The best way to break up with a friend is to confront them. Choose a time and place to meet up and explain to them why you are ending the friendship. Allow your friend to speak their mind as well, and work together to set boundaries for moving forward. Read on for advice on letting a friendship fade out naturally, and for tips on how to handle the aftermath of breaking up with a friend. Did this summary help you? Yes Ask advice from your family members or other friends, especially people who know your friend well and may be able to add additional insight to your situation. They may be able to give you help for your individual setting. Send a letter or an e-mail if you don't feel comfortable having a face-to-face conversation.
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best advice dating a friend and breaking up with your male friend - 3 Ways to Break Up with Your Friend
BFF breakups are notoriously brutal. Unlike romantic relationships where you can vent to your bestie for hours over too many mimosas, losing your closest friend can leave you feeling even more hollow and isolated. Getting through it is no easy feat, but it can be done. Eventually, things can get so much better than you'll be weirdly grateful that the breakup happened.
I spoke with , author and adjunct professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, about the best ways to cope: Giphy "If the relationship had grown dysfunctional, then the same factors that made it end will also likely prevent there being a healthy and mature 'closure' process," says Dr. Bonior. "[You] can accept that something is, without always knowing why. (And [you] can keep reminding [yourself] that no matter the reason, [your] friend simply wasn't capable of being the person [you] needed in order for the friendship to be sustained)." Maybe one day, with time and distance, you'll be able to better understand what even went wrong.
Maybe you won't. But in the meantime, you still have to move on. 2. Give yourself a lot to look forward to. Since friend breakups can hurt just as much (if not more) than romantic breakups, some of the antidotes – like keeping hella busy – are the same. Dr. Bonior recommends "the same coping techniques that help boost mood in other circumstances – exercise, time outdoors, expressing gratitude, looking to help others, spending time with people whose company [you] enjoy, [and] learning new things." Giphy She emphasizes that booking your schedule with empty distractions is probably not the best, and stresses changes that actually improve your life in the long-run.
"Setting a new goal for yourself – whether professional, financial, fitness-oriented, or anything else – can be helpful to work toward as well." 3. Meet new people – but don't pressure yourself to find a new BFF ASAP.
If the friend you lost was the person you hung out with most of the time, you can have an overwhelming desire to fill that void immediately (much like wanting to date someone new right after a devastating breakup).
Stronger bonds have to happen organically. In the meantime, casting a wide net and opening yourself to new people is never a bad thing. Giphy "Focus on becoming a part of a community, which often helps friendship form through creating repeated contact, and could take the form of anything from a yoga class to a coffee shop to a volunteer site to your neighborhood listserv," says Bonior.
You will either make friends who like the same things you do, or you'll keep yourself occupied doing something you actually like on a Saturday night. Win win! 4. Tailor your social media if needed. Is there anything more enraging than seeing the ex-friend who wronged you having a BLAST with their new squad on Instagram?
Being reminded of them at all (but especially when they seem unbothered with losing you) can be super hurtful, but it's also easily avoidable. Giphy "In general, you don't want to do something aggressive that will only make you feel worse (or lead your friend to escalate things), but you also want to protect yourself from constantly being reminded of your upset," says Dr.
Bonior. The "unfollow" and "untag" buttons were invented for this reason. Don't block them if you don't want to, but keeping their stuff off your radar for now is probably for the best. 5. Have a game plan when dealing with mutual friends. If you hang out with some of the same people or might feasibly see each other at a party sometime, you have the added issue of "WTF do I say to everyone who still thinks we're best buds???" Giphy Ideally, the answer is: not much at all, if you want to avoid drama.
"Develop a mantra that you might need to repeat over and over again – both to yourself, and also to people who may ask," says Bonior. "'She and I don't really spend much time together' said with a basic, pleasant face can go a long way.
If you bump into the friend, some similar, civil acknowledgement –'Hope you're doing well' can help stave off the awkwardness." 6. Try to learn something from it (if you can). "Look for patterns," suggests Dr. Bonior. "Do you tend to have a lot of friendships where this happens? Did this friendship break up for reasons that you've seen other relationships in your life have problems about? Do you tend to choose a lot of friends like this person?" Giphy The silver lining to a friend breakup is addressing your own potential toxic behaviors, if there are any.
On the flip side, your friend may have just been deeply problematic on their own, and you might have to realize a sometimes-harder truth: there was nothing you could've done to fix it. 7. Accept that you may never reconnect. Chances are, you either never want to see this person again...or you're holding onto hope of a reconciliation someday. While the idea of forgiving them and hugging can sound beautiful, you can't actually count on that as a possibility. "Sometimes, there are specific things that you will hold out hope for – your friend getting sober, or not being so emotionally exhausting if she finally works through her own stuff – but you have to realize your own lack of control in any of that happening," says Bonior.
This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article meets our high standards. wikiHow marks an article as reader approved once it receives enough positive feedback.
This article has over 660,007 views, and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful. It also received 17 testimonials from readers, earning it our reader approved status. Many people have been through a breakup with a significant other, but breaking up with a friend can be even harder.
When you have a fight you know you can't resolve or you just don't have that much in common anymore, it's time to pull the plug. You can let the friendship fade out naturally, have a confrontation with your friend, or cut things off cold turkey. No matter what, it helps to be prepared to deal with the feelings you'll experience when it's finally over.
Arrange a time and place to meet up. When you don't want to keep the person guessing about why you don't want to be friends, a face to face conversation might be in order. Parks and coffee shops are good stops for breakups because they're neutral, public locations. Even though things might get emotional during your conversation, you'll both be likely to keep things contained if you're in a public place.
• Avoid arranging to have a long meal together, since you might be ready to go before the food even arrives. • If you don't want to meet in person, it's fine to break up with your friend over the phone. Avoid doing it over text, since it's harder to express yourself fully and have a real conversation. • Do not break up with your friend in front of people you both know. This can be deeply embarrassing and hurtful.
Tell your friend why you're ending it. Be straightforward about why you don't want to be friends. Did your friend cheat with your boyfriend? Does he or she constantly cut you down? Whatever the reason, now is the time to spell it out. Telling your friend exactly what's going on is a brave thing to do, and in the end the person will probably be glad to know what happened. • There is a situation in which being straightforward is not the kindest way to end a friendship. If you just don't like the person anymore, through no fault of his or her own, there's really no reason to say it out loud.
If this is the case, go back to Method 1 and let the friendship naturally fade. Give your friend a chance to talk. Your friend will either get defensive, apologize, or do a mix of both after your confrontation. You might want to hear him or her out, just in case there's the tiniest chance that you want to stay friends after all. If it's possible there was some kind of misunderstanding, you'll want to know. If that's not possible, continue the breakup process.
Set boundaries. Maybe you want to cut things off for good right here and now, or maybe you're fine seeing the person every now and then in a group setting. Whatever the case, be very clear that this is a breaking point, and from now on things will be different.
Lay out your boundaries up front so you won't be tempted to back down later. • If you never want to talk again, tell the person you won't be in touch after this and that you don't want to hear from him or her, either.
• If you're still fine hanging out in a group but you don't want to have one-on-one talks, it's fine to say that. It's also fine to say that you might be open to renewing the friendship later, but only if you mean it. Otherwise the person might keep trying to get in touch when you just want to be left alone. Just be crystal clear about your expectations so your former friend won't get confused.
Stick to your boundaries. If the person tries to get in touch or win you back over, don't respond. You've said your piece, you've heard the person out, and now your obligation as a friend is over. Just like when you break up with a significant other, breaking up with a friend means you don't have to be responsible for that person anymore. • This is easier said than done. If your former friend is really upset, it might be extremely hard to ignore his or her calls and texts. If you're serious about breaking up this friendship, don't let the person cross your boundaries.
You'll just give him or her the wrong impression and make things harder in the future. If you're growing apart, don't fight it. The fade-out method is best for a situation in which you and your friend are simply growing apart. Maybe there's no concrete reason you don't like the person anymore; you're just interested in other things and other people. Start spending your time how you want to spend it, hanging out with people and doing activities you enjoy.
Chances are, your friend will do the same, and you'll start drifting apart without having to make a big deal about it. Stop calling and texting your friend. To break up a friendship, you need to slow down communication. Stop getting in touch with your friend to make plans or just to talk.
Stop initiating chats online, text conversations, and any other contact. You can still chat when you see him or her in person, like if you both go out with the same group of friends, but avoid unnecessary contact. • When two friends are naturally ready to part ways, it's not difficult to be in touch less often.
You'd probably both rather be doing other things, anyway, so it won't feel like a big sacrifice not to talk much more than you need to. • On the other hand, if your friend isn't feeling the same way you are about the friendship, being in touch less may hurt his or her feelings.
Unfortunately it's really hard to avoid hurt feelings when you're ending a friendship. You'll have to decide whether you still want to end it either way. Keep conversations light. Friends get closer by having deep, revealing conversations during which they get to know each other really well. To pull away from a friend, stop having big heart-to-hearts.
When you talk, stick to shallow, surface topics, just like you would with an acquaintance. If you keep talking like friends, it'll be harder for the friendship to fade. • If your friend tends to want to talk about private matters, like her relationship with her boyfriend, steer the conversation in a safer direction. Change the subject so she doesn't get the chance to tell you her deepest feelings. • Eventually your friend will start to notice that you don't talk the way you used to.
He or she may call you out on it or decide to withdraw, too. Be prepared for either reaction. Politely decline invitations. It might take awhile for your friend to catch on to the fact that you're just not into the friendship anymore. A sure way to create some distance is to decline invitations politely, but firmly. If the invitation is for a group activity, you might want to participate, but avoid one-on-one outings. You'll just lead the other person on. • Again, if the other person isn't ready for this to end, declining his or her invitations is going to cause some hurt.
It's up to you to decide whether the nicer thing to do is be more straightforward about why you keep saying "no" every time he or she invites you to do something. Make excuses if you need to. If you really don't want to tell the person the truth, deflect invitations with excuses. Say you're busy, you have relatives in town, you have too much homework, and so on. This could be seen as the easy way out, since it's not a very honest way to behave toward someone who was a friend.
However, if you have a good reason to end the friendship and really don't want to deal with a confrontation, making excuses is pretty effective. Gradually let the friendship come to a stop. Best case scenario, the person catches on that you've moved on from the friendship and decides to go his or her own way.
However, if the former friend asks you what's going on, you may want to give him or her an explanation. Be ready for this reaction, since it could be the case that you mean more to your former friend than he or she means to you.
Consider the silent treatment for an abusive friendship. If the person you want to break up with has been physically or emotionally abusive or manipulative, you don't owe that person anything; even politeness. Just stop all contact, unfriend the person on your social media accounts, and avoid seeing the person when you don't have to.
• If you try to have a conversation with the person about it, he or she may end up making you feel like you are the one who did something wrong. Don't get wrapped up in that drama. If you know the person is going to make things hard for you, just cut it off cold turkey.
Deal with your former friend's emotions. Being dumped is not easy, whether you deserve it or not. Be prepared for your friend to cry, beg for you to be friends again, or even get extremely angry. You were strong enough to breakup with your friend, and you're strong enough to deal with the aftermath.
Try not to let yourself get wrapped up in the person's emotions. Remember to stick to your boundaries and cut off all contact if necessary. Beware of passive-aggressive behavior. Sometimes a former friend will try to make your life harder in small, passive aggressive ways. This is especially true if you go to school together or work in the same place and have to see each other frequently. The person might try to turn others against you, spread gossip about you, or make you look bad somehow.
Stay strong and realize that if someone behaves so horribly, your decision to end the friendship was right on. • If the behavior escalates from passive-aggressive to just plain aggressive, you may need to take further action.
Talk to your teachers or supervisors if it's happening at work or school. See if you can provide evidence that you are being targeted. • You may have legal options as well.
If the person won't leave you alone and his or her behavior constitutes harassment, you may want to . Realize this might affect other friendships, too. Breaking up with one friend often affects the people you both knew. If you were both part of the same larger friend group, things might be pretty awkward for awhile. Hopefully your other friends won't take sides, but if they do, you know who your real friends are.
Take care of yourself. You'll probably feel a sense of freedom after breakup up with a bad friend. Even so, breakups are often tough. It's emotionally difficult to let someone down, and the consequences can last much longer than expected. After the friendship is officially over, make a point of spending time with people who make you feel good. Surround yourself with loved ones and try to put the old friendship out of your mind. • You may also feel surprisingly sad to lose the good parts of the friendship with the person you broke up with.
After all, you were friends for a reason, even if your relationship eventually turned bad. Sadness is totally normal in this situation. Community Answer • Let her know you were not satisfied with the friendship, and the decision was final. If there was something specific that bothered you about her friendship, you could try to explain that and let the friend know that they would have to change this if they wanted to be friends again.
Community Answer • Sit down and think over the reason for breaking up with them, as well as the reasons for getting back with them. If the getting back with them reasons are genuine and weigh more, then consider whether it will work when you get back and what the effects might be. The effects should be overwhelmingly positive and not negative. If they are positive, then tell your friend the reasons why you would like to get back with them, tell them the positive outcomes and check if it applies the other way.
If they find it fine, then it will work out. Don't have high hopes at the beginning. Let the time pass and you will know whether it was a good/bad call. Community Answer • Anyone who threatens that is not your friend! End the relationship asap and if you take the threat seriously, make sure you are with a group when you might encounter that person and let others know to tell you if they spot the ex friend lurking around. You could also speak to local police to see if a restraining order is possible, particularly if you have threatening messages from them or something like that where that have made a direct credible threat and you can prove it.
If at school, tell an adult about the threat. The best way to break up with a friend is to confront them. Choose a time and place to meet up and explain to them why you are ending the friendship. Allow your friend to speak their mind as well, and work together to set boundaries for moving forward. Read on for advice on letting a friendship fade out naturally, and for tips on how to handle the aftermath of breaking up with a friend. Reader Success Stories "I have been best friends with my friend for a very long time.
After 7th grade, she started to change. She started calling me mean names and judging my hobbies. It made me mad and sad; I started to do bad in school and I wouldn't eat. I wanted to end the friendship, but I didn't know how to do it nicely or the right way. Thanks to wikiHow, I know what to do!" ..." "I deal with a manipulative and emotionally abusive friend at school.
I'm terrified of confronting her about ending the friendship because she'll always choose to play victim and act like she did nothing wrong. I'm still very nervous, but this has given me the courage to stand up to her! Thanks, wikiHow!" ..."
Breaking Up With Your Best Friend