How To Tell Someone You Don't Want To Be Friends Anymore (9 Respectful Ways)

Last updated on April 13, 2024 by Michelle Devani

Friendships, like all other relationships, require effort. It’s not easy to ignore a friend you have issues with. Your reason to ignore might be due to some personal reasons. No doubt, breaking things off with a friend is sometimes more painful than a romantic breakup. The truth is that many friendships have a natural life cycle. 

Usually, people become friends because of their circumstances; work, school, being single, etc. Eventually, we outgrow certain situations in our lives and the people associated with them. It’s inevitable that sometimes, you get to a point where you do not want to make more friends.

On a greater level, letting go of a good friend says a lot about what is going on in your life. And that is the most important thing.

So, once you understand that losing friendly relations with people is a sign of your growth, your actions won’t feel so mad or cruel. 

I understand you might be afraid to approach the subject, perhaps because of how your friend may react to it. In that case, here are some ways how to tell someone you don't want to be friends anymore.


9 Ways To Tell Someone You Don’t Want To Be Friends Anymore 

1. Be courteous

You may not necessarily be friends anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should be impolite. It is prudent to have a civil relationship with your friend. It shows you respect yourself and that person. How you treat others goes a long way to telling how you treat yourself. 

Being rude in an attempt to cancel the relationship is not right. Neither is talking to them badly because you are done with them. What’s more, it’s possible you might come across that person again, sometime in the future. So, how you treated them in the past can either open or close doors for you.

2. Set boundaries

Another way to break the friendship is to set limits on how they have access to you. Sometimes, the access someone has to you is quite telling of the relationship that exists between you. 

Let’s look at a simple scenario. Amy and Jonathan are known to be friends because they are always together. Anytime you see Amy, you are bound to see Jonathan as they are usually together. From this scenario, if you happen to be an observer, your first impression would be that Amy is a close friend of Jonathan. Or they might be dating, and that is not far from the truth. Thus, if Amy no longer wants to be friends with Jonathan, one thing she can do is set boundaries on how they meet.

No doubt, if Jonathan appears at an event without Amy, he will be faced with the question of "Where is your best friend?". This is understandable as it is against their normal routine. This is because Amy has set new boundaries because the friendship ended. It will send a message across.

3. Gratitude

Before you end things with a friend, don’t just blurt out the news and leave them hanging. This act would be like pouring a bucket of cold water on your unsuspecting friend. You can, however, soften the blow by showing him or her gratitude. No doubt, you both had some good times in the relationship. So, show your gratitude for that. 

Spend time with him or her if you can. Then honestly thank them for the memories and for being a part of your life. This can make the conversation less awkward so that you focus on delivering your breakup news.

4. Avoid the blame game

avoid the blame game

Blame games never helped anyone. If anything, it escalates situations and creates bad blood between people. Breaking up a friendship is an emotionally difficult thing to do. So, save yourself the emotional stress and avoid it. Even if you think that the other side is responsible for the ending of the relationship. You should never voice it out to him or her. Skip the need to blame them and end the friendship on a good note.

5. Be honest

Honesty is the best policy, it is said. But before you can be honest with your friend, you have to start with yourself. There is a good chance that your friend will request a reason why you chose to end the friendship. How truthful you have been to yourself will determine the answer you will give to your friend when that question is asked.

6. Listen to them

Communication is an important part of all relationships. But it doesn’t only involve talking. It also involves listening to. This is how healthy relations are formed. So, after revealing all you have to say, if they wish to respond, allow them. Listen, and respect any reaction or opinion your friend might express. 

For instance, if they get upset with anything you said, allow them to have their outburst. And if you can help alleviate the bad effect of your decision, do so. Respond kindly. Allow your friend to grieve over his or her real friend breakup. 

7. Be kind

One way to tell someone you don't want to be friends is to be kind about the process. It is generally agreed that we are all built differently. We may not always agree on the same things. However, some issues can create a break in friendly relations. 

For instance, there is the sensitive issue of rape. Perhaps, your friend endorses it, but you don’t. No doubt, most of the time you will argue about it and you don’t think you need a friend with such a mindset in your life. In breaking up your friendship, you are bound to enter an argument about it. 

You can be tempted to walk away angrily during the discussion. However, you can be kind and calm about the whole situation. Change the subject to an easy one. Your goodbye moments do not have to end on a bad note.

8. Perfect timing

perfect timing

Timing is everything. You don’t want to talk to your friend about a friendship breakup when it is evident something’s bothering him or her. For instance, let’s say a friend recently lost a family member. Bringing up the whole issue of ending the friendship is a bad idea. You may just end up worsening his or her mental and emotional state.

Rather, wait it out. Show support where you have to. And when you think a reasonable time has passed and your friend can handle the news, go ahead and drop the bombshell. He or she may appreciate what you did there.

9. Link them up to other friends

Perhaps, you have other friends who love this person because they have common interests. Therefore, they can be good friends. Play friend matchmaker and link them up. Who knows, they might become great friends. However, if your friend isn’t interested, you can only hope that your ex-friend will be alright.


What to do when you don’t want to be friends with someone anymore?

If you don’t want to be friends with someone anymore, speak to them about it. As this may not be agreeable news, you need to consider your environment. So choose a place that offers enough privacy. This is to avoid creating a scene when your friend breaks down in tears, or bursts out in anger. Also, be polite but firm when relating the news to him or her.

How do you politely decline a friendship?

First of all, you need to be honest and polite when declining a friendship. Courteously let them know that you are not interested. Or, another option would be to sweetly turn down their invitations, till they get the memo and stop trying.

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How do you tell if someone doesn’t want to be friends anymore?

The following signs tell you that someone doesn’t want to be friends with you anymore: They’re always busy and they’re never around when you need them. What’s more, some of their excuses are not tangible and they’re always putting in efforts to make the relationship work.

How do you cut off a friendship?

To cut off a friendship, you have to first talk to the person about it. Do it in person rather than in-text or letter format. Be honest and firm about it. Also, do well to choose appropriate timing when approaching the person to talk about cutting off the friendship. 

How do you tell if someone is distancing themselves from you?

If someone is distancing themselves from you, they may not be interested in your life as they used to. They may not tell you things like they used to, and they will always talk behind your back. They always find reasons not to be around you.

In Conclusion

To summarise, one real friend breakup is not easy. You do not have to enter a friendship you have no interest in. However, your approach in telling the person you don’t want to be friends counts a lot. How you deal with the issue says a lot about you.

I hope you enjoyed this article. I want to know what you think about it, so please comment. Also, do not forget to share.

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Michelle Devani
My name is Michelle Devani, and I've been helping people with their relationships since 2003. In 2017 I decided it was about time I started a blog on the topic, and since then more than 2 million people worldwide have read my relationship advice. Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think.

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