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Teens: Getting Out of an Unhealthy Friendship

Getting Started

In an unhealthy friendship, the focus is often on things that are negative. For example, you talk about each other's problems a lot. Or you give up what you want so you can make your friend happy. But then you feel miserable. Or maybe your friend pushes you to do things that feel bad, like trying alcohol when you're not interested.

If you're in an unhealthy friendship, it's best to move on. Here are some ideas that can help.

  • Stay true to what's right for you and your friend.

    You may be putting off ending the friendship because you don't want to hurt the other person. This makes sense. You are close to them, and you care about them. But if you feel bad most of the time, then this friendship isn't good for either of you. Ending it is the healthier choice.

  • Think about what to say to your friend and others.

    This may be tough, but it's important to talk to your friend directly. Be clear about your reasons to end the friendship. Be honest, but don't say mean things to them. And don't talk badly about your friend to others.

  • Be thoughtful about blocking them on social media.

    Sometimes when a friendship ends, it needs to end on social media too. If it does, first let your friend know. This will give them time to prepare. And they won't be confused by why you're suddenly not connected.

  • Reconnect with others.

    Reach out to another friend—someone you haven't hung out with in a while—and spend time together again.

  • Look for healthy friendships.

    In a healthy friendship, you feel good about being yourself. And your friend feels really good too. You trust and support each other. You're able to disagree and still be close friends. Also, the friendship feels fun and easy most of the time.


Current as of: August 3, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health