Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Angela Vaz

Sometimes it feels like it’s meant to be and sometimes it doesn’t.

You may have had a lot in common when your friendship started but things don’t feel the same anymore.

You’re questioning the relationship with your friend and you’re having trouble deciding if it’s time to let go of that friend.

They don’t make you happy and you’re beginning to wonder if the hurt or the distance is even worth it.

I get it, I’ve been there.

We all have.

This post will help you understand when to let go of a friend and how to do it peacefully and lovingly so that you can minimize the hurt on both ends.

Is it okay to let go of a friendship?

It’s better to let go than keep a friend whose relationship is hurting you or both of you than to hold on and be unhappy.

You and your friend both deserve to be happy.

A friendship much like a relationship must serve both people and help both of you to grow in order to be considered healthy.

And unfortunately, sometimes that is just not the case.

Let’s dive into a few signs it may be time to end the friendship and let a friend go.

But before that really quick, get my free guide on how to really reset your life.

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Signs to know when to let go of a friend

1. You feel used

I had a friend who only called me when they wanted to borrow money or required a favor.

At first, I kept obliging because I assumed there was more to that friendship than what met the eye, but eventually, I began to see it for what it really was.

And it wasn’t pretty.

I realized it was time to let go of that friend.

If you have a friend or friends who only remember you when they need something, it’s a sign that this relationship is toxic and they don’t really care for you or respect you.

And I highly suggest for your mental well-being, you release these kinds of toxic friendships. It’s better to be alone than to be with people like these. 

2. You feel manipulated

Are your friends manipulating you into doing something that you’re not comfortable doing?

Do you feel like you will lose their friendship if you don’t do the thing they’re asking you to do?

If so, this means that these people are with you because they like you for something you’re not.

Either way, it is time to let go.

True friends love you for who you are.

And if your friends are manipulating you or encouraging anything that feels wrong to you, then it’s okay to move on and find people who resonate with your energy.

The degree of manipulation can be extremely subtle.

They may gaslight you whenever you’re second-guessing the friendship. Or they may convince you to hurt yourself or others in ways that might seem trivial but aren’t.

Take some time to think about your friends and journal it if you have to, to get your feelings out. But once you do realize the friendship isn’t what it’s supposed to be, it may be time to let go of that friend. 

3. You feel drained and exhausted when you’re around them

I call these people energy vampires because after spending a few hours with them, you just don’t have the stamina or mental energy to do anything else.

There are a lot of reasons this could be happening. This friend might be emotionally manipulating you or constantly complaining about their life.

Either way, if you constantly feel drained and want to leave as soon as possible, this means that this friendship is no longer serving you and it may be time to let go of this friendship.

Always surround yourself with people who are positive and lift your energy and mood. You will not only feel better, but you will grow and become happier.

4. You don’t feel supported

Do you feel like every time you try to tell them something, they admonish your ideas or constantly invalidate you and your feelings?

You feel like you can’t talk to them about important things.

If you feel like they’re not listening to you no matter what you say or that they’re extremely unsupportive, then they’re not really your friend and it’s not worth having such people in your life.

You’d be better off finding a friend in someone who genuinely wants what’s best for you and supports you.

If you feel like you can’t rely on them when you really need them or they’re just never interested in what you have to say, then the friendship is pretty much one-sided.

It may be time to let go of this friend and find someone that you can count on.

5. You’re second-guessing the friendship

If you’re reading this post, and already have someone in mind, that’s a sign in itself that something isn’t quite right with your relationship with this friend.

Both of you may have had a lot in common in the past but things have changed.

Things just don’t feel the same or you feel like you have to force a conversation in order to keep the friendship going. No matter how much you want to hold on to the past, you can’t.

Everything is different now. 

It may be time to reconsider the friendship and move forward with your life without this person.

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6. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time

Do you have a friend who constantly accuses you of something irrespective of the situation?

Do they constantly blame you for things or make you feel bad for something that you didn’t do?

Do you feel personally responsible for their happiness and feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them?

Or do they constantly bring up the past and throw it in your face out of the blue?

This is a sign of a very toxic person and it’s better to let go of this friend as soon as possible.

Please note that this doesn’t have anything to do with you and it’s best that you start keeping a distance from this person before you eventually cut off this friend for good. 

7. You can’t be yourself around them

Do you feel like you’re hiding who you really are with your friend? Or are you pretending to be someone you’re not with your friend? 

If this is the case, then this person really isn’t your friend because they don’t even know the real you.

A true friend accepts you for who you are. So, try being who you are and if your friend does indeed have a problem with it, then you know that this friendship is pretty much based on a lie.

It’s better to have a few friends who really love and appreciate you for who you are than to have 100 friends who don’t even know you.

8. They do not value your personal space

If your friend wants your attention and love 24/7 and you feel burdened instead of peaceful, it may be a sign that you both are not vibrating at the same energies.

A friend should make you feel happy and loved and give you space when you need it. A friendship is based on loyalty, trust, and understanding.

But if you feel like you’re the therapist in your relationship and feel drained around them, then the friendship isn’t balanced well. 

If you constantly dread hearing from them, it may be a sign that it’s time to keep some distance from this friend or cut off that friend for good.

9. They’ve broken your trust

Trust is the foundation and backbone of every single relationship.

You can choose to keep forgiving them or come to the realization that they don’t respect you as a friend or a person.

When you realize this, it may be time to end the relationship and walk away.

Because being with someone who continuously lies to you or breaks your trust is only going to damage your mental well-being and self-worth. You deserve better, honestly. 

And there’s no going back to a person who doesn’t respect you and treat you kindly.

So, treat yourself to some self-worth and rid yourself of this person.

10. The friendship feels very one-sided to you

You feel like you’re the only one that makes efforts to keep the friendship alive.

If they don’t want you in your life, it may be time to take a step back and make friends with people that actually value you and want you in their lives.

You both have grown apart.

You just don’t keep in touch anymore and every time you try to set up a coffee date, your friend bails? There’s always an excuse.

If this is happening to you, it does indeed mean that your friend doesn’t see you as a priority and it’s best to focus your efforts on someone who will return your friendship.

11. They constantly play the victim

Do they constantly bring up favors they’ve done for you in the past to make you do something for them?

Are they reminding you of all the things they’ve done for you whenever you try to have a serious talk with them?

Do they always play the victim in every clash or argument you have?

In this case, you’re better off without the drama and it’s best to let go of this friend.

12. They’re extremely inconsistent with their behavior

They tell you that they’ll be there for you and promptly disappear. Or they’re okay one minute and upset with you the next.

As a grown-up, the first step toward loving yourself should be to get rid of toxic friends and people. And this type of friend is a toxic friend.

Someone who cannot be consistent with their behavior is unpredictable and untrustworthy because you never know what they’re doing to do next.

This sort of instability will only damage you emotionally and mentally. And it’s best to avoid all this by letting this friend go.

How to let go of your friend and the friendship

1. Analyse the reasons for letting the friendship go

If you feel like your friend has crossed the line or has broken your trust, then it may mean that this is the end. And in this case, it’s okay to let go completely. 

However, if you feel that it’s just a phase and the friend is worth keeping, then it’s okay to try and salvage the friendship. 

Take your time with this.

Think back on all your experiences and ask yourself if this person really means that much to you and if you mean the same to this person.

2. Draw boundaries

If you feel they’re not worth keeping, then it’s okay to simply let go by letting the friendship fade. There’s no need to go and tell your friend that you’re ending things.

Start keeping some distance and let it grow gradually.

If you’ve decided to salvage the friendship, sit down with them and have an honest conversation. Talk about how you feel and be honest about your expectations.

But after a while, if things go back to the way they were and you see no difference in the situation, then you can let go of the friendship and walk away guilt-free because you know you tried. 

3. Move forward with your life

Just because your friendship with this person has ended, doesn’t mean your life is over.

You’ll make new friends and you’ll find people that value you for who you are. Keep your mind and heart open to new and healthy experiences.

If a relationship with a person isn’t serving you and is unhealthy, then it’s better for both of you to move apart so that you can find people that resonate with your energy and make you feel happy. 

That’s how every relationship works. 

What to keep in mind after letting go of a friendship?

It’s okay to grieve after ending a friendship. It’s okay to take some time off and just feel what you’re feeling. Be patient and kind with yourself.

You are human and you deserve time to heal from the loss.

If you never got closure, or someone ended their friendship with you, it’s okay. It just means that you both weren’t a good fit and you both deserve better.

It’s okay to want different things and it’s good to realize that.

Letting go of a friend or a partner isn’t easy.

Especially if you both have shared a lot of memories together. But in the end, it’s best to think about where your life is headed if you keep unhealthy relationships that no longer serve you or that person. 

I want you to understand that there is a life lesson in there somewhere.

And not everyone is meant to enter your life and stay there forever. Sometimes people come and go but they help us grow and they help us see a situation more clearly. 

As much as you want to control people and things, it will not make you happy. 

Love yourself and your energy will change.

You will start attracting people who resonate with that higher energy and you will make friends that genuinely love you for you.

True friends will help you realize your potential and both of you will help each other grow. 

That’s how friendships usually work. 

Learn to trust the process and let go when it’s time. 

All my life, I chased the wrong people, and only when I started paying attention to myself and giving myself the love I deserved, I started attracting the right people and made really, really good friends.

So take it from someone who’s loved and lost, you will find good friends. Just raise the bar and keep your heart open.

How do you emotionally detach from a friend?

Remind yourself that it’s okay to miss your friend.

After all, they have been there for you during a certain time period and you got used to being around them.

But not everyone stays with us forever.

It’s okay to miss someone and at the same time realize that they aren’t good for us or they aren’t helping us grow.

It’s alright to take some time for yourself to grieve that lost friendship.

People enter our lives and leave them often.

But they all have a certain part to play.

Take your time to make peace with the fact that they are no longer in your life and eventually you will come to terms with it.

We are capable of withstanding quite a bit as human beings.

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Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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