How to Get Out of a Toxic Friendship

Lorna Harvey
4 min readApr 20, 2022

Sometimes you need to give up on people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t!

Image from Deposit Photos

Breaking up with someone you care about is a difficult task. But terminating a friendship is more difficult to accept.

When you contemplate how much history you and your friend have in common, you might be persuaded to stay in a poisonous relationship.

That may include enduring a great deal of drama, unpleasant events, and unneeded competition.

You might think it’s a tiny price to pay to avoid seeing how your friend reacts.

Worse, you may be concerned that they may reveal your innermost secrets to the rest of the world.

It is possible to stop a poisonous friendship — or a friendship that is simply not functioning — regardless of your thoughts and worries.

So, how can you get out of a suffocating friendship?

Try the following tactics:

Begin by Gradually Reducing Contact

Do not abruptly discontinue a friendship if you were participating in an undesirable relationship. Instead, create realistic but firm boundaries.

For instance, you might decide to exclusively communicate with your toxic friend via email and limit your phone chats to topics that do not trigger unpleasant memories.

You might want to cut down on the amount of time you spend talking or even seeing them.

Reduce the frequency to once or twice a month especially if you are spending a lot of time with them during the week.

Some of your most painful emotions will surface as your friendship fades.

This is a perfectly typical and expected reaction.

You can let go of such emotions after you recognize and accept them without judgement or opposition.

When The Slow Fade Stops Working, Call It A Day

Although you may try to let your friend go gently, this may not be successful.

You might want to go straight to the point.

Explain to your friend that you require more time and energy for other aspects of your life.

Lorna Harvey

I’m a blogger, writer, and interested in helping people find answers for living their best life. I also write on