I’m So Glad We’re Not Friends Anymore.

Via Tanya Lee Markul
on Apr 28, 2012
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Photo credit: Flickr/The Commons

The ending of a friendship can be heart-breaking.

Whether you were friends for three months or thirty years, the breaking of a friendship can be devastating—and it’s never typically easy, but sometimes breaking up can be the best thing you do for yourself and the other person. When things go wrong for a long period of time, when a friendship has become unhealthy and destructive, no matter how difficult it is, it could be time to make space for something new and nurturing.

10 signs it might be time for a friendship break-up:

1. Instead of being supportive and encouraging, the friendship turns critical, judgemental and condescending.

2. You feel uncomfortable or tense around the other person.

3. Conversations become more argumentative than not.

4. You notice that you’re trash talking the other person to your boyfriend/girlfriend and other friends.

5. You feel a loss of energy, anger or disappointment after spending time with the other person.

6. You constantly feel as if the other person brings out the worst in you.

7. You feel as if the other person’s bad mood becomes your problem and you start to live out that bad mood.

8. When you aren’t in touch or when you leave the other person, you feel a sense of utter relief.

9. You feel bullied or manipulated and are fearful to disappoint the other person.

10. You feel as if you can’t share your joy and happiness with the other person.

Perhaps by identifying if the friendships we have are meaningful or if they are just an obligatory unhealthy habit, we take a step toward creating a bit more positive space in our lives.

Have you ever broken up with a friend?

How did you know it was over?


About Tanya Lee Markul

Luring the magic of what is natural back into our daily lives, Tanya Markul is a freer of creativity, of inner beauty + power, and an enthusiastic igniter of the wild spirit! She re-writing the wild flower sutras, and offers a refreshing & badass view on spirituality, wellness & authentic living. Sensitivity is her tree trunk, flower stem, and nucleus. It is her belly, and her heart. Tanya is an artist of life, a faery of trees, a wanderer of the dark, a writer of heart, a misfit yogini, and an Urban Priestess apprentice. She believes in the power of your personal weird, quirky, magic, and that only path toward inner freedom & light, is through the dark — eyes closed, heart open. Tanya is the creator of The Urban Howl, Yoga Write Now & Waking Wild. Join her free forum for monthly yoga & writing practices here. Join her free forum for 30 days of exercise for 30 days here. Join her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & get her free weekly & quirky newsletter here.


67 Responses to “I’m So Glad We’re Not Friends Anymore.”

  1. Cel says:

    Yep I know exactly how you feel, we were best mates from grade 5, besties for 21 years but everything just seemed to be a competition about everything, including our kids, partners, houses. In the end we just both lost it at each other and said things that were very hurtful and can never be taken back 🙁 I miss her terribly though, especially her children but we had just grown away from each other and in the end cutting all ties was the best thing.

  2. akd says:

    This is really good to read, i really identify with 2, 4,5, 8,9 and 10 with one particular person. We were VERY close friends, the sort of friend you could tell anything. It wasn't until a major event in my life that the cracks started appearing in this friendship. I didn't see it, until it smacked me in my face unexpectedly, and then it all started to make sense.

    We would talk regularly, lived in different states, fly across the country to hang out etc. I settled in one spot, she didn't. I found a boyfriend who became my husband, and as soon as i asked her to be a part of that – she becomes someone else. I mean yell abuses, swear, hysterical crying, to calm, laughing, joking in a matter of 2 minutes. It was out of nowhere. Then writes me that I've hurt her and offended her … umm…. of asking you to be a bridesmaid?
    I spent a lot of time re assessing my attitude and behaviour and thoughts towards her and some conflicts, and ran it by others who would easily put me in my place if i was being biased, or not seeing where i was wrong, but no. this just exposed her for what she really is – a jealous, manipulative, narcissistic, self involved hole of a person. Some of the abuse i put up with in hope that she would maybe realise how she is behaving is hurting herself and others was ridiculous in hindsight, but she was my friend, i believed she was worth it.

    Then comes the next part- made up, occasionally connect, but not as often as before as she had really broken my trust after our last incident. This time I'm pregnant. I share the news with her, go hang out with her for a few days. Sure enough, another really awesome event in my life and she completely cuts me off. Most of it based on assumption, and really, i had figured she had been looking for an excuse to "break up" for a while.

    At first i was angry, then sad, and then really not shocked at all. For so long i put up with her crazy BS, but in the end it was really for her to reject me because i no longer pander around her self created dramas in life. I dont pat her on the back when she jumps to conclusions or agree with her when she is being ridiculous. Really it was a toxic friendship, and i wasn't devastated at her ditching me as a friend, i flipped the coin to thank her. It made me realise i no longer need co-dependant people in my life, and that if she pushed me away after searching for an excuse time and time again, really I'm better off without her.

    What friend calls you the worst name you can think when you ask her to be a part of your wedding, then cuts you out of her life when you tell her your pregnant? Obviously someone who isn't a friend. What makes it even clearer now is she has started a little business that is an idea i shared with her! To cut me out and steal my business just makes me laugh.

    I wish her well on her journey and hope she finds a way out of her destructive way of living and ruining others with her self focused attitudes and behaviour. I think its sad that someone you trust so much can easily break it. Thats the risk of friendship, you never know who will stand the test of time. But the universe is kind enough to lead us forward, and maybe when we don't want to change, or break up with friends… there is a redemptive power in taking a negative situation and using it for your betterment and that of those who TRULY love you.

    THANKYOU for sharing this post, even if it is a few years old- it still rings true!!!

  3. diana says:

    some days I have grief days. I think of all the friends I have lost, not one big offense but a million little ones, someone said. I hurt less about the actual loss then I hurt about the mystery, the mystery of the loss, the verdant cry, WHY. Most people that are moving away from you , don't want to say why, it as if I don't deserve even an explanation. I was having a day like that today, realizing I need to get better at letting go. one of my friends did tell my why she wanted nothing to do with me, she attributed it to some unthinking stupid thing I wrote on facebook. It was devastating but was also a relief – she had such moral authority in life, I admired that. I was never that sure about anything and reality just did not appear to be so black and white. So I gave more energy to my friend Diane who is and was incredible kind and forgiving for I can be a weird friend, but we get each other. So maybe I need a ritual , something we do as a group to let go of all these dead relationships, appreciate what we gave to it, what they gave to us and now its time to put it on a little boat and let it drift away, or something like that. I need a ritual, I have a pretty tough time letting go.

  4. suchaprettiface says:

    This article is awesome and spot on! I so needed to read this right now as I'm dealing with the break-up/loss of a 28 year friendship, but it's really unhealthy and time for both of us to move on to happier and healthier relationships and who knows, maybe one day, we can be friends again.

  5. Mukut Rayhan Khan says:

    Life is very busy and struggle

    Making a Million of friends

    It is not a miracle


    Miracle is too

    Who is with you

    When million are against you.

    Thanks and well wish to everybody.

  6. Hillary says:

    Family has the same standards as friendships. Sometimes you must break up with family members as well. No special passes for shared DNA.

  7. Wholeearth says:

    I’m still feeling guilty about a neighbor who I ended up interacting with quite a bit because of the ages of our children (luckily our kids were not best friends). She very much wanted to be part of my life and was looking for me to validate some things that were important to her (but not to me). She constantly found ways for the children to be together and then this turned into a whole day, with plans for more. My sanity required me to distance myself, but I knew how much it would hurt her. I basically just withdrew…often escaping my house just to be unavailable. She asked me any number of times if she had offended me….but what could I say? Her entire value system offended me…is there any reason to express that (and she would have never understand what I meant)? Did I owe her some kind of explanation? I was in such turbulence about her that I know I let it go too long….I also feel bad about that.

  8. Ellie says:

    I agree, friends and acquaintances are very different.

  9. heather says:

    Best friend breakup after a 25 year long friendship. She introduced me to a guy, who I ended up getting engaged to and moving 2000 miles across country for…Guy called off wedding via post it note less than 2 weeks before wedding. Instead of having my back…she defended him. (yes, she was married with 2 kids)…could never understand it. Found out a year later after breaking it off with her that she started sleeping with him 2 months after what was supposed to be our wedding year old date. Yep, cheated on her husband too. Classy

  10. Uni says:

    Some friends just stop giving a shit. I guess that's life. It sucks but at least I had more than one best friend (one who actually cares) when I had to drop the other two.

  11. Madlyne says:

    My question is how do you end this sort of friendship? Everything on this list describes my friend of 10 years. I really don't enjoy the friendship, but feel like I can't leave. How do you end it properly?

  12. Tamera says:

    I've only been through 1 friendship break up and I felt it happening for a long time as well. It started out minor with things like snide remarks about other friends, exes or family members, and eventually me, bringing up past mistakes I'd made, not being happy for me when I got a new partner, new job, new car, etc. The last straw was a confrontation very similar to the one you describe. My dad had passed away a couple of years prior to our "come to Jesus" meeting and I had only been sober (pain meds) for a couple of years as well. She basically told me the same thing you were told. I found it sort of ironic that some of the things she threw in my face could have been settled or at least further along the process of being settled if she had been a true friend and actively helped me. I learned the same lesson you did. Don't waste time on friendships that are not true. I'd rather have 1 true friend than any number of half way friends.

  13. Kristen says:

    This article just showed up on my newsfeed at the same exact time I am wondering what to do with a very close friendship. I have been friends with my girlfriend for about 10 years. I know she gets mixed reviewed from my other friends and is notoriously known as the “mean girl” persona. I was never mistreated by her, in fact she had shown me an entirely generous, loving, devoted side of herself; that’s why we are friends. Recently, I got engaged and so did my girlfriend (and lots of others) and I have received more the “mean-girl” attitude. She has been selfish, makes my wedding choices not seem suffice, and ultimately just unsupportive (she is my MOH). The more I see of her bad attitude and negativity towards my wedding day, the more I really don’t want her to stand beside me when I’m getting married. I know that it I ask her to step down that isn’t just for that day, but in life. I feel so hurt and sad during a time where I should feel joy and happiness because of this friend. Such a dilemma.

  14. Morgan says:

    I just ended a 16 year friendship. It was a little tough because I love her like my own sister but it wasn't as hard because we had been drifting away for awhile. I got tired of her putting everything else and everyone before me. I was tired of seeing posts on facebook of her new besties that she had only been friends with a short amount of time and I had been there for her for 16 years. Felt like I was chopped liver at that point. So rather than keep allowing all the situations continue to hurt me I decided to let go of the friendship and part ways. I told her how I felt and basically she told me it wasn't her problem and threw alot of negativity towards me and I wasn't trying to fight. I was staying calm and being the bigger person. At the end of the conversation I told her I'd always be there for her and that I loved her and she said " no thanks I'm good ." That hurt alot but I knew right then for sure I had made the right decision.

  15. Life Coalescence says:

    In the process of this myself. Sad, but eager to allow each of us the growth we need.

  16. Karen TS says:

    Thankful to read this after leaving a relationship that no longer served me. So many of these statements rang true. I should have left sooner.

  17. Paula says:

    it is so difficult to break up with a friend. I recently did it. It wasn´t meant to be I think, maybe she was too young and needed experience, I didn´t understand certain things she did, certain behaviour. Her sister took my wedding photos and never gave them to me, and she didn´t do anything. It was heartbraking to see she did not care about the memories of the best day of my life, that was the end of the friendhip