Sometimes, the best thing you can do with a friendship is to end it. Unfortunately, most toxic friendships are not easy to end, and you need the proper tools to fruitfully do so.

Every once in a while you may realize that you’re in a toxic relationships with another person. The relationship is dishonest, manipulative, anxiety producing and unfulfilling. In this case, it’s time to consider ending it.

I know that many people have the tendency to try and save or fix a toxic relationships, whether it’s a friendship or a romantic one. This can be a good strategy to try at first, but sometimes you need to face the harsh reality that a relationship cannot be saved and the best course of action is to end it.

Sadly, as toxic people have this tendency of complicating things, ending a toxic friendship is not easy. This is why it’s crucial to know how to end a toxic friendship effectively. Here are the best strategies you can apply.

1. Gradually Reduce Contact

The first strategy you want to put into practice is ending a toxic friendship by gradually reducing contact. This means that you’ll slowly and surely start seeing the other person less.

You’ll make yourself less available to them and you’ll keep yourself busy with other activities. You will also initiate interactions with that person less often and you’ll decline their invitations to meet more often.

Eventually, you want to reach the point when you’re no longer seeing the other person at all, and your friendship is practically dissolved. As you reduce contact with a toxic person, they will understand that they’re falling back on your list of priorities and they will just deal with it.

2. End It Directly Using Words

The bad news is that as you implement the first strategy, the toxic person will often fight you. They’ll try to get you to interact with them as much as they want. They may try to make you feel guilty for avoiding them; they may blame you, shame you or play the victim.

In this common scenario, there is no easy way to end a toxic friendship. You’ll need to verbally let this person know that you no longer find your friendship satisfying and you want to end it or reduce your interactions. You may not like this ending alternative but trust me, it works wonders.

Your friend may again try to manipulate you and make you feel guilty, in order to get you to reconsider. At this point, it is crucial to stand your ground. Acknowledge their pain, but do not give in and do what you know is best for you.

3. Write a Letter

If you find it too hard to deal with a friend face to face and tell them you want to end your friendship that way, then you may want to consider writing them a letter or an email.

The advantage of this strategy is that it gives you time to think and it allows you to phrase your ideas carefully. Thus, it might be the best way to put your message across honestly, without being vague and at the same time without being disrespectful.

When you’re dealing with toxic people, nothing is easy, including ending a relationship. Knowing how to end a toxic friendship is the first crucial step to make. After that, you need to actually put this know-how into practice, no matter how hard it is. At the end of the day, toxic friendships are just not worth it.

Author's Bio: 

Eduard Ezeanu is a communication coach specializing in social success. If you enjoyed this article, also find out how to start a conversation and discover how to be more outgoing from two first-class articles on his People Skills Decoded blog.