Personal Relationship
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Dear Jade,

I'm trying to end what I feel is a toxic friendship. It didn't start out that way but I realize now that it's not worth my time and energy to keep this friendship going. My problem is how do I end it and still keep our mutual friends. I don't want to turn them against her but I don't want them to turn against me either. How do I not lose my whole social circle but get rid of this one person?

Lisa



HE SAID:

Dear Lisa:

Toxic people are problematic in any relationship. The fact that you need to worry about her turning against you is an issue suggesting that she may not be stable in her own personal life. Mental health problems, substance abuse, and depression could be factors where symptoms are beginning to manifest in her behavior. You should not avoid her completely because you may trigger something worse. Always have a mutual friend with you when she is around. Hopefully, others in your social circle share the same sentiment and can help her as a group.

SHE SAID:

Dear Lisa:

If you haven't already, I believe the first thing you should do is talk to your friend about how you feel the friendship has changed. In talking to your friend, you should listen to his/her side and and listening to their side will help determine if the friendship is worth rescuing or if it's really time end the friendship.

If you have and nothing has changed, then you're best bet is to phase him/her out. You should also talk to a few of the closest friends you have in the same circle and just let them know you're having difficulties with this one friend. You shouldn't bad-mouth the person, but you should also let them know that it hasn't been working out with him/her and you're slowing extricating yourself.

BUT MAMA SAID:

Dear Lisa:

There's never an easy way to end a friendship without losing one or two others within your circle along with it.

If this friendship is toxic, it is probably time to end it. You don't say whether you have spoken to this toxic friend about your relationship but assuming you did and it didn't help, I would recommend slowly removing her from your life by not including her in social gatherings and being cordial but not overly friendly at the social events.

As far as people within your circle, if they are truly your friends, they will understand. Some might have already realized that this person is also toxic. Those friends who do side with your toxic friend are probably not people you want to be friends with in the long run.

Life is too short to waste time on people who are bad for you or that you just don't like.
SEPT+OCT 2015

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