• Amanda DeBernardi

3 Signs It's Time to Break Up with a Friend

Updated: Jul 13

How do you know it’s time to break up with a friend?

This is sooooo tough....

But you already know it's time or you wouldn’t be asking the question.

Friendships are difficult to let go of because we want to fit in. We want to be liked. We don't want anyone to be mad.

Breaking up with a friend can be incredibly painful. It’s difficult because many of us who are highly sensitive or an empath can feel the pain of the other person’s rejection.

Having boundaries around your emotional energy is extremely important. The only person that you are responsible for in this situation is yourself. Congratulations on choosing your own mental, emotional, and physical health!

Pay attention to how your body feels when you are around someone. Here are 3 signs that it’s time to walk away:

1. Do you dread their calls and texts?


This is a huge red flag. Being someone’s friend should be a joy. When their name pops up on your phone, you should feel delighted. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is a clear sign that this person’s energy is not good for you!

2. Do you avoid them?


Are you changing up your routine to avoid them? Are you not going places that you used to enjoy because you know they will be there? This is another clear sign that it’s time to break up. No one should have this much control over your daily activities.

3. Do you walk on eggshells around them?


Are you nervous to say or do the wrong thing? A healthy friendship feels supportive and loving. Everyone puts their foot in their mouth sometimes, but a friend will understand your heart and the meaning behind your words. If you hold back because you are worried about their negative reaction, it's time to move on,

If this describes your relationship with someone, consider setting firm boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate.

In your journal, or in a conversation with a trusted friend, make a list of the qualities that you desire in a friend relationship. This will help you get clear about where your boundaries are being violated.

Setting boundaries isn’t easy. We are conditioned to be “nice” at the expense of ignoring our own needs, our intuition, and even our personal safety.

It might feel difficult to say no to someone who is not used to hearing that word from you. If you set a boundary in a friendship and the other person clings tighter, stand your ground.

You are not doing this to be mean. You are doing this because you value yourself!

As Brene Brown says, “Clear is kind.”

Be direct and honest. Yes, there will be hurt feelings and that totally sucks. Have a support plan in place so that you don’t backtrack when emotions get intense. This might look like a self-care day, an appointment with a therapist, or turning to a supportive friend or family member.

And remember, it’s normal to grieve the loss of a friendship even if you know it wasn’t healthy for you. Give yourself the space to feel anything that comes up.

Just because you are grieving doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision. You may miss your friend and that’s ok. Seek support and stay focused. Caring for your own emotional needs may feel uncomfortable if you are used to people pleasing.

You can do this!

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