If it's time to say goodbye to a friend, it's important to explain the situation just as you would when breaking up with a romantic partner. Avoid ignoring or "ghosting" them. Instead, try these tips when the time comes. 


Voice Your Concern

If you're still on the fence about whether to end this friendship, it's worth making an effort to save it first. Talk things out with your friend and let them know how you're feeling. The two of you may be able to come up with solutions. 

Use "I" statements to explain how your friend's words or actions have made you feel. For example, say, "I feel unimportant when you don't respond to my phone calls," instead of "You never call me back!" Use this opportunity to set boundaries, if needed. 

If nothing changes after your heart-to-heart talk, it's probably time to say goodbye. 


Rehearse What You Want to Say

When you're ready to break up with your friend, it's best not to wing it. This can cause emotions to build up quickly and hurtful accusations to fly. 

Instead, write down what you want to say or practice saying it out loud. Rehearsing what you want to say can give you a confidence boost and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Focus on how you feel rather than being accusatory. 


Do It Yourself

Do not ask someone else to be the "middleman" and end the friendship for you. Express your feelings yourself. Even if you've been treated fairly, it's not healthy to pass the confrontation off to someone else. 

You might also miss out on enlightening information that could improve your relationship with your friend. It might not be a comfortable moment, but you'll walk away with more self-confidence when you tackle this yourself. 


Speak Over the Phone or in Person

If you cannot meet in-person to have this talk, ask to speak via FaceTime or over the phone. Do not try to end a friendship in text or email. 

Body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice are essential communication tools that your friend will not be able to "read" in text. It isn't easy to have this difficult conversation, but it will help you fully express yourself.


Be Honest

Be honest in explaining exactly what went wrong to help your friend avoid similar mistakes in the future. Avoid empty promises about the future. For example, don't say you need to "take a break" or want "time to think" when you already know you don't want to be friends anymore. 


Be Gracious

You can finish the talk by reminding them of some good memories you two shared, and then wish them well. Do not gossip about this person once your friendship ends, especially if you have mutual friends. 


Be Firm

If guilt-tripping or manipulative behavior were some of the toxic elements of this friendship, be prepared for this person to employ those same tactics to make you change your mind. Firmly say, "No, this is over."

If that proves difficult to do, request an indefinite break and let them know you will be the first to reach out if you change your mind. That way, they will not control your decision.

If you need help rehearsing what you want to say or need any other guidance regarding a difficult friendship, reach out to your Confidant team.