In the Media – Thoughts on how to unfriend a friend (

Published: November 17, 2015 | Last Updated: November 17, 2015 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading

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Nylon (screenshot)

Nylon (screenshot)

On the website, writer Hayden Manders talks about how tricky it can be to unfriend a friend. She writes:

Out of all the things school is supposed to teach you, basic human relations is not one of them. Sure, you can recite the Pythagorean Theorem, but can you break up with a friend?

Unless you’ve had to deal with it first hand, those life lessons fall by the wayside until, well, you’re face to face with a friend breakup. We’re taught to plan, but no one ever plans to end a friendship—at least not from the start.

In writing the article, she spoke to author Jodyne Speyer as well as The Friendship Doctor.  She also addresses the tough question of how to move on:

Levine suggests not wallowing in it, but taking your time to “get over the experience and learn from it.” Taking the time to figure out how to be a better friend is key. “Friendships require nurturance,” she tells us. “Not all friendships last forever—even very good ones.”

At the end of the day, it’s your well-being that needs the most tending to. Burn bridges as you see fit, but do it with kindness, honesty, and a strong sense of heart. You want to be able to say you’ve given it all you can, and with a sense of absolution, move on.

Click here to read the article on Nylon its entirety.


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Category: IN THE MEDIA

Comments (6)

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  1. Latasha says:

    The fact of the matter is all relationships whether those we seek or those we would rather not participate in anymore are work … hard hard WORK. If you can softly distance yourself from someone you no longer want in your intimate circle of friends then DO IT. It takes courage to actually do something that is difficult, but necessary. Its about making your life easier & more pleasurable, it you are not proactive in your own life then do not complain about how miserabLE you re. YOU, ARE THE ARCHITECT OF YOUR OWN LIFE!

  2. Ariane says:

    I totally loathe ghosting.

    I find “ghosting” or “fading” is ridiculous, however, too blunt isn’t appropriate as well. If you are considered friends then friends should be able to discuss what is going on with their relationship and what approach to take. Nowadays, people don’t know how to handle conflict or unpleasant situations, so they choose to avoid it by ghosting or hiding as I call it. I call that being a coward.

    I’ve been direct with a couple of friends about our friendship and that I didn’t see any point in continuing the friendship. The one friend agreed and the other friend was glad I approached her about the situation and she admitted she hadn’t been a good friend and that she has had problems with this in the past with other friends. I took this as a red flag and reluctantly agreed to staying friends. Well, of course she reverted back to her old ways and then I was direct with her and cut the relationship completely off.

  3. Irene says:

    The issue of fading or ghosting away vs. confronting someone with the truth has been discussed endlessly on this site. I think the decision has to do with the personalities of the people involved, the nature of the friendships and the circumstances of the breakup.

    In most cases, however, I think it is better to simply fade away and see the person less often than formally proclaim a “breakup.”

  4. Tanja says:

    Good article. I as well did not agree with the ghosting part. Sometimes, I think that is actually more beneficial. I sometimes think that is kinder. But, it is not like you cut them off completely. You say your busy. Especially in long term friendships, it sometimes is more difficult to get “closure”, so it works better to say your busy. I mean if they call, don’t avoid the calls, but if he/she asks to get together, you are always busy and do the slow fade. Eventually, the friend will get busy as well. That way doors are open and if you feel like talking again, there is always the possibility to reconnect.

    Recently, with a long term friend, she lives very far from me, so this makes things so much easier. In any case, I do not really like her anymore. We met in high school. This summer 3 other friends and myself, along with our husbands and kids went on vacation for a week. We rented a cottage to house 20 people including kids. Well, I found her husband condescending and overbearing. I found her rude and always on her phone or in a bad mood. I just totally did not like her that much. But, I thought that soon enough we will be home and she lives far so we really only see each other once a year. Well, I just kind of made it so she can’t see my posts on facebook. But, it does bother me. I really don’t like her husband. So when she comes again, I wonder if she will call us to get together as well or if she felt the same way I do and that based on a mutual understanding the friendship will phase itself out….

    Either way, I am hurt and disappointed, but i feel no words need to be spoken…..

    I feel this way because of the distance between us and that it gets too awkward now that we have known each other over 20 yrs. I also feel she feels the same.

    • Melanie says:

      Tanja — great points! I am in a similar position with an old childhood friend whose husband is not the kind of person that my husband and I care to spend time with. Problem is, my friend (almost desperately) wants us to do things together with our husbands, but it just doesn’t work for us. We simply don’t care for him, nor do we like how my friend has changed because of him.

      Like you’re doing with your friend, I am carefully “distancing” myself from this person — and from other friendships I’ve outgrown. I think this is the best approach. Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of “breaking up’ with a friend, or having an “all or nothing” relationship. Sometimes it’s all about changing the frequency and the depth of the relationship. I am fine with seeing my old friend and her husband a couple of times a year, but NOT every other weekend and on holidays — and she would prefer.

  5. Melanie says:

    Great article, but I don’t agree with the part that said, “No ghosting, ever.” Sometimes it is much kinder to do a slow fade from a stale or awkward friendship rather than formally “break up” and admit the truth.

    When someone hasn’t “done” anything wrong — and you just don’t feel you have anything in common — it seems more kind to do a slow fade, doesn’t it? Otherwise, I would never be able to say to a friend, “I don’t enjoy hanging around you anymore because you are no longer interesting to me and we don’t have enough in common to make this relationship enjoyable for both of us….” How can you say something like THAT to someone who’s just being herself, and isn’t at fault for anything else?

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