How to End an Abusive Friendship: 12 Steps

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How to End an Abusive Friendship: 12 Steps
How to End an Abusive Friendship: 12 Steps

Abusive people almost always hurt those around them. If you have to keep walking on eggshells when interacting with someone, you might want to end this friendship. This should be done clearly so that the person understands that you are no longer interested in their company. Remember that toxic people are always trying to find a way back into their lives, so stay away after the relationship ends. You'll also need some time to recover, and as ending a friendship is never easy, try not to push yourself too hard in the process.


Part 1 of 3: Ending the Relationship Clearly

End a Toxic Friendship Step 1

Step 1. Recognize the reality of the relationship

The first step in getting rid of a toxic person is admitting that there is something wrong with the relationship. Even if you've decided to cut ties with a friend, maybe some positive points in the relationship still keep you from taking action. Recognize that that relationship is toxic and that it doesn't do you any good. This will help you both to end this relationship and to increase your level of demand in the future.

  • Ask yourself if there is still any advantage to maintaining the relationship. Maybe you don't have fun with this person anymore and they just make you feel tired and worn out when you're around.
  • Accept that you cannot change the other. Toxic people sense when someone is distancing themselves and will try everything to get them to come back. Remember that such people are unlikely to change, even if they swear they will. Remember this to avoid being dragged back into this relationship.
  • Having doubts is normal and part of it, but that doesn't mean you should continue this abusive relationship. Maybe you admire or love your friend a lot and he really does have certain qualities, but that doesn't mean the relationship won't be toxic. It's normal to love a friend and still decide to leave them behind.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 2

Step 2. Make a script and follow it

Ending a relationship is difficult, especially when it comes to a toxic friendship. Perhaps your friend will try to deny the wrong things he has done or try to convince you of his point of view. By scripting in advance and training, you will be able to calm down and not be distracted when confronting the person.

  • First, write down everything you think about the relationship. Then read what you wrote and try to pick out the most important thoughts and turn them into clear sentences that explain your decision well.
  • Practice the script a few times. Practice in front of the mirror or simply speak the words to yourself. You shouldn't read when confronting the person, so try to memorize at least the main idea of ​​what is written before confronting the friend.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 3

Step 3. Be as direct as possible

You must make things clear when you end the abusive relationship. Toxic people can be very clingy and controlling and may have a hard time accepting what will be said. Being as clear as possible can help you end the relationship without leaving any doubts.

  • No need to be aggressive. Even if the person has hurt you a lot, being unnecessarily aggressive can trigger a fight. Try to be clear without being offensive.
  • Say what you feel and want at this moment as clearly as possible. You can say, for example, "I feel that this relationship is not doing me any good. I care about you, but it's been very difficult for me to maintain this relationship. I believe that everyone should go their own way."
End a Toxic Friendship Step 4

Step 4. Set clear boundaries

Make a list of the boundaries your friend must respect in advance so they are clear. If, for example, you don't want him to contact you, try to make this clear. Never apologize for setting boundaries, they are important to the functioning of any healthy relationship.

  • Make the boundaries very clear. You can say, for example; "I would like to say that I don't want to contact you for a while. I need time and space to rest my mind. I would like you not to contact me in the future."
  • If you need to demonstrate the limits to other people, do so. For example, you might no longer want to see this person when you go out with your friends, in which case, let them know. Say something like "As you know, I'm ending my friendship with Maria. It's okay if you keep dating her, but let me know in advance if you know she's going to an event with us. I need space, so this is why I don't want to see her yet."

Part 2 of 3: Limiting Contact

End a Toxic Friendship Step 5

Step 1. Tell the other person that you don't want to see him again

Toxic people can find it difficult to understand their needs in any situation. They have a tendency to take advantage of people's sympathy and trust, so your friend may end up trying to see you again after the relationship breaks up. Make it very clear that you do not want to see him in the future and that you will not contact him again from that moment on.

  • It's okay to be a little rude at this point. As already said, you should not be aggressive, but firm. Say something like "I wouldn't want to see you again, so please don't try to talk to me again".
  • Toxic people can have difficulty accepting the end of the relationship and end up trying to change your mind. Try to make it clear that you were serious when you said you didn't want to establish any kind of contact, and ignore text messages, calls, and emails. If necessary, block the person's number.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 6

Step 2. Stay away from the person on social media

There's no reason to continue interacting on social media if you've removed the person from your life, so delete, stop following, or unfriend them on social media. This will help you better control your emotions by no longer seeing the person's status updates.

Not everyone leaves their social media profile in private mode. If your friend doesn't hide their Twitter and Facebook profiles from the public, try to resist the temptation to access them from time to time. This will only cause negative emotions to make you feel bad

End a Toxic Friendship Step 7

Step 3. Reward yourself for limiting communication

It can be difficult to leave a relationship, even if it's a bad one. An abusive person may have put false ideas in your head, such as the notion that only they can understand you. If you need to create motivation for yourself, just present yourself with small rewards for avoiding contact.

Set goals for yourself and treat yourself to achieving them. For example, if you ignore the person's posts for a week, buy a new outfit. If you don't see her Twitter for a month, treat yourself to a meal at a good restaurant

End a Toxic Friendship Step 8

Step 4. Find ways to fill the void

You won't want to go back to that toxic relationship, but these abusive friendships make you waste a lot of time and energy. Because of this, you will likely miss that person in your life and feel lonely or confused. To fill that void, keep yourself busy.

  • Start a new activity to distract yourself. It can be knitting, sewing, cooking or anything else that interests you.
  • Try to make new friends. Making new, healthy friendships can help you feel happier and more confident after leaving the toxic person. Join a club, volunteer or go to an event alone so you can meet new people.

Part 3 of 3: Dealing with Emotions

End a Toxic Friendship Step 9

Step 1. Accept these uncomfortable feelings

After the relationship ends, you won't feel totally normal for a while. It is important to recognize and feel these emotions, even if they are negative, rather than trying to repress them.

  • Remember that relationships are difficult. No one will be completely free of negative feelings after the end of a relationship. Don't try to put an end to these bad feelings overnight, as this will make it more difficult for you to overcome problems in the future.
  • Remember that the foundation of a relationship is personal growth. You may be feeling bad right now, but the most important thing is to strive to make the right choices in the future. This is the main benefit of this situation, even if it is difficult.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 10

Step 2. Try to be in contact with positive people

When leaving a toxic person, seek the company of people who remind you of all the good and positive things that a relationship can bring. Look for friends who are capable of this so they can help you move forward.

  • Seek out among your friends those who are positive and supportive and make plans with them to go out and have fun.
  • Be honest about the time you are going through. Say you've just ended a friendship and are in need of extra support.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 11

Step 3. Identify your role in toxic relationships

Many of the people who end up participating in toxic friendships have a natural tendency to encounter abusive relationships. Look at your relationship history with friends, boyfriends, and family. You may always be playing a role in these relationships that turns out to be negative for you. It's important to try to notice these patterns and get rid of the behaviors that create them.

  • Even though you are not responsible for other people's behavior, there may be a reason that makes you vulnerable to toxic people. Perhaps you have a tendency to be very passive in relationships or have difficulty expressing what you want. Perhaps a relative or other family member took advantage of your good will when you were little and that made you naturally submissive.
  • Understanding why you get into negative relationships is the key to breaking this pattern. If you have had several toxic friendships, a psych can help you resolve the issue.
End a Toxic Friendship Step 12

Step 4. Take a break

Don't expect everything will be fine overnight. It may take a while for you to recover, so don't cover yourself so that everything will be okay soon and take time to get over it. It's okay to be sad for a few months, but remember that the sadness will be temporary and that everything will be all right at some point. better.


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