Not all friendships last forever, so if you have a group of friends who are bossy, irritating, or detrimental to your health and well-being, it's best to consider moving away. You have the option of leaving the group suddenly or gradually, but when you do, be honest about the decision. Also, think of ways to repair the friendship before you leave these people behind, bringing your concerns to the fore or simply reducing the time you spend with them, rather than abandoning the group altogether.
Method 1 of 4: Deciding how to walk away
Step 1. Report the decision to the group
The most direct way to get away from a group of people is to communicate the decision to everyone involved. Talk to everyone at once, or talk privately with each person, saying you want to put an end to the friendship. This way of leaving the group can be a bit embarrassing, as your friends may ask a lot of questions.
- If you are very close to all the members of the group, the ideal is to talk to everyone at once.
- However, if you are closer to a few people, start by talking to your closest friends and then inform the rest of the group of your decision.
- Prepare carefully if you want to talk to everyone at once - write down everything you need to say on paper so you don't forget anything.
Step 2. Withdraw slowly
Sometimes, instead of a direct and definitive conversation, the best option is to simply walk away slowly and gradually. Unless these people are involved in dangerous or illegal activities, you probably don't need to end the friendship at once. If you don't want to hurt your friends, start spending less time with them until you stop meeting them completely.
- Stop sharing intimate events and details of your life.
- Spend your time in this group with your other friends, or take up a new hobby.
- Do not answer the phone or answer text messages right away.
- Over time, your friends will become acquaintances, and then you can end the relationship altogether (if you like).
- Keep in mind that friends may ask questions. Maybe they ask why you walk so far, what's wrong, is everything okay, etc. Be prepared to answer honestly.
Step 3. Eliminate all contact
This method may seem cold and insensitive, but it is appropriate for abusive or harmful groups of friends with whom we need to sever all ties. This isn't the ideal option for those who just want to avoid the embarrassment of direct conversation-walking away with empathy, integrity, and honesty, rather than burning out with these friends, is much better in the long run. Also, you will always need to "run away" or avoid these people in the future if you ever see them in some of your social circles.
- Do not explain or respond to emails, text messages and phone calls.
- Block all these people from social media.
Step 4. Throw a party
If you're moving from town to a new job or university, you may need to leave a group of dear, caring friends. In that case, have a party with them! Do something everyone loves - visit a water park or dine at the group's favorite restaurant, for example. Use the party as an occasion to celebrate friendship and remember all the good times you had together.
- Keep in touch with dear friends through social media, emails and text messages.
- Visit them whenever you have the opportunity.
- Write a letter to each friend telling them how much you care for them. Give thanks for their friendship and mention specific circumstances in which they have shown fellowship.
Method 2 of 4: Adopting the Proper Attitude
Step 1. Be honest
Be honest if friends insist on asking for an explanation for your decision to leave the group, regardless of your reasons. Don't lie that you're going to change states just to avoid the situation, instead, be direct and honest about why you want to leave.
There is nothing wrong with writing a letter or email to these people (or to the group leader) if you find it easier to express yourself through writing
Step 2. Respect their feelings
Sometimes the truth hurts - so look for a way to be honest and respectful at the same time. For example, if you think your friends are too boring or you no longer have any common interests with them, be diplomatic and say something like "I just have trouble getting along with you." Don't rub the fact that you're leaving the group in their face.
- Emphasize your own feelings and points of view, and avoid accusation-sounding phrases such as "You guys are too boring" - speak in the first person singular.
- Lies only lead to more lies, so it's best to be honest about your motives.
- Sometimes, vaguer answers can work better because they're sincere and respectful at the same time. For example, “I'm too busy” or “I was traveling” might be good explanations for a group of friends who want to know why you haven't been spending so much time with them.
Step 3. Defend your decision
Friends - especially longtime ones - may try to convince you to rejoin the group, but stick firmly to your decision. Don't give in to pressure or intimidation from others.
- For example, if someone tries to convince you to stay in the group, say, "Sorry, I've been too busy" or "We had a lot of fun together, but now I need a moment to myself."
- Stay calm and kind when you decline invitations to go out with the group of friends you want to leave (or have already left).
Method 3 of 4: Seeking Alternatives
Step 1. Talk to them about your concerns
Try to talk about behaviors that you find unacceptable. For example, if these friends constantly exclude you from activities, try talking privately with at least one of them. Maybe they didn't do it on purpose, and a conversation to alert them to your feelings could lead to a change in behavior.
Step 2. Take a break
Sometimes, we can temporarily step away from friends to determine if we would really be happier outside of the group. Use this time to find out how you feel without these people in your life - make new friends, acquire new hobbies and spend time with your closest family members.
- If you decide you're happier without them, make the temporary separation an end to friendship.
- On the other hand, if you find yourself missing these people, use the cooling off period to remind yourself that they're not all that bad, and get back in touch with the group when you have the opportunity. Tell them you missed them and can't wait to see them again.
Step 3. Inspire change in others
While it's good to leave a group of friends with negative behaviors, trying to keep them away from bad choices and help them see their own mistakes can also be worth it. Before moving away from people with illegal or immoral behavior, take the initiative to help them change.
- If they are abusing drugs or alcohol, encourage them to seek help dealing with their addiction and to attend Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
- If they want to convince you to steal something or loot an asset, try to dissuade them from the idea. Remind your friends of the problems they will face if they are discovered and suggest an alternative activity, such as going to the movies.
Method 4 of 4: Recognizing when to step away
Step 1. Identify the controlling friends
Start considering the possibility of leaving a group that always tries to keep you from socializing with other people. They may also speak ill of your other friends, family, and even your love partner, pressuring you to leave these people to spend more time with them. Leave this kind of friendship as soon as possible.
Step 2. Beware of bad influences
People tend to do what they see others doing, and for better or for worse, friends are a big influence in our lives. Leave a social circle involved in negative behaviors before you get into trouble with it. Leave a group of friends who:
- Steals merchandise from stores;
- Abuse of drugs and alcohol;
- Vandalizes public or private property;
- Engages in other immoral or illegal acts.
Step 3. Stay away from people who don't ask you out
If friends often ignore you when planning group activities, consider leaving them behind - this can be an indirect form of bullying (known as bullying by exclusion). Individuals who don't value your company are not true friends.
Step 4. Avoid self-serving friends
Friends who just want to spend time with you when they need something are not good company. Leave the group if you're contributing money, food, or housing (letting them sleep in your house), but feel that such generosity isn't reciprocated - they're taking advantage of you.
Step 5. Watch out for competitive friends
If these companies are always trying to look better than you are, now is the time to step back. Avoid friends who minimize your achievements - they are not good people and not worth your time.
- For example, if you're happy that you got 93% right on the last math test, but someone says that 93% isn't a big deal because they got even more questions than you did, that person is not a good friend.
- Another good reason to back off is friends who always say they're in a worse situation than you are when you complain about something.
Step 6. Abandon friends who drain your energy
The time we spend in the company of friends should leave us refreshed, excited and energized.
- If you feel that you are constantly making excuses for not spending time with certain people, they are probably not good for your mental health.
- Friends who deplete their energies with complaints, dramas and criticisms should also be left behind.
- If possible, leave the group together with your best friend. That way, you'll still have someone to talk to after you've eliminated other people from your life.
- Don't pressure other friends to leave the group with you, but suggest the idea if you feel appropriate.