How we end a friendship can be just as impactful as how we start one.
Knowing how to end a friendship peacefully requires looking at all the options. Do you want a quick ending or time for processing? Do you want to stay connected as acquaintances or have no contact? How do you want to feel when it’s over?
Healthy closure in a relationship differs from person to person. The important part is to decide what a peaceful ending to a friendship means to you and then consciously choose to create this. Answer the following questions as a way to gain insights.
~ What would a peaceful ending to the relationship look and feel like?
~ Are there any resentments you need to release?
~ Do you want to forgive your friend or do you need their forgiveness?
~ How do you want to feel and react if you bump into him or her at a public place?
Once you know how you want the end result to look and feel like, set your intention for this, and then explore your options for ending the friendship. Here are some suggestions from written, verbal, energetic and spiritual angles. See which ones resonate with you.
Write a letter. If you need time to process your thoughts, writing a letter to your friend might be the solution. Write a first draft where you let out all of your judgments and feelings. Once you’ve purged yourself this way, write a second, more thoughtful draft. Explain why the friendship isn’t working for you and how it affects you. Continue writing drafts until you have a letter that expresses your truth without judging and blaming your friend. When it feels complete, mail it to them if that is appropriate.
Send an email. If you want back and forth dialogue, but you don’t feel comfortable talking in person, sending an email might be the way to go. Write a draft email first to release any reactivity and then write a thoughtful one, keeping in mind your intention for a peaceful ending. If you get a response, process your emotions before you respond. Decide again, what outcome you want, and write from that perspective.
Telephone or meet in person. If writing a letter or sending an email doesn’t feel personal, talk to your friend on the phone or in person (writing a draft letter might be a good way to become clear before you talk in person). Communicate from your heart and soul as you share your thoughts and feelings about ending the friendship. Keep the focus more on yourself than on the other person.
Have a soul to soul communication. If it doesn’t feel appropriate to write or talk to your friend, you might find resolution by speaking to him or her on a higher, spiritual level. Close your eyes and center within your spiritual self. Imagine your friend sitting or standing a few feet away. Look past their physical appearance and connect with their soul. Share your thoughts and feelings from this perspective. Listen to what they have to say in return.
Pull your energy out of the friendship. Any type of relationship – with people, money, projects – has our energy invested in it, otherwise it wouldn’t flourish. Consciously choosing to end a friendship is one way of pulling your energy out of it. Another is to use a visualization technique where you close your eyes and create an image or symbol that represents the friendship. Notice the mood, tone and energy in this image. If you are sure you don’t want to be a part of it, pull your energy out of it and watch what happens to the image. Let go of the image and bring your energy back into your own space. This act on its own may dissolve the friendship without having to discuss it. As you go about the rest of your life, your friend may do the same and you both drift apart. Or it could trigger your friend to contact you to discuss the friendship if they are not ready to let it go.
Surrender your friendship. If you feel a spiritual connection to angels, God, Creator, or some other Divinity, surrender your friendship to this higher power. Ask this Source to either transform the relationship or help you to end the friendship peacefully. Then let go of the outcome and trust the process.
You might decide to use a combination approach such as writing a draft letter to process your thoughts and feelings, pulling your energy out of the relationship, sending an email and surrendering the outcome to the God of your heart. Use whatever process feels peaceful and appropriate to you.
If you have any questions or additional insights on how to end a friendship peacefully, please share below.