ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Tell an Irritating Friend You Don't Want to Stay Friends

Updated on May 23, 2013
Thinking about ending a friendship with an irritating friend? It's a hard choice but may be right for you.
Thinking about ending a friendship with an irritating friend? It's a hard choice but may be right for you. | Source

Moving on From A Toxic or Unrewarding Friendship

When we're little, our parents urge us to get along with everyone and to be everyone's friend. This advice mainly means to be kind and patient with others, which is a worthy goal. However, as we get older and friendships progress beyond play dates, we actually start to choose our friends based on things we have in common, mutual support, and other factors.

And yet often friends sneak in who we don't really like--who leave us angry or sad after a conversation or dinner--and we dread seeing them.

If you have an irritating friend in your life and are ready to move on, you can respectfully and maturely end the friendship--while it may be awkward, it's not impossible. And in the end, your time and energy will be spent on positive relationships and you will be a happier person!

Have you ever stayed in a friendship but wished you didn't have to?

See results

Considering Why You're Ending the Friendship

If you're finding a friend especially irritating, don't be quick to immediately pull back and end the friendship. Many factors should go into your decision. Think about the following:

  • The length of the friendship and the depth of your attachment to each other
  • Whether the other person's behavior is long-running or a recent development
  • If you are being overly sensitive or going through a rough patch that is making you impatient
  • The friend's life situation (are they going through a divorce, dealing with a death, etc.)
  • How you feel after spending time with the friend
  • The last time you enjoyed time spent with the friend

Even friendships that have lasted decades can have lulls or rough spots--so if your relationship with a friend is deep-rooted into your life, it might be better to address the behaviors that are irritating you and seeing if the relationship can be salvaged than to just end the relationship. However, if the friend is an acquaintance, or is hostile and makes you feel bad about yourself, then your healthy decision might be to move on. It's all about what's doing right for you, but don't be so selfish that you don't consider the other person.

Advice on Friendship

Deciding to End the Friendship in Person, or Via Other Channels

When you've decided to end a friendship with an irritating friend, also consider how you will address the situation--don't just jump into a conversation without thinking. Otherwise, you may have the discussion in a less than opportune place (a crowded bar, for instance) or be talked into remaining in the friendship.

If the friend is an old friend or one with whom you have a lot of personal history, you at least owe the person a conversation--either in person or on the phone. A text, an email, or another sort of written message is too impersonal and will leave them feeling even more hurt (and really, you should never do something like that via text).

If the friend is an acquaintance or someone with whom you haven't been close in a while, then an email or a letter is probably appropriate. The person may still want to call and discuss it with you, so decide beforehand if you will be willing to have that conversation.

Ending a Friendship Gracefully

The Conversation That Ends the Friendship

Breaking up with someone is hard and awkward--and ending a friendship can be even worse than that. So, think about exactly what you will say beforehand and consider any possible scenarios that might arise. If you've decided to move on from an irritating friendship and will be telling the friend in person, the friend may become angry, very sad, or try to convince you to stay in the friendship.

Start the conversation by saying you value the time you've spent together and the support the friend has given you; then say you're sorry but don't have the time or energy for the friendship anymore. Point out how you've grown apart, have little in common, etc. Don't make the conversation about the other person's failings or catalogue their flaws--that's hurtful and unnecessary. While it is appropriate to tell the other person you don't feel like your relationship is healthy for you, don't go into too much detail or get accusatory.

Stay calm, repeat yourself if necessary, and be firm about why you are ending the friendship--for yourself, to be the healthiest and happiest person you can be.

Coping with Emotions After Ending an Irritating Friendship

After you've ended a friendship with someone you've found irritating, you will likely feel a mixture of guilt and relief--guilt that you've hurt another person, and relief that you no longer have to deal with him or her.

Instead of wallowing in guilt and perhaps feeling bad about yourself, remind yourself that friends are supposed to be a source of support and kindness, and that you are supposed to leave social interactions feeling happy and grateful for the loved ones in your life. If you made a choice that will result in more happiness and peace in the long run, there's nothing to feel guilty about.

Focus on the friendships that sustain you and help you be the best, happiest person you can be--and move on from the rest.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)