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How To End A Friendship

Friendship Breakup By: Katie Lister

February 02, 2024

How do I end a friendship? How do I tell my best friend I no longer want to be friends? Where do I learn how to end a friendship? It’s normal to have such questions. If you are wondering how to end a friendship, you are in the right place.

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. This is a supportive network where women come together to talk about issues specific to women, like how to end a friendship. 

A friendship can sometimes bring more negativity than positivity, and when that happens, it is best to walk away. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about ending a friendship, and how to cope.

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

How Do I Know It's Time to End the Friendship?

A friendship breakup hurts just as much as a romantic one. A romantic relationship often involves two people telling each other it’s over. When it comes to losing a best friend or an ordinary friendship, it’s sometimes more complex to explain why the friendship ended. Here are some signs that let you know when it’s time to let go of the friendship:


You can end a friendship when your best friend betrays you. Betrayal comes in many different forms. You could feel betrayed when your friend dates your ex, gossips about you with mutual friends, or does not show up when you need support, like the death of a family member.

You’re not their priority

Your friend never tries to see you, spending time with you is not a priority. A good friend takes time to reach out and check on you. Sometimes, it could be they are busy, but when it constantly feels like you are the one reaching out, it’s time to take a break.

You give more than you receive

Friendship is about reciprocity. If your friend only takes and never gives, that friendship is unbalanced. Healthy friendships involve both friends giving equally. If you are there for your friend more than they are for you, it’s a sign to move on.

Your friend is disrespectful

A healthy relationship between two friends involves support and positive affirmation. If your friend disrespects your feelings and says mean things, you must end that friendship.

Disrespecting your boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential, even with our best friends. When your friend constantly ignores all your boundaries, they do not respect you. When you set a boundary, does your friend disregard it or try to convince you it’s unimportant? An example is your friend trying to convince you to try smoking or drinking alcohol, even when you have made it clear you will not.

You are not yourself around them

It’s a bad sign when you start hiding things because you fear your friend might judge you. This fear means the friendship is no longer a safe space for you. A close friend can express tough love and disagree with your decisions. However, there is a difference between tough love and shaming someone. If you constantly feel on edge and judged, then it’s time to get out.



According to the American Psychological Association, manipulation is behavior that aims to exploit, control, or influence another for personal gain. Identifying manipulation takes work. Speak out if you feel like your friend is taking advantage of you. You need to create some distance if they are vehemently defensive or refuse to discuss it.

How To Cut a Toxic Friend Out Of Your Life

A toxic friendship is bad for your mental health and emotional well-being. It is important to know how to stop being friends with someone toxic. Here are some expert tips on how to cut them from your life.

Confront them

Once you decide to end the friendship, think about what to say before confronting them. It’s essential to communicate why you want to end the relationship. Decide how and when to bring up the topic. Be clear on what you will say, and avoid distractions.

Practice your speech beforehand and do it face-to-face, not via phone call or text message. Ensure you are both in an unaggressive mood. Please sit down and tell them that you no longer want to continue with the friendship. It might be challenging, but you need to do it.

Fade it out

If you are uncomfortable with confrontation, you can fade out of the friendship. Slowly reduce communication via phone calls, texts, or meetings. If they are toxic, chances are that they only reach out when they need something. When they do reach out, you know why they are reaching out, and you can avoid them.

Cut them off

If the friendship is emotionally abusive, manipulative, or aggressive, cut them off without closure. Friend breakups can get overwhelming. Toxic people may refuse to leave you alone, even when you officially end things.

Be clear and maintain the established boundaries because a toxic person will use your weaknesses to stay in your life. Please don’t respond to texts or calls. Block their number, and block them on social media platforms.

How to End a Friendship Without Hurting Their Feelings

Letting go of friends is complex and worse if the ending is dramatic. Here are some tips on how to politely end a relationship.

Listen to what they have to say

As a mature adult, learning how to listen to others and clearly express your feelings is essential. Emotions complicate conversations, so you must be open-minded. When discussing the future of your friendship, listen attentively and avoid interrupting, even if you disagree.

Pay attention to your body language and facial expressions, and stay off your phone. As this is a long-term friendship, be honest about how you feel. It might be difficult, but this conversation will give both of you closure on the issue.

Don’t ghost or block them

It is important to avoid ending a friendship without explanation, even if you are feeling frustrated or angry. Ghosting someone you once called a friend makes the person feel rejected and disrespected.

Instead of ghosting, have a conversation with your former friend and explain. It is vital to have this conversation in private to prevent the situation from escalating.


Have a face-to-face conversation or write a letter

There has always been a debate about whether to write a letter or text when ending a relationship. A face-to-face conversation is the best as it shows sincerity and respect. However, writing a letter or an email might be acceptable if the relationship is toxic or aggressive.

When composing your message, make it short. A simple opening like, “Hi (person’s name), I wanted to explain why I haven’t been responding to you lately…” will suffice. Choose your words carefully and avoid blaming the other person.

Be gently honest

You have to be honest about why you are ending the friendship. However, you must be gentle in your approach and in telling your truth.

Find a way to be honest without being brutal and hurting the other person’s feelings. Before you talk, consider the intended goal and ensure whatever you say aligns with that goal.

How to End a Friendship and Move on

When friendships end, you feel a profound sense of loss, whether you drifted apart or had a fallout. Here are some tips that can help you heal.

Get help

When overwhelmed, talk with someone you trust, like a family member or a licensed therapist like a psychotherapist (PsyD) or a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

Therapy helps process the friendship’s end and guides you on the way forward. A friendship leaves a deep void. You must communicate your needs to a loved one how you want them to support you. Talking helps you to process and feel better about the situation.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation helps you to find some peace and stop overthinking the situation. Mindful meditation like yoga and guided imagery will help you become more aware of the present and stop obsessing over the lost friendship.

Practice self-care

A positive mindset and self-care go a long way in boosting your self-esteem. Eat nutritious foods, get sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and pursue your interests and hobbies. Watch informative TikTok videos, read self-help books, or listen to engaging podcasts of people who overcame similar situations.

Reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

Reconnect with an old friend or make a new one in the process. Get out of your comfort zone and do new things like taking a painting, cooking, or pottery class. Meet new people and enjoy their company while you heal.

How to End a Friendship - Growth Gals Can Help!

Attention to all the incredible women out there looking to improve themselves! Are you searching for a way to better yourself? Growth Gals is a supportive community of like-minded women who can help with how to end a friendship.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our goal-setting journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards learning how to heal from the end of a friendship.


Final Thoughts

Ending a friendship is deeply traumatizing and leaves a sense of loss. If you read the signs and discover your friend is toxic, end the friendship. After the friendship ends, it might take an emotional toll on you. Seek therapy or talk to a family member. Finally, make other friends and try to move on.

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