How to Cut Ties With a Toxic Friend

Written by tricia goss Google
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A toxic friend might blatantly mock you, or use offhand remarks to put you down. A toxic friend will be very needy, but rarely there to lend a hand when you are down. If you are feeling used and abused, it's time to cut those ties.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Recognise that the friendship is toxic and unhealthy. Acknowledge that, although it might be difficult, you need to end this friendship.

  2. 2

    Admit that you hold some responsibility for this toxic relationship. No one can abuse or take advantage of you without your permission. By taking responsibility for your role, you will be less likely to become involved in other toxic friendships.

  3. 3

    Choose a neutral location to talk to your friend. Set a specific time, and prepare what you will say. Allow time for your friend to talk as well, but have a plan in the (likely) event that your friend becomes manipulative or abusive.

  4. 4

    Be honest, but not mean. Rather than taking on an accusatory tone, tell your friend that you are not able to handle your friends needs. Start your sentences with "I" statements, such as "I feel belittled when you speak badly about my job," rather than saying "You always put down my career choice."

  5. 5

    Make it clear that the relationship is over, but make sure your friend knows you don't wish any ill on him. State that you will not bad mouth your friend and hope your friend will do the same. Remember that you can only control your actions, and the people who know you and matter to you will not believe any gossip.

Tips and warnings

  • If it seems appropriate, you might suggest professional help for your friend.
  • If your friend becomes abusive or starts a fight, leave immediately, knowing you tried to end the friendship in the best manner possible.

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