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How to Stop Being Friends with Someone

Friendship Breakup By: Katie Lister

January 28, 2024

How do I end a friendship? How do I learn how to stop being friends with someone? My friend is toxic; how do I end our friendship? This article is for you if you ask yourself these questions and need answers.

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 stop being friends with someone for whatever reason. 

Friendships end all the time, and it is never easy when they do. If you are wondering how to end a friendship amicably, this article will give you all the information you need.

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

Signs That You Need To End The Friendship

Friendships are a vital part of our lives. They provide us with emotional and social support, but they can become a source of grief. When a friendship becomes unhealthy, you know it’s time to end it. Here are some of the signs it’s time for a friendship breakup.


Jealousy is a normal human emotion. You can feel envious of your friends for things like a new relationship or a promotion. However, envy can turn to extreme jealousy. If your friend starts saying hurtful things, it’s time to end that friendship.


It’s natural for people to talk about others, but your friend should never tell other people anything you tell them in confidence. If the person you call BFF (best friend forever) talks ill of you to mutual friends, you need to cut them off. Trust is the key ingredient to healthy friendships. If you can’t trust your best friend, then you need to re-evaluate the friendship.

Your values differ

We all change over time. When your values differ, and you can’t get along anymore, you need to go your separate ways. When you no longer have things in common, the friendship will eventually fade out. When you notice that the two of you no longer sync, you need to think about the value this friendship brings you.

They disrespect your boundaries

Boundaries are the restrictions you set for your emotional well-being and mental health. These limitations let other people know what you can and cannot put up with. If you ask your friend to stop calling you after certain hours on a work night and they continue, that’s disrespecting your boundaries. No matter how close the friendship is, you both have to set boundaries and respect them.


Sometimes, friends may throw around insults as a joke, which can cause hurt feelings. When you feel the playful banter has crossed boundaries, ask your friend to stop. If they continue to insult you, it stops being playful banter and the friendship should end.

You are more invested

You are the one who is more invested in the friendship. A healthy relationship takes two invested people who equally like spending time together. The friendship must have reciprocation from both ends, or the imbalance will lead to resentment from the more sponsored friend.


Codependency, or relationship addiction, is where your friend consistently goes to great lengths to do things for you and then acts as a hero. They may exhibit feelings of anger or hurt when you don’t praise them or acknowledge their efforts.

Losing a best friend? Learn healthy ways to cope here.

How To Recognize A Toxic Friend

Dealing with toxic friends can drain your energy. You should consider letting go of friends who are toxic or abusive. Here are some of the signs of a toxic friendship:

They constantly disrespect your boundaries

A good friend understands when you set boundaries and respects them. A friend who constantly ignores your boundaries is toxic. This disrespect is either deliberate or happens in the context of a co-dependent friendship. In a codependency, the two friends become so involved that they lack independence. When the disrespect is deliberate, your friend is toxic.

They always compare you to others

Does your friend like to compare you with their other friends? Maybe you are not as fun as X, or you don’t dress as well as Y? We all have different personalities and tastes, and a friend should recognize and embrace the differences. Friends should never compare you to other people or imply others are better than you.

They make fake apologies

When you call out your friends on a behavior you do not like, they should apologize with sincerity. True friends avoid hurting each other.

Toxic people will shrug off your hurt and give a flippant apology. Instead of considering your point of view, they offer an apology followed by a ‘but.’ For instance, “I am sorry you feel that way, but you are overreacting.” Such an apology shows they don’t care how they make you feel.

They pressure you into doing things you are not comfortable with

A good friend should also never pressure you into doing things you do not want to do. Unfortunately, peer pressure is present in adult relationships when people struggle to fit in.

Toxic people thrive on persuading other people to stoop to their level. For example, if they have a drinking problem, they will try to get you to drink with them.

They are jealous 

Toxic friends feel jealous of anyone in your life and want to be the only important person in your life. They may insult and disrespect your other friends. If you vent to them about other people, they are quick to say that you do not need those people in your life.

You defend and cover for them

If other people are concerned about this friend and you defend or lie for them, you are an enabler of the toxicity and part of the problem.

How To Stop Being Friends With Someone

Wanting to end a friendship does not make you a bad person. Here are some of the steps you can take to end a friendship gracefully.

Let it die a natural death

It’s often better to let an unfulfilling friendship wither away on its own. There is a difference between ending a friendship and letting it fade out. If the friend has betrayed you or you had a major falling out, you can finish it abruptly. If the friendship has run its course, it’s better to let it die slowly. Instead of ghosting your friend, reduce communication until it completely dies out.

breaking up with a friend

Talk about it

It’s advisable to talk about it with your friend about why you want to end the friendship. This allows both of you to maintain your dignity and move forward with new friends. However, if you choose to end the friendship, be considerate of the feelings of your former friend, especially if the decision was yours. Maintain respect for your ex-friend. Be firm and explain the reason for the breakup, even if they still want to be friends with you.

Don’t send a text

Try face-to-face conversations or phone calls instead of going silent. Meet somewhere neutral, like a coffee shop, to avoid drama. When you see each other’s facial expressions, there is no room for misinterpretation, unlike when you send text messages.

When you break up with someone face to face, whether in a platonic or romantic relationship, it shows the importance of the situation and your courage to face it head-on.

Use “I”

A non-confrontational and non-accusatory way of ending the friendship is by using “I” instead of “you.” Don’t make it seem like their fault; instead, make it all about you without burdening your friend. For example, say, “I need to work on myself to be a good friend.”

Coping After You Stop Being Friends With Someone

When you end a friendship, it may be hard on you as well. Here are some ways you can cope:

Talk to someone

If you are having a hard time after the breakup, talk to loved ones like family members to help you navigate the emotions. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, speak to a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) to help you navigate through the sudden life changes.

Let go

If you have been friends for a long time, it might be hard to let go. If a friendship is toxic, you need to take care of your mental and emotional wellness. Start by mentally letting go and accepting the reality of the situation.

Are you finding it hard to move on after ending a friendship? Find tips on how to stop obsessing over a lost friendship here. 

Growth Gals Can Help After Ending A Friendship!

Here is to all the incredible women looking to improve themselves. Are you searching for a way to tap into your authentic self? Look no further than Growth Gals, a supportive community of women who can help you learn how to stop being friends with someone.

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.


You must learn how to read the signs of a dying and toxic friendship. When people disrespect your boundaries, compare you with others, or are jealous, you know it’s time to exit the relationship. End the friendship with grace, and explain the reason to your friend. It pays to be kind and considerate of others, even when it’s time for the friendship to end.

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