How To End A Toxic Friendship & Move On?

Last Update on February 8, 2023 : Published on June 15, 2020
How to end a toxic friendshipHow to end a toxic friendship

A good friendship helps us to become better, reduce stress by sharing feelings, make better lifestyle choices, and equally improve our mental health But Toxic friendship gives you betrayal of trust, pessimistic views, a lot of drama, and nothing productive for quite some time.

If you Friendship start turning into toxic one then my friend its time to say NO has come. Now you must be wondering how to end a toxic friendship very gracefully, even though the other person will feel bad later. We will help you find ways!

But before you jump to a conclusion, we recommend you dive into the thoughts and scrape reasons you have decided to part ways. This step is necessary to be sure and remove chances for any guilt later. You may try to jot down your feelings and thoughts in a journal.

Before we get to the ways you can end a toxic friendship and move on, let’s take a look at what a toxic friend does and how a toxic friendship can affect your overall health and well-being.

What Does a Toxic Friend do?

We all have some bad days, right? There are days when we don’t need anyone around us in case we snap, but then there are days when we want to be comforted by our friends. It can be easy to spot a toxic friend during those bad days. Here’s what a toxic friend does; 

1.They put you down: It’s normal to joke around with friends but when this joking becomes demeaning and begins to happen at the cost of your happiness and wellness, that’s when you know this friend is toxic.

2.They gossip: When you tell a friend in confidence about something but then the next day everyone you know knows what you said in confidence that’s when you can spot a toxic friend. A toxic friend does not feel remorse when they break your trust to gossip. 

3.They don’t apologize, for real: A toxic friend will say sorry but that apology will come with a “but”. They do not apologize for their misspoken words and even if they do, they follow it up with a “but”. For example, “I am sorry that your feelings were hurt but it was a joke.” 

4.They make you feel uncomfortable: Toxic friends might not be outright abusive but they will make you feel nervous, unsettled, and uncomfortable. Whenever you spend time with them, you are left feeling nervous and uneasy. 

5.They compare you to others: If your friend is constantly measuring you or comparing you with others, then they can be toxic to you. A true friend will never compare your achievements with others, however, a toxic friend would. So beware. 

How Toxic Friendships Affect You?

Toxic friendships can also have the same negative effects on your well-being as being in any toxic relationship can. Here are some of the effects of being in a toxic friendship; 

  • You feel lonely: While spending time with friends should increase your connection, a toxic friendship leaves you feeling isolated. Instead of feeling heard and seen, you feel ignored, and it takes a heavy toll on your mental and emotional well-being. 
  • You struggle with stress more: Instead of helping you reduce stress, toxic friends increase your stress levels. Spending time with toxic friends can leave you feeling tense, irritable, and uneasy. 
  • You feel invalidated: Toxic friends do not listen with empathy and share your feelings as a true friend does so every interaction with a toxic friend leaves you feeling invalidated and unseen. Your problems are never heard and when you truly need a friend’s support, you never get one. 
  • You lose self-confidence: When you’re always treated with disrespect, you ultimately begin to feel like you deserve this. This kind of interaction with toxic friends can make you lose your self-confidence and even lower your self-esteem. 
  • You become a victim of manipulation: Ultimately, a toxic friend uses manipulation tactics to keep you engaged, and you become a victim of their manipulation. This causes you to blame yourself for their behavior. 
  • Your other relationships suffer: The effects of toxic friendships can begin to bleed into other relationships as well. Now, other than friendships, you begin to doubt your other relationships too – with your family, partner/spouse, and coworkers.  

How To End A Toxic Friendship & Become Mentally Relaxed?

Does your friend lie a lot to you or he has become your rival unknowingly? You don’t want to spend any more time with him or he never fulfills any of the commitments? The reasons could be one or multiple but if you simply don’t want this friendship, and you have made a decision, here’s how to end a toxic friendship smoothly.

1. We Need To Talk

we Need To Talk

This method to end a toxic friendship is just like ending a romantic relationship. Don’t rush into ending things on a call as your friend will be surprised by your thoughts and want to find ways to resolve the matter. But as you have decided to part ways, be genuine about your thoughts and keep things on the table clearly.

Call your friend for coffee and some discussions. Start the discussion with something like “I am noticing a lot of changes between us for a long time and I am really bothered about it.” Then you can explain everything. If there were any misunderstandings, they might get cleared up. But as we are considering that you have decided your goal, any kind of manipulation shall not affect your decision.

But amidst all this, listen to the other person more than deliver your message. It will help in evaporating this toxic relationship slowly but surely.

2. Moving Away Gradually

moving Away Gradually

Another method on how to end a toxic friendship is to start becoming distant from your friend slowly. This way, you are not snatching something away from someone but slowly taking back the pieces.

If you begin to avoid taking calls but reply to texts, get busy with your own work, do not show yourself on your friend’s social media account, or take a lot of time in responding back, you may be able to unfriend them after some time. This step may look light to you but it can put the other person in a stressful situation while he guesses the reason for the change in your behavior.

However, if the relationship is very toxic and you don’t want to explain anything to the person, better prefer this option.

3. End It All Immediately

end It All Immediately

Sometimes situations are worse and go high on nerves and ending a toxic friendship becomes imperative. If you are experiencing chaos and cannot bear the activities of your friend, better tell them your decision with a smile and leave things where they are.

If you cannot confront the person, try sending them a final goodbye letter. A humble goodbye is better if you know someone for a long time, but the road ahead is not so great.

When the effects of the toxic friendship begin to affect your other relationships and daily life, know that it is time to end the toxic friendship and move on. 

What Happens Afterwards Ending a Toxic Friendship?

Although you have made up your mind, your friend may react in different ways. For example:

  • They try to ask or beg you to come back into the friendship
  • They may get hurt and start acting defensively.
  • They may try to manipulate you to join them back.
  • They may ask you to stay connected by other means or forms.

Well, you need to prepare for all such situations in advance. Maybe you will end up with some better results rather than a breakup or simply feel free from everything.

In the end, if you feel that ending a toxic friendship was the right decision for your current and future well-being, then I would recommend that you stick by your decision. 


Breaking up or becoming strangers once again is painful and it may impact you and your friend mentally with stress. But you need to stay happy and all the efforts are meant to do the same thing. 

Ending a toxic friendship can be tough especially when you’ve been close friends for years or even decades. But when you decide to end a toxic friendship, stick by your decision especially when you begin to realize how your life and well-being have changed for the better since ending the friendship. 

In any case, you can reach out to us in the comment section below and we may help you with advice or any post-breakup issues. You can share your thoughts with us by writing to us at

Take care of yourself! 

About The Author

Akanksha Soni
Akanksha Soni

Akanksha is an active lifestyle blogger and writer at Calmsage. She has learnt various lessons on happiness and methods to fight depression through 'Gurus' as well as own experiences. An ardent practitioner of Yoga and meditation, she keeps traveling, writes and interacts with people to feel alive.

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