How to let friends go, gracefully
While going through old photos, I found a picture of a toddler me cuddling with a fellow toddler friend on our old sofa. Keeping the nostalgia aside, I realised: while I was taught to build and maintain friendships before I could even fully comprehend the world around me, never in my 18 years of life have I been guided on how to end them.
Over the years, like most people, I have lost plenty of friends and in most cases, the process was unnecessarily ugly. Some friendships have perished in icy silence, others in fiery feuds. However, from each of these experiences, I have picked up a lesson or two so if you're someone wanting a graceful exit from a friendship, read on.
Know your reason(s).
Sometimes, you just know it's time to say goodbye. At other times, you're not so sure and that's when it's best to take a step back and ask yourself some questions.
Have you communicated your issue to your friend? Is the issue actually important enough to make you want to terminate the friendship? What has their response been to your complaint? Are you interested in breaking up with them altogether or do you just want a break?
Revising your situation thoroughly will give you the clarity and confidence to make up your mind and follow through with your decision.
Tell them the right way.
Depending on how close you and your soon-to-be ex-friend were, and the gravity of your circumstances, pick a suitable way to break the news to them. If you're looking to avoid confrontations and need time to compose your thoughts, you can tell them via text or maybe even a letter. Call or meet them if you want to gauge their reaction and want a live conversation.
Hear them out.
Even if you think they are in the wrong, remember that they reserve the right to defend themselves. Try your best to avoid accusatory language that could only prolong your strife. However, if you feel that you're being gaslit or that your views are being disregarded, feel free to politely call an end to the conversation.
Be ready to miss them.
It is only natural to mourn the demise of a friendship that once meant a lot to you. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that it would be unfair to yourself to stay in a friendship in which you feel disrespected. In case you find yourself second-guessing your decision to call it quits, now is the time to keep reminding yourself of the reasons you brainstormed.
At the end of the day, you're the only friend you'll have forever so it's your wellbeing that matters the most. Anyone thinking or making you think otherwise must go.
Fabiha is sick of "malding" and considering shaving her head. Send her hair regrowth tips before it's too late at: afifafab[email protected]