How to Tell when It’s Time to End a Friendship

 Proverbs 12:26a “The righteous choose their friends carefully..”

Friendship is a blessing in each of our lives.  It is a necessity for living a full and enjoyable life.  We all naturally want to connect with each other and have meaningful relationships.  However, I’ve learned through the years, that not all friendships are healthy to hold on to. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to let certain friendships go.

Let me say quickly, I do not think this always has to be an intentional conversation to end a friendship (that is totally up to you).  There was a time in my life where I had to sit down and acknowledge that the friendship was over.  However, it’s not always that serious.  I’ve experienced times when I just made a mental choice to withdraw gradually from a friendship. BUT I will say that I am always willing to have the hard conversations necessary, and try to talk things out before withdrawing.

How To End A Friendship

Here are some very helpful signs to determine if it’s time to let go of a friendship.

1. The friendship stresses you out 50% or more of the time.

I had a close friendship that used to bring me stress about 80% of the time.  Stress became normal for us. I didn’t realize how much anxiety and stress it caused over the years until it dissolved. I learned something…removing the friendship out of my life meant I was eliminating a major part of stress/anxiety that I was dealing with on a normal basis.

2.  The friendship is one-way.

This means you put in most of the effort.  You invite, call, and initiate almost everything to keep the friendship going.  You deserve a friend that wants to be around you as much as you want to be around them.  No relationship is completely 50/50. At the same time, you shouldn’t feel like the only one putting themselves out there.

There was a time I even tested a friendship.  After having a conversation with them about how I was feeling, I decided to not contact them at all and I never heard from them again.  This made it clear, it was time to let it go.

 3. Everything revolves around them.

You can’t convince self-centered people they are self-centered and that shouldn’t be your job as a friend.  If every conversation is only about their feelings, their thoughts and they dominate every interaction, it is not a healthy friendship.

If your constantly catering to them and it is rarely happening in return, it is probably time to let that go.

4.  You can no longer trust them.

Some friendships come to a harsh stop because of something that was done or said.  We should all have realistic and healthy boundaries in our relationships.  If someone has done something to you that you cannot move beyond in the friendship then that is the time you should let that go.

For me, I know extreme disrespect or back-stabbing is one of those things.  I believe forgiveness is always possible, but sometimes the qualities people show me are not the ones I want in a close friendship. At that point, I make a choice to step back from the friendship.

5.  They are bringing no value to your life.

Sometimes, all it takes is a step back to realize someone is simply not bringing value to your life.  I do not believe friendship is all about what you can get from another person. There are seasons just for giving to other people.  However, when you view the relationship as a whole and you feel the friendship only sucks you dry and adds nothing positive, it’s not a healthy one to continue.

I can only count a few times in my life I’ve even had to apply this.  I strongly believe that when you push through the hard stuff in friendship (just like any relationship), there is so much beauty on the other side.  There is a stronger bond and a deeper trust.  However, I do realize there are some personalities and circumstances that are very unhealthy for me and require a step in the other direction.

Friendship is a true gift from God. I’m grateful for all the different stages and seasons of friendship I have in my life.  Some are super close, vulnerable and life-giving.  Others may be more surface-oriented, but we enjoy each other’s company.  Unfortunately, I have experienced some that have been toxic and those individuals had a negative effect on my life. At that point, it was time to create some space.

As a follower of Christ, I believe every relationship should be given to Christ. I constantly pray He will bless my friendships and give me wisdom in each one.  Also, I pray that He shows me if there is one I shouldn’t pursue or need to walk away from.  I pray you do the same and enjoy all the wonderful blessings that come with the amazing gift of friendship.

**For more articles on friendship, check out : “5 ways to be a better friend TODAY!”

*If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate you sharing it on your social media.  Thank You!

when to end a friendship


What do you think?

July 31, 2017

This is spot on! Such good insight!

July 31, 2017

Thanks so much!! Appreciate it!

July 31, 2017

I absolutely loved this post. Can we share this I’m my blog as a guest post ?

July 31, 2017

Of course lady! Thanks!

July 31, 2017

I love this articles. Most of the time even after noticing most if not all of these signs it’s still so hard to end a friendship, but we all have to do what’s best for ourselves.

July 31, 2017

Definitely going through this right now. Not an easy thing, but sometimes necessary to move forward with our lives!

July 31, 2017

You make some excellent points. I couldn’t agree with you more. Not all friendships are forever.


July 31, 2017

I’ve had to cut ties specifically for number 3. It’s exhausting. EXHAUSTING. But totally necessary to end friendships sometimes.

July 31, 2017

Great Post…and very true!!! If you see these signs its pretty much over!

July 31, 2017

Yep! I totally agree!

July 31, 2017

It is always sad when a friendship falls apart. Usually #4 is the reason.

July 31, 2017

YES! Exactly!

So true!! I’ve had to deal with all these at one point or another. As you said, ending a friendship regardless of how is hard. But one thing I’ve learned about ending a friendship is that it makes you appreciate the friendship you still have even more.

July 31, 2017

Exactly! I hold my good friends even closer!

It can be so hard when a friendship fizzles, but you have to do what is good for you.

July 31, 2017


July 31, 2017

It is hard when you realize a friendship must end but I agree with all your points especially about them causing stress a majority of the time.

July 31, 2017

I truly agree!

August 1, 2017

It’s really difficult to say goodbye to friends that are toxic, but it’s part of life that we have to deal with.

August 1, 2017

These are really good points! Ending a friendship is painful and stressful but it must be done for your own growth and happiness!

Belle | One Awesome Momma

August 1, 2017

Friendships are so tricky and complicated sometimes. When you discover a friendship was seasonal has always been the hardest one for me. Over time I’ve had to change my perpestive/expectations on friendships in order to heal from those dissolved relationships. Understanding that seasonal friendships aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but rather perhaps God’s plan for a bigger purpose, growth, etc during that season of our lives was life changing for me.
Thank you for sharing. ?

August 1, 2017

This is such a tough subject, but so important. Many of us have or used to have toxic relationships and know how they negatively impact our life. It is such a blessing when you can recognize the need to walk away. I have had to do this twice in my life, and am much better for it.

August 1, 2017

This post is spot on! I really appreciate that you noted it is time to end when a friendship brings no value to your life and when it is stressing you out 50% of the time! It seems like common sense but often times people put up with being treated badly and they should realized they are worthy of good friendships!

August 1, 2017

Some friends are only meant to be around for a season. I recently cut ties with someone who wasn’t bringing good energy and things have been much lighter for me. I’m at a transitional time in my life and simply don’t have time for negativity.

August 1, 2017

Loved reading this-as I’ve had some people come and go from my life. Sometimes it’s meant to be.

August 1, 2017

Friendships shape us so profoundly, so it is good to be reminded to be very careful about who we befriend. Thanks for sharing!

August 1, 2017

It can be so difficult to say goodbye to a friend that you have invested in. But, it is important! Life is too short to spend time on those that do not bring you joy and who do not reciprocate in the relationship!

August 2, 2017

Sadly I have said good-bye without saying good-bye to more friendships that I would care to think about. It almost makes it hard for me to open up to new friendships, knowing the bond may or may not exist 5 or 10 years from now. But in friendship as in life, when one door closes another opens.

August 2, 2017

I totally understand that!

August 2, 2017

sad but true. some friendships just phase out/you grow out of over time.

August 5, 2017

Nodding my head through the whole article. I’ve had to let go of a number of friendships due to one or more of these factors.

August 6, 2017

So glad you could relate!

August 18, 2017

Waow!! A super great inspiration & life changing messages.I really enjoy this post & the way it started with a book from the bible I love to study…I too have been through these over again,but when I realised it was time to focus on God,I had to reschedule my choices in relationships,all the points are totally correct & now am in a relationship which is so inspiring, truthful & Godly.thanks for the post

August 19, 2017

Thanks so much!!!

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