Closing the doors on a friendship may be healthier than remaining in a negative environment.

How to Shut the Door on Friendship

by Anthony Oster

A good friendship can lift you up, empower you and brighten your day, but when friendships go south they can become depressing, unbalanced and sometimes downright toxic. Although it may be an extreme measure, shutting the door on an unpleasant friendship is often the most viable solution to removing unwanted stress, drama and aggravation from your life. Cutting ties with your friend can be difficult, but if you clearly state your intent and follow through with your plans to cut her out of your life, than you can shut the door on your friendship and move on with your life as peacefully as possible.

1. Talking to Your Friend

The first step in shutting the door on your friendship is to communicate to your friend that you are no longer willing to maintain your friendship. Use this opportunity not to chastise your friend, but to let her know that your friendship is having a negative impact on your life and you will no longer be pursuing it. Though this may seem harsh, by telling your friend how you feel and what expectations you have of her now that you ending the relationship, you are encouraging her to respect your wishes and move on.

2. Avoid Negativity

Even if you believe that your friend has done irreparable damage to your friendship, once you have ended the association, avoid discussing her in a negative light. Disparaging your former friend is unkind, unnecessary and may ultimately make you seem like someone with a grudge or a chip on her shoulder. If you are pressed to give information about what happened during your relationship, try offering a neutral statement, such as "We are just going in different directions in life" as an answer.

3. Social Situations

Ending your friendship may not guarantee you are free from her during social events at school, work or with other mutual friends. Approach these occasions with a positive attitude to avoid making the situation more awkward than it might already be. Light small talk with your former friend may even make the situation pleasant instead of awkward. Keeping exchanges light and positive will also make it less intimidating for mutual friends who have invited you, or want to invite you both to social gatherings.

4. Virtual Ties

Be sure to sever the virtual ties to the friendship as well. Services such as Facebook have privacy controls that enable you to control what, if anything, you see of your former friend's social media activity as well as what you care to disclose to her. Removing your former friend from your contacts, Facebook and Twitter accounts can prevent her from commenting on your photos, liking your statuses or sending you unwanted messages.

About the Author

Anthony Oster is a licensed professional counselor who earned his Master of Science in counseling psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has served as a writer and lead video editor for a small, South Louisiana-based video production company since 2007. Oster is the co-owner of a professional photography business and advises the owner on hardware and software acquisitions for the company.

Photo Credits

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