The problem is that there’s no easy way to do it. Whether it’s via text, email or phone call, telling a BFF that you want to move on can be more anxiety-inducing than a boyfriend dump. Deep down, however, you know it’s the right thing to do. Maybe she’s changed to the extreme, she treats you like roadkill, or you’re just sooo over her drama. Either way, it’s time to respectfully let go. And that’s … OK. You don’t have to be friends with someone for your entire life for the relationship to have been meaningful. Here’s how to rip off the Band-Aid without the pain.
1. Be Selfish
If you’re going to point fingers, it’s in your best interest to point one at yourself. Call it a fool-proof method of diffusing inevitable conflict. Example: If she’s leaning on you 24/7 while you’re holding on for dear life trying to balance your and your family’s needs, tell her about the domesticity challenges and confess that you’re refocusing your priorities. When in doubt, use the catch-all “I can’t be the friend you need me to be.”
2. Be Concise
As tempting as it may be, don’t pour your heart out in a long-winded Dear John-like email and explain every detail of your decision-making process. Each word, no matter how well-intentioned, will read like a dagger. This also isn’t the time to air out dirty laundry dating back to the “Grey’s Anatomy” golden years. Instead, be straightforward, pointed and firm. Stand by your convictions. And hello? Don’t apologize for something unless you’re in the wrong.
3. Be Honest
All right, so she pressed the destruct button and hurt you. Instead of lashing out at her flaws, let her know exactly how her behavior affected you by using phrases such as “It made me feel [insert sad adjective here] when you ….” Keep in mind that you’re not opening a CNN Crossfire debate here. You just want to expose your feelings and get the weight lifted off your shoulders.
4. Be Nice
It doesn’t pay to be nasty. Ever. So avoid the name-calling and mud-slinging toward someone with whom you’ve shared legit good times. You’ll thank yourself later for being cordial — especially if you run in the same social circles and have the inevitable awkward run-in. Ending the relationship on a positive or hopeful note may even leave the door open to an eventual rekindling.
5. Be a Ghost
We know. Confrontation, even a well-mannered one, is not for the sensitive or faint of heart. That’s why the fade-to-black method can be a godsend. First, unfollow her on social media so her life is not constantly flashing before your eyes. Blow off one-on-one lunches and see her only in large group settings. Stop being so quick on the draw to texts and emails. Don’t return calls. If you withdraw your effort until the friendship has gone ice-cold, she’ll get the picture. But don’t be surprised if you’re soon on the receiving end of her official breakup.
Everyone needs a girlfriend!
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