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.
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.
Below are 4 steps to end a friendship in a healthy way:
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?
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 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.
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. Do not let your emotions get too in the way of when you’re talking to them in person.
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. 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.
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.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé