Once you have realized that you are friends with a toxic person and your friendship is not going anywhere, it is time to put an end to that friendship and move away from your toxic friend. It is easier said than done given that they were your friend and walking away from any friend hurts, even if that friend was toxic.
But you need to realize that being in a toxic friendship is, if not more, as mentally damaging for you as an abusive relationship. You just have to take the first plunge and then the rest of the ride will be smoother than you think. Letting go of them will allow you to thrive in your personal life and regain the self-esteem that you might have lost while being friends with a toxic person.
Almost all of us have met people who are constantly trying to put us down, compete with us, or manipulate us. Toxic friends can also be overly obsessive and be very passive-aggressive towards you. If you always have a hard time being their friend or if you get in a lot of fights with them, then it might be a sign of a toxic friendship. Identify these signs and once you do, try to steer away as far from them as possible.
In case you are already too invested in that toxic friendship and having a hard time letting go of it, then stop worrying as this article has got you covered.
Follow these steps to successfully let go of a toxic friend:
1. Prepare in advance
Breaking things off with someone is hard, and preparing all the points you need to say to them will help you convey your feelings effectively. It will also give you confidence in all the things you want to say while confronting them. Hence, mentally prepare yourself in advance for the confrontation.
2. Confront them and be clear
Once you realize that you are in a toxic friendship and move on from it, the next step would be to confront them directly and set the record straight. Call them out on all the bullshit they have fed you in the past. Be very direct.
Do not sugarcoat things. Do not cower when they try to retaliate. Hold your ground firmly and say everything you want to say with no fear. Do not be afraid to speak your mind. Tell them how they have hurt you by underestimating your worth as a good person and as a good friend.
3. Put forth your boundaries
While you are confronting them, be very clear about your boundaries. Tell them in explicit terms that you do not wish to be contacted by them in the future, as you do not want to remain friends with them any longer. Understand that, even though saying such things might be painful for you, these things need to be put out in the open if you want to move on from that friendship.
It might be so that you still want to stay in contact with them casually instead of barring them from your life. Here, do not contact them for some days post confrontation. We recommend it that, after giving them a piece of your mind, you take a break from them.
This will give you some space to process things more clearly. It will help you detach yourself from them a little. This will help you switch from the close friendship you two used to share to a casual acquaintanceship more easily.
4. Delete them from everywhere
Once you ended the friendship permanently, delete them from all your social media accounts will help you move on faster from them. Not seeing them constantly pop up on your social media feed will help you stop reminiscing on memories you had created with them.
This will ease your urge to text them and ask how are they doing. This will be good for your mental health, too. Tell yourself that blocking them from everywhere it is not too dramatic, or an overreaction given the friend they have been to you and how sorry they had made you feel throughout your friendship.
5. Do not be a sentimental fool
Now that you have been through all the above-given points in your actual life, the only problem that can arise is you getting too sentimental about the friendship. Without a doubt, staying away will be hard initially. You two used to be close friends in the past. It is natural to get sentimental about them.
But do not act on your emotions. Do not stifle your emotions but do not act upon them as well. Making impulsive decisions and letting them back in your life will only set you back on the path for pain. You do not want to be caught up in that loop of toxicity again. Otherwise, all the efforts you’ve made will go down the drain in a matter of seconds.
6. Keep yourself busy
The moving on period is hard, and it does not differ from going through a breakup. After being invested in someone emotionally, it is hard to erase that attachment. It will be very hard in the beginning, but it will get easier with time.
Try to keep yourself busy during this time. Sitting idle will leave you with too much time to think about them and miss them. If you have any hobbies, take them up seriously.
If you like to paint, write, dance, or sing, take your emotions out through your art. Pain is always an excellent motivation with art. Focus all your energy on keeping yourself busy and release all the emotional turmoil through your art as therapy.
7. Spend time with positive people
You can also spend time with friends and family. This will help you distract yourself from the emotional turmoil inside your heart. Also, befriend those who want the best for you and will help. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
Sharing your experience and feelings with your loved ones will also help you cope. Discussing the matter with them might also get you some helpful pieces of advice. If nothing else, it will at least make you feel lighter. Partake in fun activities with your friends and family members.
8. A time for self-analysis
The ending of a friendship can also be a time for an analysis of the self. You should introspect whether you have been in toxic relationships in the past. If you tend to fall prey to toxic people in your friendships and relationships easily, you need to find out the reason why this happens with you repeatedly?
Maybe you have had a troubled childhood, or maybe you grew up in a toxic household. If your parents have had a toxic relationship, it might make you susceptible to similar relationships. Self-analyze your traits in enabling such relationships. You might have low self-esteem and co-dependency issues. Look at your past and map out the tendencies you show in a relationship or a friendship. It will prove very useful and will help you avoid such relationships in the future.
Calling a friend out on their blunders and banishing them from your life is hard, but it is essential to break the toxic loop. Even if it is hard to apprehend now, you will thank yourself later and realize you are better off this way. It is good for your mental wellbeing. Now that you know what a toxic friendship looks like, try your best to avoid such people and relationships in the future. It can be a good learning curve if done the right way.