Friends. Not just a 90s TV show but something we all have and need to get through life. The thing is though, despite what TV friendships would have you believe, sometimes they aren’t all that good for you. In fact, toxic friendships can be totally draining on you, your other relationships and can get so bad that your life is not the same.
We don’t want this to happen to you, so we came up with a list of 8 steps to breaking up with a toxic friend. You can check out our list of 15 reasons why they might be toxic friend here.
1) Talk to them first
What you think might be a toxic friend might just be a friend in need. It’s important to remember that sometimes people act out when they don’t mean it or they might have stuff going in their own lives that they project onto other friends from time to time.
If you feel like you can, sit down and have a chat about why this is happening. If they can’t give you an answer, or they laugh it off, then maybe have a think about keeping your distance. Thank U, Next.
2) Keep your distance for a while
No one wants a big scene that would rival even the most dramatic EastEnders moments. Try keeping your distance from them for a bit if their behaviour doesn’t change. Not only will it give you some much needed space, but you will also be able to see more and more of what your life actually is like without them in it. Chances are, it’s actually a fair bit better than it has been for the past few months or even years.
3) Realise it’s OK to go your separate ways…
Whether you’ve been friends for months, years or all your life, you don’t need to be keeping people around that make it harder for you to live your best life. It’s totally OK to feel like you need space or that maybe this friendship has run its course.
The most important thing to remember though, is that if it has, you are not going to be alone and you are going to come across so many people in life that are great for you. You might not have found them yet, but you will get the Michelle Visage to your RuPaul Charles, or the Kevin Hart to your Dwayne Johnson one day.
4) …And it’s OK to feel how you feel
Just like it’s pretty crucial to know you can go it alone, it is also super important to feel how you want to feel. If you want to be sad about it, then take some time be bummed out. If you are mad, get angry. Work through all of this in whatever way is best for you, just once you are done, make like Taylor Swift and calm the f down.
Need to talk to someone? You can get one on one support with one of our trained mentors here.
5) Take your time
It’s normal to feel a little lost without any one of your pals. Take some time for yourself now, and take care of you. It’s important to remember that you are still valid and a great person to hang out with. Just because this didn’t work out this time doesn’t mean that you aren’t someone who is going to have wonderful people in their life.
Don’t let your friend make you feel rushed into speaking to them or abide by a set timeline when you speak to them next if ever. This is your life, you deserve to put yourself first sometimes.
6) Lean on other friends
Take this time away from your toxic friendships to focus on the ones that make you feel good. Chances are, these friends will be desperate to spend time with you after you’ve spent a while wrapped up in the other person, so they will want to take your mind off of them.
7) Get some closure
Sometimes, if you don’t get a chance to talk about how your friend made you feel, it can be difficult to feel like you’ve had any closure from the situation. Try writing a letter to them explaining everything you’ve felt but don’t send it. Instead, seal it in an envelope and then rip it up or shred it.
It might sound like something out of a romcom, but it’s actually a great way to get things off your chest without causing a huge blow-up argument that will probably drag the situation out and make everyone feel like crap.
8) Move on
Now you’ve had time to sort your life out, it’s time to move on from the whole situation and put it behind you. It might not seem like it now, but in a year, you will feel better for having one less toxic person in your life, and you’ve managed to handle the situation without hurting any feelings. Now go out and be free and wonderful and enjoy yourself – you deserve it.
Don’t feel alone in this. For one to one support with one of our trained mentors, go to the Ditch the Label Community here.