How To End A Toxic Friendship (Without Ghosting Like A Jerk)

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How To End A Seriously Toxic Friendship (Without Acting Like A Total Jerk)

Relationships are hard. Whether it's your family, partner or friend, they are all the same... well, for the most part. They all need love, loyalty, a shared hatred for the same people and, of course, communication.

And while we might hate to admit it, part of growing up means those relationships change. Change can include loss. It might hurt, but we all get that some friendships end. We lose touch, we get interested in different things, but what we cannot stand is when we are blindsided by a friendship breakup. 

Some people are totally willing to ghost on a friend, not understanding how to end a friendship in a mature, reasonable way.

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There are people who seemingly wake up one morning and decide, "I have nothing else to do today. I'm just going to cut off all ties to this girl who was my friend for years."

And that's it. Suddenly, your texts and calls go unanswered. You're unfriended and unfollowed.

You're conveniently cropped out of all their pictures. Their profile and cover photos change to include all of their friends... except for you. In the meantime, you're just left wondering just happened?

In case you were wondering, it's not just you. In fact, the sad reality is that more people than you know have been ghosted by a friend.

And chances are, you didn't get to say your last peace because, well, you didn't know this was coming, and even if you could've, the main thing you'd want to do is ask why. (Although, you also would probably want to slip in a few choice words about how your life is so much better without them.)

To all the "friends" who have suddenly and cruelly cut all ties with someone you were once so close to, how could you? I don't mean how could you do it because clearly there's something wrong with you if you just randomly cut out such amazing friends.

But how could you not have the guts to tell us why? For all you know, we could've done something to change it. We could've talked it out and fixed our relationship to be the strongest it's ever been.

Would it really have been so hard to send a voicemail, a note, a text, even a carrier pigeon to tell us why?

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Now, don't get this idea that without a reason we are full of self-loathing and self-pity. No. We know we are strong women that any person would be lucky to be friends with (just ask our other true best friends)!

But when you form such a close bond with someone, it hurts for even the strongest person.

Think about it. Which breakup hurts less: the one where he tells you it won't work out because you've grown apart, or the one where he ghosts you after 6 months of dating?

That's what I thought. Yes, it will hurt to talk it through and cut ties. But in the end, we would thank you for it. Because at least we would know and we would be able to move on from wasting all our time cursing you out.

So if, for some ridiculous reason you need to suddenly cut a friend out of your life, don't be a coward.

If it's something you feel so strongly about, tell us. Be honest.  Invite us over, or come hang out for a little while. Talk it through. If it's super uncomfortable, you can even write it in a letter or send it in a message. 

And remember, most breakups are really about you and not the person you're breaking up with, even with a friendship. Most people respond better to "I" statements instead of blaming statements like, "You always do X," or, "Everyone hates when you do Y."

So, be honest, but do it knowing that it never pays to be cruel. Stand by your reasons and tell us why, or be willing to spend the rest of your life knowing you're a coward and making us wonder what we did to deserve being abandoned. 

Because if you choose to leave without a word, don't ever expect us to let you back in with open arms.

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Estee Kahn is a writer and book lover from New York City whose writing focuses on love, relationships, friendships and emotional health. Find her on Twitter for more.