4 Steps To End A Friendship On Good Terms

Knowing when to end a friendship is never easy, but sometimes you need to what's best for you.

when to end a friendship, how to break up with a friend, toxic friends Jed Villejo on Unsplash

Breaking up with your best friend is arguably worse than breaking up with a significant other. Although you may still have your romantic partner, other close friends, and even family, this just hits way harder and in all the feels.

You may be wondering, "Why would I want to stop being friends with this person!? They've been by my side for years!" But the truth is, we tend to hold onto people too tight — even when we have all the signs that it's time to let go.


The worst part of it all is doing it and living the next couple of days, weeks, and months without speaking to them. However, you can — and will — get through it. And I assure you, you'll make it out alive.

RELATED: 30 Quotes To Help You Cope When You Need To Break Up With A Toxic Friend


Your first instinct may be to run and not even tell this person what caused you to ghost them. You owe your best friend the reasoning for wanting to leave them behind in another chapter in your life. Sure, you may feel totally awkward for a bit, especially if you both still go to the same coffee shop before work every morning. But bad times, feelings, and people do not last forever.

Why don't they make songs about this? About how to do this without feeling like a complete scumbag. Or even better, doing it without feeling any emotion.

Whether we like it or not, depending on how long we've known someone and how well we've gotten to know this person (in and out), you will always feel guilty about wanting to break things off. How do you know if you should break up? When is it time to end a friendship? How do we know who our toxic friends are?

So to help, these four steps are the most important and critical when you're thinking of breaking up with a friend. Whether you follow through or not with breaking up with your best friend, just know we are here for you!


1. Make a list of all the toxic behaviors they exhibit.

Before you decide to go through with this, you should look for any extremely negative behaviors this person possesses. If you would do this for a relationship, it's important to practice this with anyone in your life.

Some of the obvious signs of toxicity can be you feeling drained from their energy after you hang out. Another way would be whenever you two hangout, they're not engaged with the conversation and their eyes are glued to their phones. They're there, but are they really there?

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2. Set boundaries.

Maybe you don't want to completely cut them out of your life. That's okay! Something you should do when this happens is set basic boundaries for the friendship. You don't need to hang out with/or talk to them every single day the way you do. Simply checking in on them from time to time is okay. They must understand that you two have separate lives and a lot going on, so it's okay not to be as engaged with one another as you're used to. This will likely result in the two of you slowly starting to drift apart, or it may even restore the friendship.


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

3. Plan your conversation before you bring it to their attention.

Knowing what you want to say and what you're going to say are different things. You might want to jot down key points you definitely think might support your arguments. However, you don't want to sound like a robot who's reading a teleprompter. Also, try not to say something harsh or rude because of how you're meaning. Do not let your emotions get too in the way of when you're talking to them in person.

RELATED: A Letter To The Best Friend Who Broke My Heart (I'm Saying Goodbye)

4. Have the "It's not you, it's me" talk.

Try not to make the breakup sound like you're attacking them and are going off on everything you don't like about them. Instead, try explaining to them how you've been feeling lately and why you think it is this may be. That way, it'll set positive energy in the room and won't make them defensive or hostile.


They may even open up to you about how they've also been feeling and try to give you a better understanding of the reason they act the way they do. Remember, you don't know what everyone else is going through deep down, and it's never okay to act irrationally at the moment.

Take a deep breath and remember things are going to be okay no matter the outcome! You will always have supporters behind you every step of the way.

RELATED: 20 Relatable Quotes For Anyone Who Has Ever Been Dumped By A Friend


Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers music, self-care, and spirituality.