The funny thing about people is that they either grow together or grow apart.
Friendships have the tendency to reach a point where one or both of the people involved start to feel like it is not working out anymore.
It might be because of a mistake on someone’s behalf, a fallout that you have failed to fix, or just the natural incident of two people growing apart.
Whether a friendship is proving to be unhealthy, restricting your growth, draining you of energy, or unworthy of your time, you eventually reach a point of realization that you need to put an end to the friendship.
If you have reached such a point, you may be wondering how to tell the other person that you no longer wish to be friends with them.
The smartest way to go about it is to slowly distance yourself from the person and then break it to them in person. Make sure you choose the right time, thank them, not blame them, and help them to respond and deal with it. This makes ending things with a friend effective and less hurtful.
11 Tips To Tell Your Friend You Want To Break It Up:
1- Start by distancing yourself
When you are planning on ending your friendship with someone, start slowly distancing yourself from them beforehand. Show them your loss of investment in the friendship.
If you tell them you no longer wish to be friends with them out of the blue, it might shock them and make it harder for them to process. If, however, there is build-up, it will make it easier for them to understand.
When your friend calls you and makes plans, tell them you can’t make it. Avoid conversations with them. Do not make any long-term plans or promises with them.
Show them that your friendship is less significant to you than it used to be.
2- Have the courage to do in person!
A cruel mistake people often make when ending a friendship is doing it over call or text.
While the intention behind this might be pure and the person might just be trying to avoid unnecessary heartache on both ends, it comes off as indifferent and cold.
Plus, it makes the person at the receiving end of the break-up feel insignificant.
When you come clean with someone and tell them that you don’t want to be friends with them anymore, it is advisable to do it in person.
Give them a call or drop a text that you need to meet up and talk. Then choose an appropriate place where the two of you can have an open, upfront conversation without any interruptions or having to worry about any external factor.
3- Choose the right time for BOTH of you
When you break some bad news to another person, it is basic human decency to make sure that the news is not delivered to them at a bad time.
If your friend is dealing with a major life change or is just struggling in general, they are probably in need of a good friend more than ever.
Even if you cannot be that friend, it would be cruel to be the friend who breaks their heart at a time they are already struggling.
This is why it is important to choose the right time when you end things with a friend. If they are struggling, you should wait it out and wait for a better time when they would be better equipped to deal with the loss of a friend.
4- Honestly tell them the problem
When you are confronting someone about ending the friendship, you need to remember to be completely honest with them.
The reason you are meeting with them is confrontation so explain to them exactly why you are ending the friendship.
Whether it is because of an incident or because the friendship is just not working for you anymore, tell them the truth instead of giving them made-up reasons to make the breakup easier on the both of you.
When you have had a meaningful friendship with someone, the least you owe them at the end of it is the truth.
If you are lying to them just to make the confrontation easier for yourself, you are doing the other person a major injustice.
5- Don’t leave room for misinterpretation
When you are ending things with a friend, it is natural to find it hard to come up with the right words to break it to them.
People often do not convey their entire intention and leave room for misinterpretation. This usually confuses the other person and leaves them wondering if they can still fix it.
If you are completely sure that you want to end a friendship, be prepared for what you are going to say and communicate it clearly. Make sure that they understand what you are saying and leave no room for doubts.
6- Remember to thank them
Hearing that someone does not want to be friends with you anymore can be a major blow to one’s self-esteem.
Especially when they break up is unprecedented, it can make the other person doubt the time the two of you spent together and even make them doubt their self-worth.
To avoid your making your friend feel unappreciated, thank them for their friendship. Thank them for all that they have done for you and for all the good memories that they have given you.
Tell them that even though the friendship is over, you still cherish them and the time spent with them.
7- Remind Them of the Good Times
Sometimes, when a friend leaves you, it’s harder to recall the good times spent with them because of the hurt they caused.
It is harder to think of the memories without feeling pain and sometimes, even the good memories start to feel like a waste of time.
Remind your friend of the wonderful memories you made them together. Remind them of the casual days you spent with them at your local café or the times they were there for you when you needed them the most.
Thank them for all the good times and tell them that even though the two of you are no longer friends, you still deeply cherish the time you both spent together.
Tell them that it is still meaningful for you and that you hope they can find it in their heart to appreciate it too and not feel bitter about it.
8- Avoid pointing fingers at them
Even if you are ending a friendship because the other person messed up or if you blame them for the friendship reaching a point where it had to be ended, it is better to avoid blaming the person.
Your friend is already facing a huge blow in the form of losing a friend, the last thing they need is having to take the blame for it. Blaming them will only cause more drama, pain and create feelings of inadequacy.
9- Give them time to process it before expecting a response!
When you break some bad news to another person, it is natural for them to not be able to process it right away.
Even if they were expecting the friendship to end, they couldn’t possibly have been prepared to have a conversation about it with you.
So it’s very likely that right after you break the news to them, they’ll still be processing it and might not be able to give a satisfactory response so quickly.
In this situation, you need to give them time and space to respond. Let them evaluate their thoughts and feelings and then give you a response.
10- Be Empathetic
Possibly one of the most important things to remember is to be empathetic towards them.
Take a minute and think about the situation from their perspective. If you were in their place, how would you feel? Would you feel angry, hurt, or inadequate? Would you feel wronged?
When you know what the other person is dealing with, you can figure out exactly how to make it easier for them.
Take your observation and use it to say the right things to help them understand and process what they are being told.
Tell them you are sorry for what you are putting them through and that you understand it must be difficult.
11- Be Prepared For Any Reaction
People respond in a number of ways when someone hurts them. They might feel hurt and become defensive, not wanting to hear anything that makes them feel insulted.
They might also not understand why you want to end the friendship and refuse to end it over something like that.
Your friend might even try to manipulate you back into the friendship. You need to watch out and stand your ground if they do so. They might also want to try and convert the friendship into something that better suits you.
You need to be prepared for any kind of situation if you are telling a friend you no longer want to be friends with them.
Why it is Important to do it the Right Way?
When you end a friendship, you need to be mindful of the other person. You have to consider the fact that they might not be ready to let go of the friendship yet.
It is basic decency to show your friend the same level of empathy you did while you two were still close. If you are ruthless and hurtful, it could leave them scarred for a lifetime.
Another thing to keep in mind when ending things with a friend is that you need to be clear about why you are ending the friendship.
Whether it is because of something they did or because you need space for your own growth, you need to get real with them.
The worst thing a person can do when cutting off another person from their life is leaving them wondering what they did wrong. Your friend needs to know the reason behind the friendship ending so they can attain closure and also grow as an individual.
While most people are careful about these things when they break up with a partner, they are not as mindful when breaking up with a friend.
Friendships are in most cases just as significant as romantic relationships. Even if things have gone south, the other person has been an important part of your life and they deserve honesty and empathy from you, rather than the offhand explanations people often give their friends.
While you may think that all of these essentials of ending a friendship are for the sake of your friend, that is not true.
These things are also helpful in helping YOU move on and gain closure over the friendship. If you end the friendship on a healthy note, the most you feel about it is sadness and nostalgia, rather than the guilt of wronging a friend.
No one likes bad blood with someone they once cared about so deeply. If you are tactful, empathetic, and honest when you tell a friend that you do not want to be friends anymore, it is expected that things will end on good terms!