How to decide when a friendship is over

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How to decide when a friendship is over
Know when it's over. (friends image by Dmitri MIkitenko from

Making the decision to end a friendship can be a tough call, but sometimes is necessary. Although good friendships are hard to come by, deciding a friendship is over can be better for all sides involved. Looking for the right signs to help you decide a friendship is over is key in order to bring closure to a possibly unsavory situation.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Notice their behaviour. Many times people will give you signs that they are changing or simply moving to a different phase in their life that may not include you. These signs and behaviours do not have to be particularly bad or unruly, but will be obvious enough to make you feel uncomfortable in saying you will keep in touch. If your friend seems more distant than usual, this may be a signal that the friendship is coming to an end.

  2. 2

    Draw the line. Being aware of the lines crossed in the relationship is a good measure of what your friend thinks of you and your friendship. If you are constantly having to redraw lines and put your friend in his place because of disrespect, then this may be because they have no respect for you. This behaviour should be examined further and taken on a case-by-case basis.

  3. 3

    Assess the damage. If your friend has committed an act that you find unforgivable, it might be best to call it quits. Incidents that cannot be let go will always hinder true friendship to some extent. When this is the case, it is recommended that you be straightforward with your friend and tell her it is over without waiting for the relationship to become bitter.

  4. 4

    Weigh the pros and cons. It may be helpful to make a list of pros and cons to help with your decision. Try to keep in mind what your friend adds to your life and what you add to his because your friends should make you stronger or better in some way. After you have made your list, review it and weigh the results.

  5. 5

    Listen to yourself. Many people may try to give you advice or lead you to an answer, but this is your decision. If you have a nagging feeling that you should end the friendship, you should probably do so because you know what is best for you. Listening to yourself will also leave you with minimal regrets and no one to blame for mistakes.

Tips and warnings

  • If possible, allow your friend the opportunity to know that the friendship is being evaluated and for what reasons. This may make it easier to make the decision as well as give them the chance to correct some things.
  • Asking other people in your circle for advice may result in this getting back to your friend before you tell her, causing unnecessary confusion. Be mindful of whom you talk to and whether you can trust them with this information.

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