Breaking up with your romantic partner is not easy. But breaking up with your friend is even worse! If you've done it before, you know that's saying something.
There are so many histories between you that it often seems easier to just stay in a toxic relationship than to let it go. On the other hand, please do not stay in a relationship full of drama, competition and situations that affect your mental health in a negative way. You may be afraid of how your friend will react, but I assure you that getting rid of toxic friendships is done.
Be honest with yourself
Accept reality, the first step to ending a toxic friendship is to accept that your friendship is toxic and stop justifying your friends' toxic behaviors. You can't change them, some people are just completely off the mark in terms of friendship and that's okay. What you can change is your behaviors and how you handle this friendship. If the best way to protect your sanity is to end the friendship, this is the way to go.
Be clear with your intentions
If you choose to tell your friend that you no longer want to be friends with him, you have to be honest. You must tell him outright your intention to end the friendship. If you also want to explain your motives to him, try to avoid accusations and talk about your resentments only. There is no point in creating an unnecessary confrontation that will surely cause you more stress than anything else.
Even if you think your friend won't take you seriously, that's okay. You must act like nothing. Chances are that you have quite a history with this friend, so it's only normal that you take the lead in letting him know your intentions.
Assume your responsibilities
Sometimes it's not just the other person's fault that your relationship is toxic. You've probably had your part to play in this a few times. It's okay to acknowledge and assume that you've probably had toxic behaviors in the past that have contributed to the detriment of the relationship.
Identify your role in shaping your healthy friendship relationship. What have you done that could have negatively impacted this relationship? Once you identify these behaviors, it's easier for you to defuse them if they ever arise in other relationships.
Don't be too sentimental
When your friends are less and less present for you and more and more toxic, it always becomes more difficult to remember good times spent together. Even so, when you're about to end your relationship, you may start to doubt and dwell on the good times of the past. All friendships, even bad ones, have their good sides, but if your relationship has more bad than good it's time to end it. Don't let your emotions influence your choice at the last minute.
Choose a way to end the relationship
Once you have made the decision to end your relationship, you need to choose a way to end it. Depending on how toxic your relationship is, there are several ways to do this.
Slowly, but surely
It's the stuff of the pros. If you want to let go of your toxic relationship gently and avoid confrontation, I recommend letting it go little by little. Try to start remembering texts less than before. If it's someone who is part of a group of friends, interact less and less with them during group meetings.
The problem with this technique is that it is most often effective only when your friend is on the same page as you. If the other person doesn't understand the unsaid and gets frustrated that you're distancing yourself, it's likely to create more frustration and confrontation than anything else.
The official way
Another way to end your toxic relationship is to do it outright. Like a romantic relationship. Basically, it's sitting down with the person and being honest with them. Explain that you are ready to move on and want to end your relationship. It takes a lot of courage to do that, especially if you're unsure of your friend's reaction to your announcement. On the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to explain yourself and close the friendship in a healthy and respectful way.
If your friend abuses you physically, psychologically, or emotionally, you owe them nothing. I simply advise you to block it on all platforms and move on. You have every right to remove yourself from a situation that is dangerous for you, don't feel guilty. If you see each other regularly in person at school or at work, try to arrange not to meet this person again, it will be for the best.
Expect the process to be painful no matter how you let your friend down. But it's important to hold your own. Otherwise, your friend will not take you seriously.
Getting rid of a relationship (toxic or not) will certainly be a period of adjustment and you will probably need to grieve. Feeling sad and upset is completely normal. How long it will take you to grieve is personal, but I suggest you don't stress too much about it. Take the time you need to process this big change, but know that it will be for the best.
It doesn't matter what wounds you take from this friendship. It's time to let them go. Holding grudges won't do you any good. The relationship is over and you made the right decision. Now, there's absolutely no point in worrying about things from the past that keep you from growing. Moving forward is what will be best for your healing and your sanity.
P.S. If you think you need professional help to deal with the effects of laying off your relationship, I strongly encourage you to surround yourself with professionals who can help you through this process.
Getting rid of a toxic relationship is something you need to do for yourself. When you take a step back from a friendship that no longer serves you, you move on and get rid of a heavy load of negativity on your shoulders. You will be free, go for it!