So maybe YOU’RE not the toxic friend but you have a friend whom you think is. She’s been putting you down (but maybe not in a bad way, you think), getting you into trouble because she’s always trying to get you to stay out past your curfew or making you just feel crappy about yourself.
Maybe it’s time to let this friendship go. So, how do you let a bad influence in your life go, without incurring her wrath/hurting her feelings?
Have the talk.
Just like a band aid, take a deep breath and rip it off. The truth will (after all) set you free. So if you need some time away, tell them that. If you want them to change, tell them what’s bothering you and explain how you feel. Like all relationships, friendships are a two way street.
Start setting boundaries.
Try explaining that you’ve been swamped with all these things going on in your life that you need to take a step back and have some alone time. Alternatively, offer to hang out with other people as a group before you slowly take a step back.
Call less often.
Or try to keep the any phone conversations short and courteous. Don’t drop everything at a drop of a hat to be there for them and it might send the right signals to them that you’re not very interested in their behavior and that they need to tone down their constant need of you.
Learn to say no.
It might be difficult, but knock back a few invitations for coffee or drinks. Get back some personal space by saying you’ll be really busy with work for a couple of months, so they might not hear from you as often. Distance is always good in situations like these.
Don’t feel guilty about not doing anything.
If it’s something you don’t want to do but they really want you to, tell them that. If you’re not comfortable with the harsh truth, then explain that you’re tightening up your finances to try to be an adult and you can’t go out as much as you used to.
Pull a Houdini.
There’s only so much you can do though, so it all else fails, make a clean break and move on. Hey, you tried…