How to Deal With an Ex Best Friend

Three Parts:Letting Go of the FriendshipDealing With Your Ex Best Friend’s DramaInteracting With Your Ex Best Friend in Public

Ending a relationship with your best friend is sometimes harder than ending a relationship with a lover or family member. Your best friends know you inside and out, and you often spend more time with them than anyone else. When these friendships fall apart, you will have to let it go, be mature about the situation, and learn to interact around your former best friend. Learning to deal with your ex best friend will not be easy, but it is necessary to move on and let yourself be happy.

Part 1
Letting Go of the Friendship

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    Find closure. When your friendship ends, it is important that you accept that and resolve your feelings. You can write a letter to your friend expressing all of your feelings (you don’t have to send it to them), or you can create a ritual to symbolize the end of the friendship. To be happy, you will need to acknowledge the your feelings, process them, and move on to the next stage of your life.[1]
    • In your letter, you might write about how the friendship started off great, but then went downhill. Include the details of what ended the friendship, how it made you feel, and be sure to clearly state that it is over.
    • For a ritual to symbolize the end of your friendship, you might consider taking an item that your friend gave you and burying it, burning it, or simply throwing it away. Make sure that whatever you do resonates with you as closing the door to this friendship.
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    Let yourself be happy. Start with small changes like eating well. Try to avoid venting your anger too much or too often. Do things that you enjoy doing, and allow yourself to do thoughtful things for someone else. This can be daunting, but you have to push through because happiness is largely in your control.[2]
    • Go watch movies that you like, eat at your favorite restaurants, and try new things to see what makes you happiest.
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    Plan for future encounters. There are many reasons that you might end your friendship, but it is possible that your ex best friend will want to rekindle it later on. If you are caught off guard, you might regret the decision you make. Think about what you will say to your ex best friend if they ever mention being friends again.[3]
    • You might even practice saying something like “I am flattered that you want to be my friend again, but I think it’s best we don’t go there,” in front of the mirror.

Part 2
Dealing With Your Ex Best Friend’s Drama

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    Ignore what your ex best friend says about you. You will probably be hurt by what your friend says about you, even if they stick to the truth. The key to dealing with this kind of drama, though, is to ignore it. If you decide to “set the record straight” you will be playing into a vicious friend feud that can go on for a long time. Not only does this jeopardize your other friendships, but it also keeps you from moving on.[4]
    • For example, if your former friend is spreading rumors about you at school, you should ignore the rumors rather than spread bad things about your friend in retaliation.
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    Leave other friends out of the feud. Nobody wants to pick sides. It isn’t fair to ask your mutual friends to do so. Avoid gossiping about your ex best friend, especially with mutual friends. You should also refrain from sending any messages back and forth between mutual friends.[5]
    • Never say things to your friends like “Next time you see them, tell them I said that they are a liar!”
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    Set boundaries for yourself. Avoid talking to your former friend. Distance yourself from the things that you used to do together, and change any routines that heavily involved your former friend. There will be instances where you and your former friend have to co-exist, but limit contact with them as much as possible.
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    Pretend it doesn’t bother you. Most nasty comments or rude gestures are done to get a reaction out of you. If you don’t give them a reaction, your ex friend will leave you alone much faster. Stay positive by realizing that what your ex best friend says about you doesn’t actually define you. You should also allow yourself to feel good for ignoring the immaturity and letting the situation go.[6]
    • If your ex best friend leaves a nasty note on your car, don’t retaliate. Just throw the note away and go on about your day.

Part 3
Interacting With Your Ex Best Friend in Public

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    Be polite. You are likely to run into your ex best friend again sometime. When this happens, you need to be calm and collected. If you can avoid talking altogether, that’s great. If not, say hello, and be polite.[7]
    • If you see your old friend at a party and they ask how you have been, you can respond with something like “I’ve been doing well. I hope you are well, too.”
    • If you run into your former friend at a school event, just acknowledge them and keep going on your way.
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    Keep it short. Being polite does not mean that you have to entertain your ex best friend for a long period of time. Answer any questions briefly, if you are comfortable answering them at all. Avoid asking questions; they only invite more conversation.[8]
    • If your ex best friend sees you at the grocery store and starts asking how your mom is doing, you can reply politely, but do not ask about her family. If you want to wish them well, say something like “My mother is doing well. I hope your parents are well, also. Tell them I said “Hello,” please.”
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    Leave no room for misinterpretation. If you have no interest in rekindling your friendship, do not be too accommodating. Be polite in the moment, and leave that moment with closure. If you make it appear as though you miss your ex best friend that opens to the door to starting the friendship and/or fight back up.[9]
    • There is no need to say things like “It’s great to see you,” or “See you again soon.” Entertain the polite conversation for a short time, and say something like “I’m glad you are doing well, but if you’ll excuse me I need to go talk to my date (or any other person you can think of). Goodbye.”


  • Being happy is the best form of revenge against a vengeful ex friend.


  • If they try to hurt you physically, seek help immediately.
  • If you can't handle this yourself, don't be afraid to seek help from an adult or someone you trust.

Article Info

Categories: Friendship Problems