How to End an Unhealthy Friendship

You know a friendship is unhealthy when one of the individuals is lying to the other, not remaining loyal, or just displaying mistreatment. Or, if one of the individuals is obviously unhappy with how the friendship is, or has become and you've tried all you could to fix it, it's time to end it.


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    Talk with your friend. Ask them how they feel about the friendship. Whether they say they're happy with the way it is, or they don't, you should still think about your final decision.
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    Look at pros and cons. What are you gaining that matters from this relationship? What are you losing? What would you gain and/or lose from ending this friendship? How about your friend? Ask them how they feel if they know the friendship may be ended. If they're oblivious, don't ask, because this could seriously hurt them, and make them feel like you're carelessly calling it quits, whether it's you causing the problems or him/her.
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    If you decide that you would both benefit from ending the friendship, plan out how you're going to tell them. First, find a good time and place.
    • The lunch table, when they're having a good day isn't such a good idea, because this makes the conversation seem public, and it only ruins the nice day for them. Maybe when it's just an average day, you can approach them after school with what you have to say. That's a time when everyone's focused on getting home, so, most likely, no one will bother you.
      • It is also a good idea to avoid talking to your friend when he or she is having a bad or not-so-good day, or when he or she is feeling down. Choosing a time like this would only make him him or her feel worse.
    • Just make sure you find a private location to tell them where no one's likely to overhear what's going on or witness the whole thing. That way, they can think about it at home, where they can cry if they must, and talk about it with someone without interruptions. They can grieve with comfortable, familiar surroundings.
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    Start with, "I think we should talk..." Tell them, "I haven't found it very easy to enjoy this friendship the way I expected to. How do you feel?" Make sure you explain your reasons why it isn't easy to continue calling yourself his/her friend. If they want to talk for a minute, by all means, let them! This is about both of you.
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    Expect hurt feelings. Things don't always turn out the way they were planned to. That's basically the whole lesson you (and your former friend) could learn from this. Maybe you could learn even more from it! Maybe this person will try to win you back. Tell them, "it just won't work out. We've tried." Just move on with your life.


  • Remember, it's not all about you. Try to think from your former, or soon-to-be former friend's perspective.
  • Make the last deed you do for them as a friend a good one, because that's just the right thing to do.
  • If they get aggressive or violent and start making you upset, tell a teacher.
  • Don't expect the friendship to be over just like that. Let the memories linger for a while, and take some time to remember.
  • Handle this gently, and expect the unexpected! Especially if this person is dramatic and emotive.


  • Your former friend has no right to turn this into "YOU did something wrong. This is all YOUR fault." The relationship just didn't work out, and if they wanted to be friends with you, they should be compassionate.
  • Never think of this like it's no biggie. It is.

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Categories: Changing and Losing Friends