How to Have a Healthy Friendship Breakup

Friendship breakups are never easy but here's some steps to make it easier

Hi all,

Happy 2018. You can tell from the title, this is not for the faint heart, but a much-needed piece of information. Friendship breakups are not an easy task. Gone are the days on the playground where you would walk up to another kid and announce “I’m not your friend anymore,” then proceed with your day as if nothing happened. Now you to worrying about navigating feelings and egos, plus consider how this will impact your reputation. It’s difficult for us as humans to let go of attachments, but sometimes you have to tighten up your squad and let people go.

 

Friendships breakups are never fun, but when you find yourself initiating one, you should always take the steps to make it healthy departure. #selfcare

How Do You Know it’s Time to Break Up with You Friend?

Perhaps you have a feeling you’re receiving half the effort you’re putting into the relationship, which might be a sign that you need to initiate a breakup. If you’ve reached a point where you see that you and your friend have a different definition of friendship and cannot find a middle group. Maybe you’re like me and my ex-friend can have a different set of values that you refuse to compromise on.  There is nothing wrong with any of those scenarios, but you need to realise it is time for you to divest yourself.

You should not be pouring energy into a relationship that causes you that much strife with little gains. You should not be forcing a friendship that is less than you deserve. Know your self-worth when it comes to your interpersonal relationships. You are allowed to reject toxicity in any form, even if that person has been in your life for a significant period. You don’t have to stay in a friendship under the guise that it wasn’t that bad of a relationship.

If your friend is adding more stress to your life, it might be time to initiate a friendship breakup

Remember, I live by the Three Fs in life. So when my ex-friend told me she didn’t like my strong personality and viewpoint certain situations, that was pretty much it for me. I’m not going to let anyone cripple my self-esteem to make myself digestible to their palette. Label it “arrogant, mean, confrontational, belittling” etc. but I’ll never allow someone to walk all over me and compromise my values for the sake of maintaining a relationship. That is toxic behaviour and is a sign that person does not have a place in my life.

If any of this sounds like something you’re experiencing, take stock of what those friendships mean to you and if you think there is any way to repair what has been broken. My process included prayer and journaling. That revealed to me most of my interactions with this person life me bitchy and angry. Good friendships are supposed to relieve stress, not pile it on. I was holding out, but as each sign came that it was time to let go, I knew what I had to be done. It was time to break up with my friend and divest myself of that relationship.

What Steps Should You Take to Divest Yourself of the Situation?

Once you breakup with a friend, be prepared for an awkward period

Clear the Air

First I would recommend you and said friend talk. Give them an explanation of why you feel leaving the relationship is the best course of action for yourself. It is your responsibility to let people know when you feel their treatment towards you is inadequate. Be honest with how you are feeling but also be open to any feedback they may have for you.  Maybe you’ll find something about yourself. Maybe that talk will help salvage the friendship, or maybe it’ll give you the closure you need. In my situation, I left reconciliation on the on the table, and the other party declined. During our talk, my goal was to make sure there were no loose ends and no regrets. So when the choice was made not to go forward with the friendship, I didn’t feel the need to go back seeking answers and to wonder what if.

Don’t Leave Your Other Friends in the Dark

Unlike some romantic relationships, where each party typically enters the union with their own friend groups, you and your ex-friend probably share a friend group. This means having to see this person at functions after the breakup and dealing with awkward small talk or complete avoidance. You should tell your extended friend group what’s going on. It doesn’t have to be in great detail, but give them a heads up that there will be tension because there will be tension. Whatever you do, don’t ask your mutual friends to pick sides in the break up because that’s childish and rude. It is not fair them as they aren’t the ones who decided to end a friendship.

Prepare to be Uncomfortable

An acquaintance may ask about your former friend. During times of celebration, you’ll find awkward silence and empty space where there was once warm hugs and unforgettable laughter. If you were best friends, you might have to return borrowed books or shared clothing. You’ll have to delete that contact out of your phone at some point. At the risk of sounding cliche, rip the bandaid off and just do it. The most of these encounters you have, the less uncomfortable you’ll be the next time it happens. Soon it will become your new normal.

How Do You Move Forward after a Friendship Breakup?

Sometimes making the tough decision to break up with a friend will open new doors

As you move forward with divesting yourself of this friendship, it is essential for you to remember people aren’t always meant to stay in your life forever. Sometimes people are only expected to be in our lives for specific periods of time, and that is okay. It does not mean you wish your ex-friend ill will or don’t want to see them succeed, but you are both on different paths. Last year a lot of people asked me” are you sure you don’t want to fix things? You were friends most of your college experience.” My answer was always no. I’ll take nothing over a faux friendship in the same of saving face and holding onto yesteryear. I’m the type of person who I’m done with the relationship, that is it. There is no going back because I have come to the decision it is more beneficial for me to look forward than to be stuck in limbo.

I trust the journey I’m on in life and believe better things, and more healthy friendships are in the cards for me. As you go on to develop new friendships, look for qualities that you like in a person and ones that you don’t. You shouldn’t keep repeating the same mistakes in friendships. When this attachment ended, two more developed in a somewhat unexpected way. I can honestly say these people entered my life at the appropriate times and have been such joys.

Sometimes you have to tighten your squad and breakup with a friend

View this ordeal as character building. A breakup is never easy. Losing a friend you’ve created lifelong memories with can be difficult, but it is important to remember you did what was best for you. Stand proud in that decision. You’ll likely grow more without that person in your life. As you move forward, it is okay to reflect on those shared memories. Look back at old journal entries or Instagram posts and remember the joy you had at that moment.

Most of all, I want you to remember ending is not a failure. Sometimes friendships end. That doesn’t discredit the good times. That doesn’t mean you’ve become a bad person. Nothing last forever and moving on from those who are weighing you down can be the best thing for your sanity. When the divesting process is over, remind yourself you’re still living your best life. I started off my 2017 with a friendship breakup and I’m glad I entered 2018 a reformed squad and less baggage.

Besos,

Aitza

  • Great job,

  • Interesting topic. I always have a hard time letting go of relationships that are no longer beneficial to me. Like you said, I have a fear that I’ll come off as a bitch. However, I’ve noticed that I go out of my way for friends way more than they do for me, so it’s time to be more focused on me. Great post!

    • Aitza B

      You know, your comment has inspired a new blog post. I’ve accepted some people are going to think I’m a bitch. And like you, I felt like I was doing more for that friend that I was receiving. Hopefully, there won’t be any more friendship breakups in my life. Thanks so much for commenting lady.

  • Thank you for sharing! It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to walk into these circumstances. I definitely found your tips helpful as there are few relationships that I’ve had to end and it wasn’t a positive ending. I’m sure there will be plenty of chances to make friendship breakups but at least I know now how to be better at it!

  • I keep a really tight circle of people that I actually spend time with and thankfully none of them are a problem. Although on the flip side, I do wish I got to see them all much more. I understand the need to get rid of toxic people, fully. That is why we moved away from everyone we knew and now live in Iowa. It has been great and since I have cut everyone out of my life and moved away, I have been much happier, glad I didn’t wait any longer to rid my life of them.

  • Aitza, I absolutely LOVE how much you value yourself. Not only is this informative but it’s downright just a good read. I wish I would have read this a few years ago lol. Your advice is so good for young people on how to handle situations like this maturely.

  • Friendships are tough, eh? I can’t say I’ve had an official breakup in a long time, mainly because I left the country a few years ago so it’s been more of a drifting apart for many. The older you get, the more difficult genuine friendships are to find, and the time it takes to get closer to someone increases. Fingers crossed I don’t have to go through any friendship breakups any time soon but I hope your 2018 is filled with new friends 🙂

  • great post love, you made some great points. I do hope more young people see this
    http://www.mssparkleandglow.com

  • I love this post! I refuse to compromise important beliefs or values for the sake of keeping a relationship and a lot of people think it’s harsh. This really reminded me of a quote from the book Don’t Settle for Safe – “You don’t need a villain to run away from fruitless friendships or relationships, just a sense that avoidable and detrimental distractions will inevitably prohibit you from fulfilling your potential.”

  • This post was extremely insightful and well written. I didn’t come to terms with the whole friendship breakup until a few years ago. Post college years I began to realize everyone is not meant to be in your life forever. I wish I’d read this when I went through my first “adult friendship breakup”. I could have have used it. I did journal and that helped me get some clarity. Yes to releasing toxic friends in 2018 and beyond!

  • Patrice

    I’ve had a few friendship breakups in my day (lol). But none of them as healthy as how your describe them to be. I don’t anticipate having any in the future (I mean do we ever?). I definitely need to keep these in mind for the future. Because even general acquaintances sometimes just need to be severed and these are great tips to keep my sanity and be fair about the situation for everyone involved. Love this!

    • Aitza B

      This was my first friendship breakup opposed to drifting apart. Maybe it’s the Virgo in me but once I’m done, I’m done. I don’t have time for the drama when I know others love and support me. I’m glad to hear you don’t foresee any future friendship breakups. Thanks so much for the support, Patrice.

  • I absolutely hate being torn up over friendship breakups. Although it is the right thing to do, it is never the easiest especially if you’ve been through a lot with this person. But if the negatives outweigh the positives and you’ve discussed with them how you’re feeling and things don’t get better, it’s a tough call to make but it is for the best.

    • Aitza B

      It is truly one of those ugly parts of life, because letting go is hard. Looking back at it now I have no regrets about my decisions. Thanks for you for your thoughtful comment, Nadalie.

  • This is super important, thanks for sharing I definitely needed this.

    • Aitza B

      Thank you so much, Sydney. I hope this aids you well.

  • I absolutely love this post. For a long time I was seen as too harsh or not sensitive enough to my overly sensitive friends. I was changing myself for someone else. Those times are long gone and it feels amazing to be on the presence of people who get me abbr won’t try to change me.

  • Klassic Karen

    I recently ‘broke-up’ with a friend that I have been close for for about 6 years now, the pivotal point for me was when I realised the friendship was a one way street. I haven’t spoken to her about it, but she hasn’t contacted me since she blew off my mum who planned a dinner specifically for her to come over for… ah well!

  • Sarai Watkins

    This was a great read! I’ve had my shared of friend break ups in life, they are tough but i value my own self too much to be in bad friendships! I think it’s important to remember some people are only in our life for seasons! Thanks for this!

  • Allyse Jolie

    I feel like this was a sign! I have a friend that I always support but I notice it’s a one way street! Time to move on!

  • Love all your tips! This can be so difficult but you really broke it down.

    • Thanks , Daisi. Definitely not a fun topic, but it is reality.

  • herprettybravesoul

    I actually really really like this post because it’s something I have been facing for quite a while now and I don’t know how to actually end this friendship on a “healthy” level. So thank you for sharing!

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you’re able to find a way to end things on your own terms in a way that leaves you with no regrets and feeling at peace.

  • These are great tips! I especially like how you focus on personal responsibility instead of blaming another because you feel a certain way. My husband always says, “you teach people how to treat you.” and if the relationship is one-sided it’s out of balance and time to move forward in another direction. Thanks!

  • Cassie Stokes

    this is such a great topic to write about because many people don’t! everybody has friendship breakups and this advice can help make the break up much more civil. Love these tips!

  • I’ve not experience friendship breakup before but this is a good read.

    • I hope you don’t have to experience one. It isn’t fun.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Christine Ann Dela Cruz

    I’ve never experience any friendship breakup. But these are some great tips. Will share this out.

  • Lisa

    Great tips to ending a friendship. It’s always a hard thing to do.

  • Marjie Mar

    I feel like true friendship does not really die. We meet people on a daily basis and we outgrow some relationship. Sometimes, it’s hard to move on but we should not stay in any relationship that drains us. Thanks for sharing this post as it is not easy to cut ties.

  • Michele Renee

    I can completely understand why its necessary to let friends go. I am lucky I haven’t had to deal with that before, but thank you so much for this post! If I do ever have to break up with a friend, I will refer back to some of your tips!

  • thesophiadiaries

    thank you for sharing, i totally agree with all of these, as someone who has gone through many friendship break ups <3

  • I had to go through this last year with a friend, it was really hard but I’m way better off not now. It’s really hard having to leave someone behind, but sometimes you just have to let them go. Great post!

  • I honestly think friendship breakups are even harder than relationship ones! I’ve left a few friends in my past, and most of the times, it’s for the best! These are great tips!

  • TBH I went through this this last year and really just cut ties without a conversation. I think sometimes it’s better to just drift apart over time.

  • You are a lot more direct and honest than I tend to be. I had a friend who was toxic and I just… moved away and slowly stopped responding to their texts! Now when I see them there’s no tension (as we both use the excuse that we drifted apart) haha. It’s not the most mature solution but it works for me. While I totally agree with you that some relationships require a sit-down talk with the friend breakup, I don’t think all of them do. Either way, thank you for writing this! You are so strong and mature!

  • I have to say that this post is so needed for each and every one of us. I have had a few friendships that needed to end and they did so in a messy, hurtful way. It is only now that I can see what they really were and what needed to be done.

  • YESSSS! Bad friendships only weigh you down and create a toxic lifestyle for yourself.

  • Thank you for sharing these tips! Friendship breakups are so difficult, I’m sorry that you went through that but know that these tips will help so many other people!

  • This is so important! The older I get, the more I realize that I only need to have people in my life who want to be there. I don’t have time to run after everyone, make all the plans and put all the effort into friendships. This is such great advice!