How To Dump Toxic Friends
Last week on the blog, we discussed seven ways smart girls identify toxic friends. We delved into relationships and uncovered the signs of a negative friendship ranging from those who are threatened by your successes to those who are no longer fun to be around. It’s entirely possible that throughout that process, a certain “friend” came to mind. That means you’re a smart girl who identified a toxic person in your life. Although it may not feel great, it’s an important step to embrace.
Now is the time to ask, “what’s next?” Well, you have a few Smart Girl approaches to choose from.
If the Relationship Is Worth Salvaging
If you want to try and work through your problems, that is certainly an option. Two methods you can try are confrontation or taking a break.
If you read our list of signs of toxic friends and two or three of the signs stand out, you can confront your friend and discuss the problem with them. For smart girl friendships, communication is key. It is entirely possible that your friend doesn’t realize she’s always overshadowing your good grades or game-winning soccer goal. By discussing what’s bothering you, you’re treating the situation in an adult manner and allowing the friendship to heal, if it can.
Confrontation often sounds like a scary word, but in reality, it isn’t. When approached in a polite way, confrontation can help dig deep into the root of your friendship problems.
Take a break.
When you reach a point in a friendship where every little thing your friend does gets on your nerves, it’s totally okay to walk away for a bit. Taking a “friendship break” doesn’t necessarily have to live up to its negative connotations, either. Sometimes you both need to take a step back, breathe, and spend time with other people. You can regroup when you aren’t sick of each other. However, it is probably a good idea to communicate that you need a bit of space and set expectations for what that looks like.
If the Relationship Is Too Toxic to Recover
However, if you do not think you can or should attempt to save your friendship, then you have to start the process of moving on.
At some point in toxic friendships, it’s no longer worth the fight. It’s time for you to recognize that you’re the only one truly trying to make the friendship work. Then stop giving into their drama. Smart girls don’t fight for a friendship that’s one-sided, so it’s time to surrender. When you stop egging on the drama, the drama dies out.
It sounds like a breakup, and honestly, it is. It’s time to tell your friend that you no longer see them fitting into your life. Don’t make up excuses or generic reasons like: “We are just at different places in our lives.” Be honest and open. Focus on you and why you need to move on. There’s no need to be overly specific or detailed, but telling them is necessary so that everyone knows and it is a clean break.
It can be hard to instantly remove someone from your life, especially if they are tied to you through school, a sports team, or other friends. Creating boundaries allows smart girls to make the space they need to move on. Perhaps you’re okay still sitting at the same table during lunch but you don’t want them to go with you to the football game on Friday. Whatever it is, you have to make sure it works for you.
Tips for Healing After Dumping Toxic Friends
Give yourself time.
Chances are you will need some time to heal a broken heart. It’s likely you’ll feel a wide range of emotions, from hurt to anger. Remember that all of your feelings are valid and are simply part of the process of moving on.
Find friends that celebrate you.
Dumping toxic friends shouldn’t leave you feeling lonely. Rather, it opens up time and space in your life for the friends you truly deserve. Talk to the people around you at school, join a club that interests you or reach out to coworkers. Smart girls know the value of having amazing, uplifting friends, and they will stop at nothing to find them.
Smart Girl Society, Inc., is an Omaha-based nonprofit working to educate and inspire smart and confident girls, women, and families. Through educational workshops, civil outreach programs, and technology and social media research, we work with girls, parents, and educators on the positive effects of social networking. We educate Omaha girls and boys, as well as students across the nation, on online safety and how to avoid becoming a target of sextortion. We also inspire action for students to focus on their personal brand development, leadership, educational opportunities, and healthy social skills. Interested in learning more? Check us out!