Friendships are one of the first types of relationships we learn how to build when we’re young. This is a time when you might meet someone you think will be a part of your life forever. And over time, as you grow and change, friendships also tend to follow suit.
But sometimes there comes the point when you have to move on from toxic relationships that no longer serve you… and that’s okay.
Ending relationships can be hard – there’s no denying that – but if you come to recognize that the trust in a friendship is starting to fade or you’re putting into a friendship more than you’re getting, these are signs that it just might be the time to let that friendship go. Maybe certain friends are always draining you of your energy, or they make you feel insecure; these too are significant red flags of a toxic relationship. So I’d like to share with you some tips on friendship and how to break free from the people that no longer serve you.
Practice in the mirror (before doing it in person)
Standing up and facing a friend to break free from the relationship can be scary. You may know exactly how you feel in your heart, but getting the words out of your head can be nerve-racking. Just like giving a speech or presentation, you’ve got to practice out loud to feel confident in the final delivery. So get in front of the mirror, channel your most calm self, and try a few test runs. Confrontation is scary, and you may know what you want to say, but actually reciting the words out loud is going to make a huge difference in your ability to come face to face with a friend.
Show your appreciation (in person)
A friendship can be hard to end on both parts, especially when there is a long history of memories, so don’t be afraid to acknowledge that. So when you’re ready to face reality and break up with a friend, showing appreciation for the time and memories you once had is a very healthy part of finding closure and peace at the end of a friendship. Having this conversation in person is key. When you’re breaking up with someone you once truly cared about, having the guts to have the conversation face to face is truly a nod to how much you appreciated the friendship. It really takes a big person to have this conversation in person, as you are recognizing there was once love there, but you’re just not meant to be friends any longer.
The thing about different friendships is that there is always a slightly different dynamic from person to person. Some friendships are more playful and lighthearted, while others are more serious and loving. When you are wanting to break up with a friend, it’s going to get uncomfortable talking to them in a way that’s different than the normal dynamic in the friendship. So the key is to be clear and be firm in your intentions. Highlight the truth and don’t beat around the bush. You may want to revert to talking in circles or finding excuses, but this is the time to be direct. This is also going to show the other person how serious you are about what you are trying to communicate.
Pinpoint your role
When you decide to end a friendship, you may feel yourself wanting to place blame on the other person as the reason for the friendship being over. But instead of blaming someone else, this is your opportunity to identify your own role in the relationship. Perhaps you felt like you were being too passive or letting a friend get away with making you feel bad about yourself. When you face these, often, uncomfortable emotions, you are showing them that you are now aware of the vulnerability you experienced in the friendship that began to affect your everyday life, and ultimately a healthy rapport between the two of you.
Remember to remain firm in your expectations. If you no longer want to have contact with someone, physically and/or virtually, make that clear. Remove potential triggers, such as eliminate talking on the phone/texting or unfollowing them on social media. As drastic as it may seem, these may be the necessary steps to take to fully liberate yourself from a toxic friendship. And remember to reiterate that no one is to blame, but you are just doing what you feel is right to maintain a healthy mindset, ultimately making room for more positive relationships.
Getting over the fear of confrontation is a huge hurdle to overcome when it comes to breaking up with a friend, but once you come down, finding forgiveness is truly where you will find peace again. Seeing the friendship as an ability to learn and grow will make forgiveness that much easier. This is actually a huge transformational step in your own personal growth and development. Letting go of the past, and seeing a brighter and mentally healthier future is all a part of finding forgiveness in the relationships that no longer serve you.
Soon, you realize that by letting go of the toxicity in your life, you are only opening up yourself to your limitless potential.
So while we’re here, I’d like to offer you a FREE copy of my book, Never In Your Wildest Dreams, to better help you understand how to rise above those limiting beliefs or concerns that are holding you back from growing into your best self.
Sometimes, it starts with taking inventory on your friends and your relationships to shift your vibration to that of self-love and prosperity. So grab your free copy to start elevating your life to become a magnet to the people, friendships, and opportunities that can transform your life.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.