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How to ditch a toxic friend

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Friend or foe?

It’s easy to assume everyone you meet will have your best interests at heart, but some people are only out for themselves. Getting ensnared in a friendship with someone who doesn’t really care about you can be tough, but staying in the relationship can be even tougher. Sometimes you just need to cut ties and move on, and we have some tips for doing just that.
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Expert advice

We asked April Masini, relationship expert behind the critically acclaimed "Ask April" advice column, to share some insight into moving on from a toxic friendship. “Have you ever noticed that everyone talks about, and writes books on, and dedicates songs to how hard it can be to get through the loss of a romantic relationship, but when it comes to those that are platonic, mum is the word?” she asks. “The truth is, though, that they can be just as — if not more — devastating.”

Toxic friendships defined

There are many different types of friends — some people become ultra-close, others are work friends or gym friends. Toxic friends though, are the ones that don’t offer you much in the way of support. “So-called friends who mooch your money, strain your sanity, take up all of your time or put you in situations where you simply don’t feel comfortable are not friends at all,” explains Masini. “These are also the people who aren’t easily blown off because they either don’t get the hint that you don’t share their friendly feelings or because they just don’t like taking no for an answer.”

How to say goodbye

While it may be difficult — and it may sound mean — the best way to end this kind of toxic friendship is to be honest and simply say that you don’t think you should be friends anymore. But then what? “If she pushes for an explanation, which she probably will, don’t waste your energy listing all the reasons why she’s become a burden. Simply let her know that you want to focus on the positive things in your life,” advises Masini. “This should clue her in to the fact that she’s not one of them.”

Between real friends, family, careers and social activities, you’re too busy to waste time on people who bring you down. “Your time is valuable. Make the most of it by streamlining your social circle to include only the people who really matter to you,” Masini says.

More about friendship

5 Ways to make your friends hate you
4 Signs she's not a real friend
Making new friends as an adult

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