How do you come out of Toxic Friendships?

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

If you are searching for something like this, it obviously gives a hint that you are not comfortable in your friendship, or maybe the person whom you are trying to help could be facing a tough time. Well, let’s remind that any relationship in this world can be great, when you are comfortable with each other.

Friendship between any two friends could also be great if both of them are open to everything from serious discussions to silly comments, having trust in each other, being there for one another in the times of need and enjoying each other’s company thoroughly. But, how do you know if your friendship has become toxic? Well, it’s true that you already sense it in the pit of your stomach but are just searching for some superficial reasons to reconfirm it. Here, you go.

Recognizing a toxic friendship

Here are some indications which can tell you that your “bestie” is no longer the same. These could be the warning signs from the other person that this relationship is going to end.

Gossiping about each other

When things are fine between both of you, it was all good. But when it started to smell foul, you could find that one of you or both of feel like gossiping about the other.

Constantly remind you of your past failures

If the friend who had been gently correcting you or simply could laugh off your mistakes, is now constantly poking you for your past failures deliberately for no good cause, then it’s time to think.

Manipulating your thinking into a certain way

Say, you support some opinion or decision that you feel is logical and perfect, and when your so-called friend is trying to manipulate your thinking, by judging you to be a loser or a dumb head without any proper reason, what you are going to doubt on? Is it you or is it their way of manipulating things?
Remember, in such contexts, they try to influence you more than you think. You can understand that your friend is resisting and sabotaging your self-improvement.

A girl with her grumpy friend
A girl with her grumpy friend

Making you feel so low of yourself all the time

To err is human; let it be anyone. But, if those harsh words are pointing every mistake as a great failure or a deep sin, committed by you, making you feel so low of yourself all the time, making you doubt your abilities and skills, please think again if this relationship is really necessary for you. Hurting self-esteem is no good.

Imbalance in talk

You can easily make out that you are no more their priority when someone loves to converse about other friends/things but doesn’t discuss the things between you both, especially when they ought to be discussed. When you understand that your friend is giving you a cold shoulder as the conversations are monopolized, you get less attention and you lose the real feeling of involving in a conversation.

Demands could be high

You could also have noticed how the demands of your friend have been growing. While cornering or blaming you for the past incidents, you could have been thrown into a guilt-zone. Making you feel that you longer possess the right or ethical value to seek some nice words or help, your friend takes the privilege of ordering something according to her/his wish. This is high time you realize how the bridges are being burnt, deliberately.


The verge of their criticism about your deeds or thoughts or just opinions could sound really vitriolic. They could also claim that it’s completely your fault and there’s no bias in their expressions. Of course, they are smart in convincing and conveying it too.

Can’t enjoy their company

At the sight of your friend, you start feeling a dread in the pit of your stomach, but not the kind of happiness that you once used to have. You could be riding an emotional roller coaster. Though you drag yourself to the chair to sit with your friend, you start being very careful in your words as it is easy to get into trouble. It feels like walking on egg shells.

Stressing you out

Are those remarks made by your friend are making you anxious and nervous? Are you brooding over reforming yourself since many days as you are categorized as stupid/silly by your friend? Does her/his presence keep you alert all the time? Do you feel suffocated to say “oh, that’s my bestie?” You realize that you no more like yourself when being with this friend, as you compromise your attitude, change your behaviour for them and behave as you are not you. This kind of stressing out yourself could drain your energy. Don’t worry, Say aloud to yourself that you are going to put an end to this.

How do you come out?

As you have had such bitter experiences that made you realize and understand how things have turned out and how problematic is continuing this relationship, you have enough ethical reasoning to break the feeble strand of this so-called friendship. It’s the sooner the better to come out of such toxic relationships. Just be prepared for whatever blame you need to face, though you know very well that it’s not completely your fault. Say to yourself that this is not the end of the world and you could be on your
own, as life holds many more hidden pleasures for you. Such a separation, works smoothly when both the parties recognize it and take a step back naturally.
But some people want to put some blame on others for this separation as they don’t want to feel the guilt of being the trouble maker of that relationship. Now, don’t ask about the conscience. They can manipulate it too.

Try setting limits

If your toxic friend happens to be your roommate or classmate, whom you have a chance to visit regularly, set your own limits that you would see her only for a certain limited period. Though you talk or have lunch or should do a work together, try setting your limits in behaviour, time and attitude too. This will show them that you are not going to take it anymore. It is like preparing them for a separation. Establish your boundaries and stick with them.

Learn to say “NO”

Unlike before, say NO when your friend asks for something which you are uncomfortable with. When they are being critical to you, playing a blame game, being mean or so, point it out and tell them straight away how their unwanted and unacceptable behaviour is hurting you deeply. You could get into some argument when they start denying and claim that you misunderstood. But try to be patient and firmly deny it without raising your voice. Just show your friend that you are not going to take it.

Prepare yourself

Don’t neglect to prepare yourself for the consequences. This is the most important part. You might feel that everything could be burdening and you might not able to handle that new change, if he/she leaves. Though you had some silly petty fights with someone else before, it’s hard to start and make a harsh conversation with the person whom you felt as your second soul. It churns you within. But, remember the chaos you have been through in your mind.

Remember the emotional turmoil that you had to bear with that person. You have genuine reasons and gone through some struggles before coming to this decision. Now, this is not something out of the blue that could surprise your friend.

A Sad Student
A Sad Student

In case, you both have some common places to visit or to stay, try to look for some alternations. If you are depending on him/her financially or emotionally till now, do the preparations to be independent. Write a list of things on why you need to quit and keep the note with you to check them whenever you think about that friendship. Don’t let them blackmail you emotionally or financially or in any way.

Prepare for everything

Getting ready to say it. Prepare yourself by noting down a list of things that made you understand why this has turned out to be so and get ready to say why you both need to end this. Sit and talk what you feel. Don’t bluntly point out and make them feel bad. Instead tell your toxic friend what you both used to be and what changes have occurred and why it’s tough to handle anymore. Let them also speak and don’t argue. Listen and if there
are points to deny, just say a word as calm as you can. End it on a peaceful note for both of your well-being.

Just Say it

Just say it frankly, that your friend isn’t treating you nicely, it’s okay if you parted your ways. Just say it that it’s no longer working. Say Something like, “I know you have noticed that we are not really being comfortable with each other’s company. To be honest, my life is moving in different direction. Though I value the friendship we had, I just don’t see the reason to be together”. You could face some aggravated dialogues. Keep your calm, while answering. Whatever you behave, shouldn’t be regretted later. Air could turn emotional between you both or it could just be as formal as simple as it might be. Stay strong and be confident. Don’t be too harsh in expressing your opinions. Deal it like a boss, Viola!!

In case, you need to have an expert opinion on how to deal with such toxic relationships or how to get yourself set after such issues, or how to deal with any kind of relationship issues, don’t hesitate to call and book an appointment. We have both online and in-person counseling sessions being offered by our experienced psychologists.

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