My Best Advice On How to Break Up With Friends

How to break up with friends.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”- Jim Rohn.

We all know just how painful break ups can be.

At one point or another, we have all found ourselves polishing off a tub of Icecream, watching the latest episode of The Bachelor and thinking how we are possibly going to move forward with our lives without this person being in it. Perhaps you know deep down that you are not meant to be. Or perhaps that person did something so wrong by you that meant you would never be able to take them back. Whatever the reason, relationships can break down, and at some point you realise that not everyone is supposed to be in your life forever.

But what about those ‘friends’ who are no longer (or were never) good for you? Those Negative Nancy’s who don’t want to see you succeed or have your best interest at heart? We are so quick to break up with romantic partners for doing something wrong, but seem to have a much higher level of tolerance for friends who no longer add value in our lives.

One of the quotes that I live by is that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Are your friends in line with your personal and professional objectives and values? Are your friends going to support you and help take you higher? Or do your friends just want to go out and party whilst you want to focus on working hard and getting ahead?

If you look around your social circle and think you could be surrounding yourself with better quality people, here are some of the steps you can take:


Ask yourself:

  • Do you like the person you are when they are around you?
  • Do they add value to your life?
  • Are they the kind of person you want to be associated with?
  • Do they support you and your goals?
  • Do they bring out the best in you and want the best for you?
  • Are they a positive influence in your life?
  • Are they loyal and trustworthy?
  • Do they reciprocate the effort you put in i.e. is it a well-balanced relationship?
  • Are they there for you in the good times, and the bad?
  • Are you proud to have them as a friend?

If you answered no to one or more of these questions, chances are your friendship with that person is not a positive one, and you should consider letting them go.


Now that you have identified your friendship with that person is not what you once thought it was, you need to decide on the outcome you would like to achieve. Do you want to keep them in your life as a distant friend or acquaintance, or do you want to end the friendship with them immediately?


If your plan is to remain somewhat friends or acquaintances with that person, try setting some boundaries first. For example, if they constantly text you throughout the day, try telling them that you need to focus on work. Let them know that moving forward, you will only be able to be contactable outside of work hours. You can tell them that your priorities have shifted and you ask they respect your boundaries and time moving forward.

If they do not respect your request or if your plan is end the friendship immediately, it is best that you remain truthful and communicate the reason of why you are breaking up with them. Even though it is your decision to end the friendship, taking the high road and giving that person the respect of telling them the real reason you are ending the friendship, is the mature and respectful thing to do. After all, at some stage, that person was your friend and did fulfil some kind of purpose in your life.


As Diane Von Furstenberg once said:

“I’m very good at breaking up with people. Very good. It requires a lot of skill, but what you do is tell them the truth of why you are breaking up with them, and after that, you somehow compensate with other things.”

Have you ever had to break up with friends? I would love to hear your thoughts- leave your comments below!