Toxic friendships do not usually start off that way. Many people go out of their way to hide who they really are from their friends at the beginning of the friendship, thereby fooling them into believing that they are someone else. But over time, the qualities of a toxic friend will surface such as extreme possessiveness, jealousy, bad conduct, lying and much more. If you have finally decided that enough is enough and you have called an end to a toxic friendship, you may well find that your toxic friend is not quite so willing to say goodbye to your friendship and will want to win you back.
Be Kind, But Firm
A toxic friend can rob you of your dignity, self-respect and sense of self-worth if you allow the friendship to continue. That is why it is important to resolve rather than rekindle the friendship after you have let a toxic friend know that you can no longer be their friend. It will be painful for both of you, but it is best to be honest, rather than let your former friend know that you need time or some space to think things through. This will give them a false sense of hope, which is unkind and not in the least bit helpful. Ultimately, this kind of approach will not leave you with a clean break.
Time to Grieve
Grieving is not just limited to the bereaved or those coping with the end of a romantic relationship. Grieving is also a natural part of the healing process once a toxic friendship has ended. The immediate benefits might seem obvious, but the fact is that the end of a friendship will mean coming to terms with the loss of a friend, however bad they were.
The end of any relationship, including a toxic friendship, often leaves a void in a person’s life, which can be very hard to fill. That is why it is so important to look to your family or close friends for support during this difficult time. Sometimes, all that is needed is a listening ear, while at other times family and close friends can help by taking practical measures to keep the toxic friend from causing any further emotional or physical harm.
The end of a toxic friendship will bring immediate relief to those who have struggled to cope with the demands of a toxic friend. But that does not mean that it will be easy to cope with the end of a toxic friendship. If you have ended a toxic friendship, be firm about your resolve not to be friends again in future, give yourself time to grieve and accept the support of family and close friends.