How to Break-up With Your BFF

Aisha breaks down her strategy for ending a toxic friendship

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Break-ups are never easy, breaking up with a bestie is probably up there with one of the most challenging break-ups you can go through. One minute you’re braiding each other’s hair and the next you’re subtweeting the heck out of each other. I have had my fair share of #bestie break-ups, some harder than others, but all equally disappointing. Here are some of my reasons to break-up with your bestie, and what you can do to smooth things over after.

Toxic or Nah?

Establishing whether the relationship is toxic for your health and wellbeing should be the first and most important reason for breaking up with a close (or any) friend.

  1. They’re a bad influence on you and you’re no longer yourself around them
  2. You feel exhausted after leaving their company and make excuses not to be around them
  3. They bring up you insecurities, and make you feel bad about yourself
  4. You’re giving up things you really want/like just to please them
  5. You’ve generally lost respect for them and/or vice versa

If you have checked any of these, it’s time to dump your BFF. But how do you leave a toxic relationship? This is something I always struggled with! I would either find excuses to start speaking to the person less, hoping they wouldn’t notice (duh, they always notice) or I would start a random fight and then ignore them forever. Each of these really don’t work! In my experience the best way to separate from the relationship is in one of three ways, each of which only work in certain situations:

1. Chat to the person about whats bothering you

this works if the friendship is one you really dont want to lose, having a mature conversation and establishing new boundaries can help the relationship flourish into an even stronger one. Everyone deserves a second chance in my book. Sit your friend down and discuss what you think is going wrong in your friendship and them know you’re not happy. This could go one of two ways, if your friend has an open mind (and heart) they would respect you and be able to respect your feelings too. If the conversation goes south, it’s time to consider whether the relationship is salvageable or not.

2 . Start speaking to them less and seeing less of them

This is the easiest option in the book! However this only works if your friend isn’t really as committed to the relationship as you are and you both low key want to end it, simply chat less and don’t make concrete plans, the friendship should fade out. A cautionary tale, I have tried this and it really doesn’t work if the friend wants to keep the relationship going, you will find yourself back at square one. If so proceed to the big guns…

3. Breaking up for real

Being honest about how you feel with someone who doesn’t suspect there is a problem, can be really frustrating for you and hurtful to them. Unfortunately this is a necessary evil! I suggest doing this formally over the phone, seeing someone in person can be really awkward – I mean splitting the coffee bill and waiting for the card machine is awks trust me! If you’re really chicken, a long detailed email can sometimes work. Don’t expect a response until they have licked their wounds, this one can be totally tricky. The best way to go about it is to be honest but not rude, try to be calm and rational when going through your reasons for ending the friendship.

Remember the most important thing in your life is a healthy mental space. If someone is disregarding this, whether intentionally or not, breaking it off with them is the best thing you can do for yourself and for them. Make sure to greet them and ask them how they’re doing the next time you see them.  Make the first move in being the bigger (or nicer) person by going up to them and saying “Hi how are you”. If the person flat out ignores you, thats okay they will eventually be able to respond to your greeting. It might be awkward at first but the last thing you want is bad vibes that last a lifetime.

Keep it classy and keep it moving.