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With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies: How And When To End A Toxic Friendship?

With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies: How And When To End A Toxic Friendship?

Get it right, and your relationship with your best friend can be one of the most significant of your life – and often the most supportive. Friendships are beautiful and rewarding until they venture over to the toxic territory and make you walk on eggshells around the best of your friends. A relationship with a friend has a sacred code – friends should stick up for you, respect you, be happy for you and must have your best interest at heart at all times. When these basic standards are not being upheld, you must consider the possibility that the friendship may be toxic. So, you might want to knowsome tips on how to end a friendship with that one friend turned enemy.


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Spotting Frenemies – How To Identify Toxic Friends?


Do you have a friend who's ever snubbed you or violated your trust? Then there's a high chance that you're dealing with a frenemy in the garb of a confidant. Friend or frenemy? Sometimes it gets difficult to differentiate between these similar-sounding terms. Here are a few telltale signs that you're dealing with a toxic friend.


Severe Criticism


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S/he is always critical of you and has a smug attitude. They are inconsistent with their words and keep on giving advice even though you didn't ask for them. They act self-righteous and judge you with their holier-than-thou attitude all the time.


Conversational Red Flags


Friendship with a frenemy is usually superficial. You might get along with them, but they will cut you down often with subtle passive-aggressive jabs, which might even go unnoticed at first. When a friend's comments seem confusing and bitter, know that they're not coming for a good place.


Hurtful Humiliation


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A frenemy's intentions are often routed in jealousy, which is why they would leave no stone unturned to humiliate you. Such kind of behaviour can severely impact your peace of mind and may even be a huge blow to your self-esteem.  Friendly teasing is very natural and done in good humour, but being made fun of in public is another story. If your friend tells insulting jokes at your expense, then they’re being emotionally abusive.


Spreading Gossips And Rumors


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You've been backstabbed many times by this apparent 'friend' of yours. Disclosing secrets that you told them in strict confidence is suddenly his/her new hobby. When you find out that your trust is being violated, refrain from chatting with that tittle-tattler.


Bullying And Blabbing


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Find yourself being constantly coerced into situations you don't want to be a part of? Unable to convey your emotions and thoughts in a conversation that is mostly one-sided? Then you're in cahoots with a self-centred person who only uses you to unload his/her emotional baggage. Also, know that bullying is simply not acceptable. You don't have to do stuff that you don't even like just to keep someone else happy.


Calling It Quits – When To End A Friendship?


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Sometimes, despite your best efforts, there's nothing you can do to salvage a relationship – you have to take a tough call and simply walk away. If you think you've invested too much time in a friendship, try working it out with the other person and see if he/she acknowledges that your relationship is in deep waters. If they seem to diss your concerns altogether, then you should realize that you're stuck in the cycle of a toxic friendship. You need to quit this relationship cold turkey and move the hell on for your own mental well-being. Here are a few pointers that will help you realise when you need to re-evaluate your friendship choices.


You Have Nothing To Talk About


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Sometimes friends just drift apart. This is attributable to several factors. You might have less in common or your circumstances might have changed. If you have little or nothing to talk about, it is a clear-cut signal that your friendship, as you knew it, has come to an end. Your paths have diverged even though you were extremely close at one point in your lives. Your catch-ups and conversations are just taxing!


They Are Dismissive


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You should always be able to have open conversations with your friends. If you feel that you can't share your concerns with them, then your friendship is in a pickle. Conversations are the basis of all relationships. If you can't sustain that old sparkle in your chat sessions and they are borderline awkward, then this is it for your friendship.


The Blame Game


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Their actions don't match their words. They might say they want to hang out with you, but never really make an effort to do anything about it. You seem to be making all the plans that never materialise. If you confront them about their behaviour, they shift the blame on you and never take accountability for anything.


Life is too short to stay unhappy for something as small as staying in a friendship for the heck of it. It's very simple. When something is important to you, you will do everything in your capacity to save it. Wearing yourself down over something that is irrepairable is not the wisest thing to do. When you've maxed yourself out on fixing a relationship with a friend who doesn't want to fix it, it's time to call it quits.


Weeding Out People – How To End A Toxic Friendship?


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Drop Subtle Hints


If you see this friend in question occasionally, you can always avoid contact and blame it on procastination. If you still wonder how to end a friendship with him/her, come up with excuses when he/she tries to initiate plans. You can continue saying that you're occupied with other stuff until that person takes the hint and leaves.


Fade Them Out


Don't text or call them. Even if they constantly keep on checking with you, ignore their texts. If you can't be that rude, try replying to their texts hours after they had sent those. Stop interacting on social media and liking their pictures. If you're afraid of confrontation, let it come to a natural close by gradually decreasing communication.


Be Curt


Keep your messages short and to the point. Reply in limited words to their long texts. While in a conversation, try to limit dialogue and just keep nodding or replying in hmms. This would give the other person an idea that you're clearly no longer interested in spending time with him/her. Stick to your guns and maintain distance.


Don't Accommodate


You have to be a little assertive for this. While making plans, push your recommendation and insist on doing what you suggested. Never back down and do something that is not your idea of fun. Be a lot less accommodating than usual. Your friend might automatically want to stop hanging out with you coz it's not fun for him/her anymore. This seems a little rash, but both of you can get out of the friendship without hurting the other.


Confront And Have 'The Talk'


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This would take a lot of guts. Believe it or not, facing the music is always the best solution. Get rid of your anxiety and guilt, sit the other person down and let them know that you should part ways. If that person was ever valuable to you at some point in life, then he/she deserves an explanation. You would also get closure and feel less guilty about ending something. If you think that this friend still has the ability to see reason, appeal to their logical side and end it on a courteous note.


Completely Cut Them Off


If you've figured out that this person's company is doing you more harm than good and his/her toxicity is beyond tolerance, just DROP THEM OFF! Bullying/Gaslighting is just not acceptable. If their behaviour is completely unjustified, you reserve the right to obliterate this person from your life. In order to do this, delete them from all social media platforms. Block their number and eliminate all sources of contact. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.


Moving On – Learning From A Failed Friendship


Be prepared to feel not so great, and even guilty, after ending a friendship. It sucks! Just remember that doing it and facing the repercussions of dropping a friend will be hard, but it’ll make room for more nurturing and supportive friendships in the long term. No type of friendship is a failure, not even a toxic one. Everything happens for a reason, right? You'd know better and test the waters before making a friend henceforth. Reflect on what went wrong with the dead friendship, be more aware of yourself and never let anyone overshadow you.


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Don't hold on to the anger and resentment, and let go. Be trusting, while at the same time be, more aware. Friendships are beautiful and the great ones make your life shine a little brighter each day. Here's what my idea of a perfect friendship is. Read this and take a call. Eliminate toxic friends and keep the keepers!


"The best friendships will support and inspire, will spur you on to do greater and better things and bring out your best self. True friends are the ones who know every weird bit of you and still want to hang out; they're the ones who don't require constant maintenance; they will always provide a shoulder to cry on, without worrying about your mascara ruining their new top; and they'll go after the person who made you cry in the first place. Lean on your pals: they're the ones who will provide a lifejacket when you're navigating life's choppy waters."


– What Would Boudicca Do?


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Published on Feb 28, 2019
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