Believe it or not, your parents may have been right. Sometimes, you need to cut friends out. So, here is how to end a friendship – the mature way.
Regardless of where you were raised, chances are your parents warned you about certain friends. Perhaps you brushed it off, or just chalked it up to your parents being parents. As you get older, you realize they might be right after all. Sometimes, friends just aren’t good friends. And sometime, you need to know how to end a friendship and walk away for good.
Trust and respect are earned and should be cherished. If your friend isn’t inspiring, motivating, helpful, trustworthy, or active in your life, dumping your friend might be in order.
How to cut a friend out of your life
Just like in a relationship, friends should be there during the good and bad times, but most importantly, reflect who you are or would like to be.
#1 Refrain from just blocking your friend overnight. You’re an adult, act like it. Abruptly cutting people out from your life is for teenagers.
Imagine all the dirt your friend has on you, and think of what would happen if it got out. Better yet, think of the good times you’ve shared, and end things in a way that honors them.
#2 Talk things out. Chances are you already have and nothing changed. Now it’s time to say your peace and leave. By this point, you spoke to your friend and tried to patch things up. Clearly, it didn’t work, and chances are it isn’t going to.
You’re not in a relationship, it’s a friendship. So, there’s a sense of urgency always lacking when it comes to fixing certain issues. Express how you feel, and why you need to stop being friends. Keep it simple and polite. If they overreact, you’re still honorable.
#3 Don’t start complaining to your other friends about this friend. If you need to vent, pick a non-mutual friend. It’s true, people ask questions and want to get to the bottom of the situation between you two. There’s one thing most tend to forget—it’s not their problem.
Don’t discuss these issues with friends who are connected to your old friend, and avoid falling into the trap that is venting to the wrong people. You never know who might misconstrue what you say, and run off with the wrong information. Avoid drama at all costs. If you must vent, pick someone who isn’t in that circle of friends.
#4 Don’t ignore your friend. You used to be close and share good memories. If they need to talk, be there, but make sure it’s just about your issues and not another topic. Otherwise, they might consider this a way back into your life.
For instance, if your ex-friend wants to talk about their relationship issues, or what they got when they went out that day, kindly remind them that you’re not trying to continue the friendship. They have other friends or people they can go to.
Now, if they want to talk about your issues, what led to the falling out, or something else related to the two of you, then by all means, talk it out. Just make sure it’s not being used as an excuse to stay in contact.
#5 Stop going over to their house and making plans to hang out. Ex-friends don’t linger around. After you speak your peace, stop going over to their house or meeting for coffee.
It may be hard, especially if your friend and you spent a lot of time together. The ties were cut for a reason. Remember that reason, and move on with your life.
#6 If you have ties together, you can’t avoid your friend. Be respectful, but keep some distance. Make small talk when cornered, or politely greet them as you walk by. Don’t ignore your friend like they’re a perfect stranger. Otherwise, you get a hurt and resentful ex-friend who causes office drama. It’s not something you need in a professional setting.
#7 You may need to cut out your mutual friends. Remember how you shouldn’t gossip about the issues to other people? Well, sometimes you should cut those people out too. Particularly if they’re the type to keep bringing up your ex-friend and asking 21 questions about your problems every time you see them.
If someone tells your ex-friend about everything you’ve been up to since the falling out, it could be time to let them go too.
#8 Fill your life with other people, preferably people who inspire and motivate you. At least, won’t repeat the same mistakes as your old friend. You’ve already let one friend go, if not several, so now is the time to be more observant and cautious when you make new friends.
Don’t befriend people who strike you as like your old group of friends, try a new direction.
#9 Remember, your friend may be resentful and start an argument. Don’t fall for it. If this happens, take the high road and simply bite your tongue. Let them have their say and shape things however they want.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Your friendship is over. They can go on thinking whatever it is they want. All that matters is that you’re at peace with your choice.
#10 Live your life to the fullest. Ignore any rumors that may arise. If your friend is stuck in high school and goes around talking badly behind your back, or spreading rumors about you, evaluate who it is you’re hanging around with. Once a friendship is over, you shouldn’t be hearing from, or about, your ex-friend. If somehow you still hear stories, cut out the people talking about it or ask them to stop.
Don’t clear up the rumors, don’t spread more to get back at your old friend. Live your life and preoccupy yourself with your own adventures. Eventually, it’ll all stop, not just because of passing time, but because you won’t give into the game.
Ending a friendship can be devastating, making you feel guilty and deserving of all the drama to come. Try to fix things, but remember you’re not a bad person if you stop being their friend. You need to do what’s right for you, rather than being held back by people who do you no good anymore.