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Letting Go Of Friends - A Guide for Women

Friendship Breakup By: Katie Lister

February 04, 2024

Are you thinking of letting go of friends? Are your friends toxic? How do I let go of friends? If you are curious about these questions, this article is for you.

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 letting go of friends.

Friends are confidants, support systems, and people you have fun with. However, sometimes in life you have to let friends go. If you are thinking about letting some of your friends go, this article will provide you with 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

Letting Go Of Friends - When To Let Go

Breaking up with your best friend hurts as much as the end of a romantic relationship. According to research, the quality of your friendships affects your stress levels, physical health, and coping ability. Ending a bad friendship means protecting yourself from its negative effects on your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Here are some of the reasons you need to let go of a friend:

It’s all about them

A friendship is about taking turns to support each other. If one friend is always getting support and not offering any, it’s a sign of a problem. The person who always offers support might feel unappreciated and unheard. These feelings might lead to resentment and an eventual fallout. If you feel that your friend never reciprocates your efforts, it’s time to move on.

They disrespect your boundaries

To maintain a friendship, you have to maintain healthy boundaries. You should never feel the need to defend your decisions. When you say no, your friend should respect your decision. If they get upset about you setting boundaries and keep disrespecting them, it’s time to start learning how to end a friendship.

For example, your friend continually ignores your request not to call past midnight because you sleep early. A friend should support you and understand when and why you set boundaries.

They drain you

You may need to make new friends if your close friend is consistently negative and does not try to change. As a good friend, you must be empathetic, but you must put your mental well-being first. When someone is constantly complaining, it becomes draining to be around them. They make you feel angry, frustrated, and inadequate. If you have tried to understand what makes them this way, but they do not try to change, it’s okay to distance yourself.

The connection is gone

Humans keep evolving; sometimes, we no longer connect with old friends. If conversations with your best friend are strained and you have nothing to talk about, it’s time to take a step back. If the core values that brought you together have changed and you no longer have things in common, it’s time to go your separate ways.


They don’t make an effort 

You are the only one who makes an effort. For a friendship to thrive, it takes two people who make equal effort. When there is no reciprocity and there is an imbalance, resentment may creep in. End the friendship and look for a friend who will appreciate your efforts.

They are toxic

When a friend is toxic, you need to let them go. A toxic friend will ghost you with no explanation. Ghosting is when they go silent on you for no reason, only to reappear when they need something. If they say mean and hurtful things and pretend it is a joke, it is another form of toxicity. Choose yourself and end the toxic relationship.

How Do You Let Go of a Friend You Love?

The end of a friendship is painful. What are the ways of how to stop being friends with someone?

Allow yourself to feel the loss

What you are going through is a valid experience. Losing a friend is traumatic and painful. Extend yourself the same grace and kindness you would to a friend in the same situation. Allow yourself to grieve, cry, and be angry. Hold on to the good parts of the relationship, and don’t dwell on the negative. Time heals all wounds, and with time, you will eventually move on.

Practice self-care

It’s easy to neglect yourself when you are sad and wallow in your misery. Instead of spending time feeling sorry for yourself, practice self-care. Do all the things you love, which includes self-grooming. Go to the spa, do your nails and hair, eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, etc. If it feels good, it’s self-care and will boost your self-esteem and confidence.

Take a social media break

You can take a break from social media if every time you log in, you see your former friend’s posts. Deactivate your account for a while until you feel ready. Hide or delete all photos of you with your ex-friend. If deactivating your social media accounts is not an option, block your former friend to avoid seeing their posts.

Try something new

If you spent a lot of time with your friend doing similar things, you can try other things that don’t remind you of them. Join groups that do the things you love, such as traveling, hiking, etc. In these activities, you will find other friends who share similar interests and maybe forge new friendships.

Practice mindful meditation

Spending time worrying about the past will not help make things better. Practice mindful meditation to help you focus on the present. You can join yoga groups or try guided imagery meditation with trained therapists to guide your self-awareness journey.

How Do You Accept And Cope After Letting Go Of Friends

Growing apart from friends is normal. If you had a long-term friend, the end of that friendship will leave a void that will be hard to fill. How do you accept and cope with the loss?


Accept it is over

As hard as it might be, accept the friendship is over. Acceptance makes it easier to move on. Appreciate the good times you had, and avoid regretting the friendship breakup. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. The friendship ran its course, and you must start a new life without them.

Have a conversation

When friendships end, a face-to-face conversation is necessary for closure. Talk to your friend and explain why the friendship is no longer viable. Avoid blaming them and use “I” to express yourself. If you feel the conversation will turn aggressive, write them a letter or an email.


Journaling is one of the best ways to cope. Write down all your feelings daily to help release the confusion and pain you feel. Journaling will help you let go of negativity and understand yourself.

Form new memories and habits

When you have a best friend, you find yourself doing the same things, going to the same coffee shop or restaurant. All these places hold painful memories. Step out of your comfort zone and form new memories by going to new places and forming new habits that don’t remind you of your friend.

Put away reminders 

It becomes harder to heal when you constantly look at items that remind you of your friend. Box up items that remind you of them, such as photos or gifts. 

Concentrate on other friendships

Reconnecting with your other friends may help you move on. Start being proactive and contact them to see if the friendships can blossom into deeper relationships. Take it easy, and don’t overwhelm them. Let things fall into place naturally. 

Listen to podcasts

Numerous podcasts focus on self-love, heartbreak, and moving on. Listen to how other people overcame similar experiences of broken friendships and what they did to heal. 

Talk to someone

Talk to a trusted, but not mutual friend with the ex-friend or a family member. If you cannot find anyone to talk to, consider professional help. A therapist creates a safe space for you to talk about your hurt and help you find ways to cope with the loss. A therapist will also help you make the right choice in your future partnerships.

Letting Go Of Friends - Growth Gals Can Help!

This guide goes out to women striving to become a better version of themselves! Are you looking toward self-discovery? Growth Gals is a compassionate community of like-minded women who can help shoulder the emotional burden that comes with letting go of friends. 

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our journals, coaching, and support groups. Check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards self-improvement and letting go of friends.


If you see a red flag in your best friend, do not ignore it. Letting go of friends is not easy, but necessary. When a friendship runs its course and causes you more grief than happiness, it’s time to end it. Toxicity, ghosting, and saying mean and hurtful things are just some of the few signs of a dying friendship.

Finding new things to do, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones, as well as self-care, mindful meditation, and therapy, are some ways to cope and heal. Join Growth Gals today and find a community of women ready to support you as you work on becoming the best version of yourself!

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