another.

Deciding whether or not to remain friends with someone after a serious betrayal is a totally personal decision, and one that pretty much depends on the severity of the situation, your willingness to forgive, as well as your history together.

There are however circumstances that totally break the foundations of a friendship, exceeding whatever history you and the person might have. It’s irreparable, no matter how hard you try.

In instances like these, where you’re left utterly shattered and feel stuck in a toxic friendship, you have to ask yourself whether or not the relationship is worth salvaging.

There’s unrelenting conflict

Has banter with your friend exceeded the point of friendly? If you catch yourself arguing a lot and over the same stuff, it might be time to ask yourself why that is.

Conflict can arise in a bunch of different ways and for a bunch of different reasons, but if you and your friend are incessantly fighting with no sign of resolution it can be tiresome, and chances are hanging out feels more like a chore.

You’re just in different places  

As time passes people change – that’s just a fact. Sometimes you drift away from people and some people just turn out to be actual human garbage in time.

It can be difficult, especially when we tend to determine the weight of a friendship based on how long you’ve known the person. Just because you’ve known them since kindergarten, doesn’t make them any less of a dick.

You may also just be at different stages in life that aren’t completely compatible, for example, you’re working full-time and your buddy is still partying six days a week. Those two lives can be hard to combine.

Whether they’ve screwed you over, stopped being fun, have changed, whatever the case, if you’re still reading at this point you’ve probably decided the best thing for both of you is to stop being mates.

And you know what, that’s totally OK. Here are some ways of doing it.

#1 Distance yourself

One of the best, easiest and most pain-free ways of breaking things off with a friend is to just distance yourself. Decline invites, try to avoid hanging out and hope they get the hint (good lord, please get the hint).

Now this can be difficult depending on how close you two were before something happened that made you want to give them the flick. If you would hang out every day and all of a sudden disappear, it might come off as a little bit sus. 

#2 Set some boundaries

Perfect for the friend you’re happy to stay civil with.

You may have a friend who is fun to be around, but you can’t count on for the important things, like them being there for you when you really need them. And honestly, those friends are almost always fine to keep.

Sure they probably won’t be around to bail you out of jail or take you to the hospital, but you can decide to be their friend on a surface level, with no expectations attached. This one doesn’t really require a conversation with your friend, just one with yourself.

If it’s someone you have a bunch of mutual friends with and you’d like to save the awkwardness or keep the peace, you can choose to just hang out with your friend in group settings, not solo. You can make this clear to your “friend” or you can just know in yourself that it’s best you two avoid each other and address the situation if the opportunity arises. 

#3 Be honest

Just tell them. If they’ve been horrible, they deserve to know. If you’re incessantly arguing, you need to talk about it. If you… you get the picture.

As awkward as it may be, honesty is the best policy. Even if it’s the most awkward, uncomfortable and cringey thing you’ve ever had to experience, once it’s over it’s over. Who knows, it might even be enough to repair the friendship. Maybe they didn’t know they were being a dick.

Now you can live the rest of your life minus one person you’re sick to death of having to deal with. In the wise words of Ariana Grande, you got “one less, one less problem”.

Sucky friends suck. You don’t need that negativity in your life. Turn burning bridges into a national sport. Kidding, sorry for your loss.

(Lead Image: Girls HBO)


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.