How To Break Up With a Best Friend (Or Any Friend)

Updated on March 6, 2017
When To Break Up With a Best Friend
When To Break Up With a Best Friend

Why Would You Want To Breakup With a Best Friend?

You should be loyal to your friend throughout thick and thin, right? WRONG. A good friend, who supports you, comforts you, and shares joy with you may be worth sticking with during the bad times. But a friend who brings you down, makes you feel bad, or adds negativity to your life constantly is not someone that you have to be loyal to for life.

There is no law book that says you are not allowed to remove people from your life if they make you unhappy. There are many reasons why you may want to break up with a best friend.

  • They constantly criticize you.
  • They are too negative.
  • They hold different beliefs than you (and it's causing problems).
  • They exhaust you with their drama.
  • They like to talk about themselves but never listen to you.
  • They are selfish.
  • They are manipulative.
  • They are mean.
  • They seem to be using you all the time (a real friend wouldn't do that).
  • There is no trust in the friendship.
  • They have gone bonkers.
  • You just want to move on.

There are many reasons that you may want to end a friendship, and none of them are wrong. Just because other people don't agree, they are YOUR feelings and that's makes them okay.

And Sometimes Friends Just Don't Agree Anymore

Why You Deserve To Break Up With A Negative Friend

How To Break Up With Your Friend - 5 Steps

So, you can't just say 'get outta here' like a little kid and have your best friend run away. Well, you can, but it probably won't work out to well for you. So following is a 5-step process that I have used to slowly distance myself from past negative influences and move on with my life.

It may be time to break up!
It may be time to break up! | Source

No Games

Note: These steps are not about playing games. Chances are at this point you have tried to talk to your friend and make the relationship better, but you are at your wits end and just want out. If your friend has no idea that you are upset, then you may want to talk with him or her first. However, if you feel that it won't do much to do that (I've been there), then by all means, use these 5 steps on how to break up with a best friend to ensure that you can get on with your life without a big fuss or negative confrontation.

Step 1 - Start To Put Some Distance Between Yourselves

Right now, your relationship consists of habits. Those habits are the bonds that hold you together, even if the rest of your relationship is heading south. You need to break those habits so that it will be easier for you and your friend to move on. So, if you spend 7 days a week together, then start spending only a few days together. If you normally meet for lunch on Wednesdays, then cancel it. Chances are your friend will be upset, but they won't confront you about the behavior.

Step 2 - Tell Them You Need a Break

Yes, this sounds an awful lot like a romantic relationship, and it kind of is. Your best friends have a connection that many people do not get to share with you. Tell him or her that you are not sure how you feel about the friendship anymore and that you need some time to think. If they want to talk, then share your feelings. But if they try to make you feel wrong about how you feel (aggressive friends usually will), then leave the conversation and take your intended break from the friendship.

Step 3 - Let Them Know You've Decided To Move On From The Friendship

Eventually they will call you. This is the time to tell them that you have decided that the friendship no longer serves a positive purpose in your life, and you have decided to move on from it. I know this sounds harsh, but this is how you feel right? You want to break up with your best friend and get on with your life. You have to be honest, so that they understand exactly how you feel.

Step 4 - Don't Call, Email, Text or Make Contact With Them

Just like a breakup with a romantic partner, you don't want to give them any false hope that you still want to be friends. They are likely going to be hurt by the end of the friendship, and if you give them signs of hope, then you may end up causing them even more pain.

Step 5 - Get on With Your Life

Start building new routines, and if you want to start looking for more positive friends to create relationships with. The amount of freedom and happiness you will feel when you cut a negative friend out of your life is huge. It feels as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you are able to just become the person you want to be.

How To Deal With A Friend That Won't Let Go

If you cut off contact with a friend before they are ready, then you may end up making them really upset (or possibly insane). But you can't let how they deal with the situation affect your decisions in life.

How they choose to react is their choice. There is not much you can do about their reactions. But you can keep yours in control.

1. Don't Get into a Fight With Them - Or Anything With Them

They may be itching to tell you off and get under your skin. They could also be dying to talk to you so that they can try to win you back. But resist the temptation to communicate with them. It's like I said before, if you do, then you may be giving them false hope for a potential friendship.

And remember, desperate people are very convincing. They are willing to say what you want to hear so that they can get their way. If your friend convinces you to feel sorry for them or give them another shot, then all of your effort will be in vain and you will have to start over.

If you resist the urge to give and and talk to them they will eventually calm down and leave you alone. Their emotions just need to relax a little, and that only happens with time.

2. If They Are Threatening You Then Don't Take It Lightly

Most of the time they will be empty threats. They are hurting, and they are trying to make you feel as though they don't care about you. However, if they show up at your door, then you shouldn't just greet them like you normally would. Stay behind closed doors and call the police if you have to. You need to let them know that you are not willing to take abuse from them because of a choice you made for your happiness.

Have You Ever Gotten Back a Friendship That Went Downhill?

See results

I Want To Be Friends Again!

I miss her!
I miss her! | Source

This does happen. You may break up with your best friend only to realize that you want to be friends again. However, ask yourself some questions before you start calling them and reconciling.

1. Have the issues which caused me to end the friendship been fixed? If not, then your friendship will likely fall right back into the same place it was before. If the friendship is going to be different, there the issues have to be solved first.

2. Do I really want them back? The feeling of wanting them back often happens when you have hard times in life. You start to crave that trusted friendship that you had. Sometimes you may just miss the old them - the one that was truly a good friend to you. Remember that they changed over time, and the person they are now is not the same person they were before. You are longing for the old them, not the current them.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      10 days ago

      Yes I'll for sure check it out I've got a few good things going on here though like other friends and I've started running again I had to take two weeks off though because of a sprained ankle and I have a boyfriend now which takes a lot of my time and I no longer speak to Dominic anymore I don't have any desire to talk to him anymore because every time I feel like it I remind myself what a fake he is and no longer want to talk to him he now understands the meaning of never which is a good thing and I've learned to not go back and forth anymore I left and I'm pretty happy with my life the way it is now it's almost like I never moved from my childhood home since it's basically like I don't know him anymore I think it's a good thing it doesn't bother me at all I'm happy very happy I think I did the right thing I'm positive I did

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      3 weeks ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Lauren - Thanks for the update. It takes time, but adopting some new habits can really help you shift out of anxiety and into a more peaceful state.

      I also recommend you check out programs like Becoming Limitless on Mindvalley (here's a review of the program http://bestfriendreviews.com/review-mindvalley-bec... to help you realize your power in life and learn how to move on from things that weren't in your best interest.

      Good luck!

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      3 weeks ago

      Here's a quick update I'm slowly beginning to return to who I really am I'm not as angry anymore but my anxiety is seriously still just as bad as it always has been because I still think he could talk to me things got bad after I ended the friendship with him almost like he was angry or desperate to be my friend again even though I told him a million times I couldn't be his friend ever again I still won't go back even if it is hard for me because Dominic wasn't really a good friend he had to do better because the friendship was so one sided and I didn't want that anymore I'm so done with him and his girlfriend both

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      7 weeks ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Katie - I'm so happy for you. And thank you for the kind words, you made my day.

    • profile image

      Katie 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for all your help! I really appreciated your opinion and thoughts. Thanks to you I was able to end my toxic best-friendship feeling confident and like I was making the right choice. I'm really glad you made this post and take the time to reply to all of these comments--your kindness doesn't go unnoticed!

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      2 months ago

      Kari there's more to the story then I told you but it just hit me yes what I said before is true but Dominic is also not the guy I knew yes that's true but believe me it's not growing up that caused it he's gotten more uptight and started acting like a jerk ever since he got a girlfriend at first I chalked it up to growing up just like you did but an adult shouldn't act like that yes I did end the friendship with him for more then one reason including that he wasn't there for me more then two times in person he became someone I don't even know and I don't want to know the person he's become he's become an idiot trust me he is

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      2 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Katie - Stay strong! If you call her, she may make you question your reasons for breaking up with her. That's what happened to me. Just make sure you have your reasons written down so you can refer to them instead of getting tongue tied or confused. If she's someone who can out talk you, then you will need to refer to it!

      I personally don't think there is any hard and fast rule on how you should do it. Why can't you text? It adds to the message that you are no longer interested in being friends. Plus, if she's abusing you, why do you owe her the personal phone call? Just a thought.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Katie 

      2 months ago

      Thank you for responding Kari, your comment really helped me. I'm gonna end the friendship tonight. However this is giving me a lot of anxiety, I want to call her to end it but I'm terrified of what her reaction is going to be. To be honest I feel more comfortable texting her to end it but through the internet I've got the impression that breaking up with someone through text is a bad thing. Sorry to comment again, I don't have any friends I can ask about this.

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      2 months ago

      Yeah I know but it's more then that he's around her all the time like I don't see him more then two minutes it is a good thing I ended the friendship with him I'm honestly not sure if I want to be because yes he supported me but Kari it takes more then that to be a true friend and my point is he wasn't he was being a bad friend and I couldn't settle for that all my friends say I did the right thing he probably needed more balance in his life

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      2 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Katie - I feel your pain. It's hard to say no when you are still friends and she expects you to do what you've always done - even when you don't want to. I've had a few dominant friends like that who won't take no for an answer and engage on their terms.

      But, because you've said she's abusive in all forms, I suggest you cut off the relationship completely. Tell her you don't want to be friends anymore, let her vent, explain your side, and then make it clear that you've made up your mind. After that, don't contact her. As soon as you reply to a text, she's going think that she may have a chance to get you back.

      Nobody should abuse you. That's not something you should tolerate in your life. It doesn't add value to your life. It doesn't make you a better, stronger, or happier person. There's no reason to keep something that toxic in your life.

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      2 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Lauren - You can't expect a friend, guy or girl, to give you more attention than they do their girlfriend or boyfriend. When they fall in love, they are naturally going to want to give more time to them and may not be able to be there in person as much. It sounds like he tried to support you, but you expected more out of him then he should have to give.

      People change. As they develop new relationships, they change their values and habits. You can't expect him to be who he used to be just because you want him to.

      You have placed unrealistic values on him.

      It's probably better that your relationship has ended because he can't live up to what you expect from him and you will always be disappointed while he struggles to please you and please himself.

    • profile image

      Katie 

      2 months ago

      so basically I've got a best friend who's gotten really toxic (verbally, physically, and mentally abusive) I've confronted her and told her that we need to take a break but now she's been calling me and texting me and I don't know how to end things cuz her birthday's soon and she wants to have me over and I don't know what to do. We've lost friends because they don't like the way she treats me. I don't know what to do.

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      2 months ago

      Okay so Kari here's the situation I had a guy friend named Dominic I had known him for fifteen years and over the years he went off to college and I didn't see him as much then he moved back home for a while then he got into a serious relationship he wasn't there for me as much sure he supported me and texted me but he wasn't there for me in person anymore so I ended the friendship with him it felt like he no longer cared about me that all he cared about was his girlfriend and I don't support his relationship at all because he wasn't there for me when I had anxiety really bad sometimes I miss him then I realize he's not who he used to be I don't want the friendship back I want him to be who he used to be first he's my neighbor which makes it so much worse

    • profile image

      Lauren 

      2 months ago

      I had an emotionally abusive friend named Dominic he was nice when I was complementing his personality or when I agreed with him but after I stopped agreeing he started acting like a jerk he wasn't there for me when I had anxiety he said he sees his girlfriend and family first then his friends if he has time to talk to them he never made time to hang out he was always texting but not there in real life

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      7 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Ellie - If she's ignoring you, then it's pretty easy - get on with your life and stop trying to talk to her. She'll get the hint.

    • profile image

      Ellie 

      7 months ago

      My best friend is friend with someone else and is completely ignoring me and we haven't spoken for 2 weeks! How should I tell her I don't want to be her friend?

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      19 months ago from Alberta, Canada

      Glad to hear that. It's hard when you're in the situation and feel like you shouldn't break it off, but hindsight gives you a clear picture of how necessary it was!

    • profile image

      Kayla Schultz 

      20 months ago

      Thank you for this. It has helped me to finally be able to break it off with an old friend of mine that I can no longer be around without crying. Keep doing what your doing.

    • profile image

      Aqua 

      21 months ago

      Thank You so much you helped my life!

    • profile image

      suzie 

      3 years ago

      there is no such thing as a best friend. All friends will betray you at some point. Always be on your guard!

    • ktnptl profile image

      ktnptl 

      3 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Interesting, we all have such friends. It is important to understand their motive behind this rather than just comparing with their comparing nature. Some friends are very good but they just can't help themselves to compare. But you are right, most friends who compare are not your best friends and you should get rid of them or at least keep yourself at a safe distance.

      https://hubpages.com/relationships/7-Types-of-Frie...

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Roz - Glad to hear I could help you make that step. It really does feel great when you let go of negative people and circumstances.

    • profile image

      Roz ♥ 

      3 years ago

      Thanks... I really needed this. I have a friend right now who is bullying me into doing what she wants. We were best friends but it couldn't go on any longer..

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @msdrama - I feel you! You can't stay in a negative situation for someone else's benefit.

    • msdramaqueen31 profile image

      msdramaqueen31 

      3 years ago

      I had to end my twenty two years of friendship with my ex-best friend yesterday, and honestly, it was a difficult decision to make. Not only did my ex-best friend called me every name in the book, he continued to take sides, and didn't bother trying to fox the situation between myself, and his stupid "girlfriend." To make matters worse, he refused to hold himself accountable for his actions, and played the role of a victim-which to me was childish.

      He asked me if we could continue to work on our friendship-despite his nasty attitude, and I declined the invitation. I didn't see the point on me trying to fix things between the two of us, and I shouldn't be held responsible for his actions. It wasn't my fault that his "girlfriend" considered me as a threat-due to her insecurities. I wasn't sleeping with him, and I didn't give her a reason to worry about what her man was up to!

      I asked my ex-best friend to leave me alone, and to stay out of my life for good! This man has mistreated me so horribly that I was asking myself if I did anything wrong to him. His behavior was atrocious, appalling and DISGUSTING! I'm not expecting an apology from him, and it wouldn't surprise me to hear that his girlfriend ended their relationship, so he shouldn't crawl back to me. I know that I did the right thing by standing up for myself-and I wasn't going to allow this man to talk to me crazy! He has NO IDEA how much pain that he has put me through.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Relationshipc,

      You nailed it. This, to many friends, is a problem who no one wants to talk about--and I have been this road too many times.

      Thanks for having the courage to address this problem, (an overbearing, manipulative) best friend who does not allow you to grow much less life.

      I voted all the way across.

      Great stuff.

      Check out my hubs when you get a chance and I would love to have you as a follower so we could exchange ideas and things.

      I promise to NOT email you every hour of the day.

      K.

    • profile image

      vonda g nelson 

      6 years ago

      I am responding to the 1st sentence in the section "I want to be friends again".....Do I really want them back. To be honest now that I have gotten some rest there is so much more that I just read that I would like to comment on, but I will do it later CiaO

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say Vonda.

    • profile image

      vonda g nelson 

      6 years ago

      That's sad..... who would want to have someone back that they defriended only because they are having hard times...christ....that's a low blow. So I'm gathering once times start to look up, they will make chopped, 86, you won't know who they are anymore..........Ooh O.k. I see how that works

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Oh wow Mandy. She was your next door neighbor? That would add a HUGE level of awkwardness (and stress) to the whole thing. Good for you though, taking a stand. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mandy M S profile image

      Mandy M S 

      6 years ago

      Oh I had to do this! The woman was taking over my life, she almost caused my husband and I to get divorced. I wrote her an email explaining why I didn't want to be her friend anymore then I never spoke to her again. I ignored her calls and emails and I avoided seeing her face to face. She was my next door neighbor and would pound on my door for an hour, but we pretended not to hear. We found a new house and moved a couple months later. It was awful, but I felt like a weight had been lifted. Awesome hub! Great advice!

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Well said Billy. Our first priority has to be ourselves - who else will make us their top priority? It really is freeing to be away from negative people.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have had to do this twice in the last four years and it is painful. However, it is necessary because my first responsibility is to myself. I will not be around negative people or people who want to drain me of everything they can take from me. I love me first...then I extend that love to those who can reciprocate. Great hub and message!

    • Relationshipc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks Reynold. It's a subject close to my heart lol.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I've never read anything like this!!! It is a subject I would never have imagined in a million years, however I can see it needs to be written as this can be a real issue for some. ou have really thought this out. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I gotta give this an Up ONE AND BEAUTIFUL. I'm now your fan!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pairedlife.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)