How to Separate Yourself From a Friend You've Outgrown

Some friendships aren't built to last forever.

As you grow and change, you might start to realize that you're just not on the same page as some of your pals. It's not that anything is necessarily wrong with your friendship—it's just that you've slowly developed different tastes and interests, which leaves you with very little in common. And when you're simply not into the same things, it's hard to maintain a healthy and productive relationship.

However, what if you've realized your friendship has run its course, but your pal has yet to come to the same conclusion? Keep scrolling for our best tips on how to separate from a friend you've outgrown.

Minimize Your Interactions

The best way to communicate to your pal that you're pulling away from your friendship is to simply minimize your interactions. You don't have to ignore them completely or act in a way that's blatantly rude, but you can pull back and bit and therefore speed up the natural process of fading out your relationship. Responding to their texts less frequently, ceasing your efforts to seek them out at school and eliminating them from certain plans will all subtly communicate that you're not quite invested in your friendship as you once were.

Gossip Girl: Blair and Serena in an elevator

(Gossip Girl via The CW)

 

Make New Connections

If you're going to let go of an important friendship, it's always nice to have new pals on the back-burner. In fact, your new friends might be the reason you've outgrown an old pal. Either way, make an effort to seek out your new connections and develop those relationships. It will give you a place to focus your social time and attention, and it will also show your friend that you're moving on. Actions speak louder than words, so your pal might need to see you spending time with your new friends in order to understand that your friendship just isn't what it should be.

 

Point Out Your Differences

If your pal isn't ready to let go of your friendship, it's likely because they haven't picked up on the subtle markers of your incompatibility in the same way you have. The natural solution, then, is to help them along in their understanding of your relationship. When the two of you are hanging out together, make a concentrated effort to point out all your differences. Try not to be too blunt, as it can easily come across as rude or condescending, but casually bring up all the different interests and values you've both been pursuing lately. Your efforts might go right over their head, or they might act as the push your pal needs to realize your friendship isn't the best thing for either of you.

Clueless: Tai staring at Cher

(Clueless via Paramount Pictures)

 

Push Them Towards Other Pals

While you're making new connections, it can also be helpful to push your friend towards other pals, as well. Oftentimes outgrowing a friend doesn't come with any bitterness or resentment, so you probably still want the best for them. Try encouraging them to pursue new relationships and forge new connections. Not only will you ensure that they have people to support them when you succeed in pulling away, but you'll also delicately communicate that you're not as interested in spending time with them—hence, your encouragement to find a new crew to hang with.

 

Be Honest, But Kind

All the above advice focuses on letting your friendship fade out, saving you from truly addressing the problem. However, if you want a more direct approach, there's nothing wrong with sitting your friend down and telling them exactly how you feel. You don't need to list all the ways that you're no longer compatible or make them feel ridiculous for investing so much in your relationship, but you can gently communicate to them that you just don't think your friendship is the best thing for either of you. Having a blunt conversation about your feelings is guaranteed to be more difficult, but it might give you and your pal the closure you need to move on.

 

Now you've ended the friendship, but how do you actually go about moving on? Click HERE for how to cope with the end of a friendship.