How to Break Up with Friends

How do you move away from people without hurting feelings or saying/doing anything regrettable? I'm in a friend group that I just don't FW anymore and I'm trying to sever myself slowly. I used to live with a few of them and moved out on my own, removed myself from group chats, don't hit them up on weekends, etc. I get shredded for my lack of effort but that's the point. Its almost easier to break up with a gf in this instance..  

Always looking to connect with new interesting people while being proactive about removing myself from the less inspiring and depressing bunch. 

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Comments (23)

Oct 8, 2021 - 11:56am

Sounds like you're already doing it. THere's usually no need to cut and right sever a friendship, you slowly let it fade

If it's bothering you that much then tell them but otherwise do what you're doing and they won't care in a year 

Oct 8, 2021 - 2:34pm

Tell them they are a bunch of losers and you only hang out with winners, if they want to become winners you can hang out with them again.  This way they will need to improve themselves to be your friend.  If they do, great if not you get what you want.  This "I don't want to hurt anyones feelings" bullshit is for girls. 

Oct 8, 2021 - 2:46pm

Just don't have the time or energy to create drama or play life coach. One example is that one guy's gf is HORRIBLE and so are her friends. Am I going to tell him to dump her? Nah. 

Oct 8, 2021 - 3:20pm

You don't have to do anything.  Just let them know why.  If people improve themselves on their own they deserve recoginition for it.  But you don't really need to worry about that.  90% of people don't do anything about.

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Most Helpful
  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Oct 8, 2021 - 3:12pm

Are they high school friends? I felt similarly for a while but I think it's kind of important to maintain relationships from when you were growing up. I'm completely different than a lot of my high school friends that I used to spend a lot of time with, and many of them don't have much ambition, but they are still fun to hang out with and it's harder to build deep friendships as you get older. Think about how long it will take to rebuild similar friendships and ask yourself if it's worth throwing all of that away (maybe it is in your case). I moved away for a number of years and really distanced myself from friends I grew up with but have recently been hanging out with them more as I moved back to a city where most of them live. It has been a lot of fun 

I also think it's important to have a rich variety of friends - party friends, fitness friends, nerdy friends, finance friends, whatever. It's nice to have multiple groups to hang with and get different perspectives from. But if you feel like they're holding you back, slow fade like you are doing probably works well. 

Oct 8, 2021 - 4:03pm

That happens with most high school groups but I'm actually super tight with some guys from my home town. Some for 20+ years where our parents are best friends. The group I speak of is the classic group of degens from college that were fun drinking buddies during those years but that's about it. I don't mean to throw anything away instead just separating myself bc this is real life now.

Agree on variety and (I think) I'm decent at meeting new people, developing relationships, and have built other friend groups. For some reason I feel almost burdened by this particular group rn. One asked me why I left the group chat/deleted apps and I said I was practicing "digital minimalism".

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Oct 8, 2021 - 4:45pm

I hear you, my buddies from HS are kind of degenerates too lol (compared to me; I skew introverted / stay at home). I will say that life is short and not worth burning bridges or being overly dickish about "breaking up" with your friends haha. If they are really your boys they won't care if you go MIA for a month or whatever then want to blow off some steam together. I can realistically manage one night of debauchery every few weeks/once per month. I am not in any of their group chats (left them/got removed for inactivity, deleted snapchat, don't have social media other than a burner IG account, etc...bit of a digital minimalist myself) and it's all good man. Like I said if they are your boys, they are your boys. Just do you and it'll work itself out 

Also, just be honest. If you don't want to go out...just say it. Yeah they will give you some shit, maybe, but who cares. Do whatever will make you happiest today - life's too short. 

Oct 11, 2021 - 11:54am

I also think it's important to have a rich variety of friends - party friends, fitness friends, nerdy friends, finance friends, whatever. It's nice to have multiple groups to hang with and get different perspectives from.

I think this is particular is key, it's nice to be able to have friends in different groups that don't always interact in case you just need a break, especially if one is a little introverted. I feel like the worst is when you just have a group of friends, all of whom are in a relationship with only the other members of the group, and then someone breaks up. Otherwise, you could get a scenario like this:

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Oct 8, 2021 - 7:50pm

Hey guys, sorry about being flakey lately. We go way back and have had some awesome moments together, but to be honest I feel like life's been taking us in different directions. Not your guys' fault and I'm glad ya'll keep it real with me which is why I need to be real too and say that I want to find a circle of people that best fits who I want to become. I don't know what that circle looks like and part of my drive right now figuring that out. You don't have to support or understand but the least you deserve is my honesty.

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Oct 8, 2021 - 11:27pm

I would just keep interacting less. From the time I graduated undergrad until I turned 26-ish, I really just separated from old friends naturally.

They still went to the same bars at home that we've been going to since college and were scared to leave our hometown and take a chance on life. I moved to NYC and just never really saw them.

Then, they grew up and got serious about shit and we started spending a bit more time together, which has been great. 

It doesn't have to be official or weird, and I found it's nice to have a connection to your past when you need it. 

Oct 11, 2021 - 9:53am


I think there is a Seinfeld episode about this. Season 1 or 2.

There's a Seinfeld for everything, so I do not doubt this. 

Side note, for anyone comparing Friends vs. Seinfeld (even the comparison is an insult in my eyes), how many Friends lines/scenes/concepts have made it into popular culture?  One ("PIVOT!")?  Two, maybe ("gum would be perfection")?  Seinfeld has to have 10x as many.  

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Oct 10, 2021 - 1:56pm

"New phone - who dis?"

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

Oct 10, 2021 - 2:29pm

You don't have to break up with friends - just let them fade away.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 10, 2021 - 6:46pm

the curious paradox when you fade out is that people start to think youre doing some interesting shit and want to see what youre up to. ive been trying to shake some of my friends for over 10 years, they are nice guys sometimes, but we've just evolved differently. I always think about this when it comes to girls as well - imagining I got with a girl when young and matured like I am today - thank fuck I didnt let a girl trap me with a kid like some of my friends.

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Oct 11, 2021 - 9:11am

this has happened to me a couple of times. those drinking degenerates will hit you up until you stop coming out, and then at some point they'll be like "I never see you out anymore" and when being coy about it didn't work, you may have to say something like "well man to be direct, I'm not all that interested in going out like I used to in the old days, it's kinda hard to get up for a workout saturday morning if you're hungover, and I'd rather just read a book, watch a movie, or smoke a nice cigar and get to bed at a reasonable hour. I'll for sure rip it up like the old days when one of the boys has a bachelor party, but I'm kinda tired of that scene"

Oct 11, 2021 - 9:59am

I don't burn a bridge, if possible.

Just tell them you cannot hangout as much due to work/life and eventually you won't talk, but they will be there for you.

You never know if you're out of a job and need friends who weren't just "network material".

Oct 11, 2021 - 4:33pm

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Oct 12, 2021 - 2:00am

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