Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my full disclosure for more information.
Being surrounded by toxic friends can have a negative impact on your well-bring, this guide on how to end a toxic friendship will help you part ways gracefully.
It can be difficult and sometimes even impossible to end a toxic friendship. Toxic friends often come across as needy, demanding and manipulative; they make you feel guilty for standing up to them.
When you step away from the friendship, their guilt-tripping may escalate into anger or attempts at manipulation that may even include threats of physical violence or some sort of self-harm.
How to end a toxic friendship gracefully?
Sometimes it doesn't feel right, but unfortunately there are times when friendships don't work out.
Even if you want to, you can't stay friends with a toxic person, who only uses you to feel better about themselves.
Like leeches they drain your energy but rarely if ever do anything positive for you in return.
If you're in the middle of ending a friendship, these 10 tips will help you end a toxic friendship gracefully:
1. Be honest but kind.
This can be one of the hardest parts of ending a friendship because you might feel bad about hurting someone's feelings.
Saying goodbye is never easy but the best way to say goodbye is with honesty and kindness.
2. Have it in your heart to forgive.
Forgiveness is important in any friendship, but some people find it easier than others.
Do not keep anger and resentment inside while ending a friendship because this can cause many more problems.
Instead of holding on to the bad things your friend did or said, forgive and let go.
3. Be civil.
Do not go on a rampage about your friend and their negative traits, that is, unless these traits are affecting your life and happiness.
When ending friendships it is important to be civil, think before you speak and consider that they may change over time – if you decide to give them another chance in the future.
4. Your response to a toxic person should be one of non-engagement.
There is no need to get into a heated argument with them over who owes what to whom or whether you have been a bad friend or a "toxic" companion.
You don't owe anyone anything; your primary concern should be for yourself and your well-being.
5. Be firm but keep your voice calm and quiet.
This helps to diffuse their agitation, talk like you would talk to a child, kindly and without yelling.
Toxic people cannot stand up to someone who doesn't rise to the bait or fly off the handle; this leaves them feeling powerless and frustrated at not having made you react negatively.
6. Stick to your boundaries and do not let them wear you down.
A toxic person will usually respect you more if you stand up for yourself; those who don't value your opinion or friendship probably wouldn't have been great friends anyway.
7. Always show respect.
When you set a boundary, do not back down and show respect for their feelings even if they don't reciprocate it.
You may need to remove them from your life entirely, but treat this decision with the gravity and consideration it deserves so you can move on peacefully.
Always remember, toxic people cannot be reasoned with; they only understand the language of consequences.
8. Take time for yourself.
Spend time with friends or family, go to the spa, drink hot chocolate in winter and smoothies in summer, paint your nails, work out at the gym. Do whatever makes you happy during this time!
9. Reassess the friendship.
If they continue to harass you after a firm boundary has been laid out, you may need to remove them from your life entirely.
10. Be careful with your words and actions.
If the toxic person in question is a coworker or employer, be careful about what you say and do not over-share with them.
There's a fine line between telling someone off and standing up for yourself and becoming an office pariah by complaining about problems and issues that cannot be substantiated.
What to do next?
Ending a friendship with a toxic person can be both scary and difficult but you need to accept that the friendship is over and be open to meeting new people and making friends.
There are people out there who will make you very happy and are worth taking the time to find.