Note: This post contains mentions of abuse.
The people you surround yourself with have a major impact on your life, and when you notice that a friend’s influence isn't positive, it’s best to end the relationship and move forward.
That being said, it could take time to recognize that a friendship has to stop, and there may be a final straw leading to this conclusion. I recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell me why and how they cut ties with a toxic best friend of theirs. Here are some of the responses people submitted:
1. "I stopped contact when I wasn’t invited to my 'best' friend's daughter's first birthday. This was the friend who I’d arranged the baby shower for, but it got canceled due to COVID. However, some of her other friends decided to do a baby shower anyway and didn’t invite me."
"She didn’t think to invite me at all, not even to video call me while it was going on. Australia (Melbourne specifically) had super strict COVID rules, so I couldn’t have gone in person, but not even a video call? When the invite to the first birthday never came, even though she insisted 'she meant to invite me,' I cut ties. No regrets either. Too much drama there."
2. "My former best friend moved to my hometown during the pandemic because we all went to telework. She was super happy when I broke up with my boyfriend because then she would have me all to herself."
"I ended up meeting the man I married shortly after that and got married fairly quickly. My best friend was against it because she didn’t like that he was an immigrant and thought we were rushing into it so he could stay in the country. I told her thank you for her input, but we are adults and can make our own decisions. She then told me that she couldn’t be my friend anymore because of it. Now, I have to see her all the time in my town. I completely ignore her."
3. "I was friends with her for, like, 10 years, and we both had done so much together and been through good and bad times."
"Her sister moved close to me, like almost next door. So, I started hanging out with her sister a little more just because of how close she was. She literally got so jealous and told me I had to choose between her and her sister. I told her that this was childish, but she wouldn't hear it. I haven't talked to her for a couple years, and there's so much less drama in my life now. Now, her sister is my best friend."
4. "I constantly felt like I was the one who always called, texted, and made plans to hang out. And when I finally stopped, this person calls me to ask why I’m drifting away. It just didn’t make sense to me to be the one who constantly initiated everything."
"Another close friend of mine would ask me to come over and discuss a ‘work favor.’ As a friend I thought, 'Why not? That’s what friends are for.' She kept wanting to hang out until that favor was done, and then nothing. Even when I text her, it’s very vague replies. I always thought friendship is a two-way street. I’m 33 now, and it makes me feel so lonely and scared — scared because I heard how hard it is to make friends after your 20s. I love having my girls around, but not at the cost of me forcing the friendship and ruining my mental peace."
5. "I was going through a pretty tough time mentally, and I needed someone to talk to. I would try and get in contact with her with no reply. When I confronted her about it, she said I was acting like her boyfriend and not her best friend. I cut all contact. She reached out to me YEARS later to try and patch things up, but it will never be like it was."
6. "We’d been friends since junior high, and she had never been pleasant but was funny in a mischievous way. She hated enthusiasm, and I’m easily excitable, so I was never cool enough for her — no one in our group was."
"Finally, in our 20s, I realized she was always fighting with one of us but never all of us. This makes it *really hard* to cut ties! Finally, after she came to visit, she left me with the bar tabs (which I could not afford), called her BOYFRIEND while she was married to our friend, and spilled wine on my cat and every surface of my studio apartment. I decided I didn’t care if everyone else was friendly with her; she was siphoning my happiness. My plan was to tell her when she called to apologize for ruining the weekend. She never did, so I never told her; I just didn’t reply to texts. We see each other at weddings occasionally. I say hello, ask how she is, and dance on the other side of the floor."
7. "Phew, where do I start?! They constantly made plans for sleepovers while knowing I wasn't allowed (nor felt comfortable) with sleepovers, and any alternatives to hang out were always declined. Three of us, including me, had birthdays in September (me in the middle). They didn't want to celebrate mine due to exams, yet the other September birthdays were celebrated. They lied about being busy on my Sweet 16 (studying), and I found out they got drunk and posted pics online. Still, they said it was a 'last-minute plan' and that they knew I don't drink, so they didn't invite me."
"I announced I was moving away a week before my actual move, and they pretended to care but didn't say much other than hug me. They never kept in contact with me, but I see they still hang out. My place is less than an hour's drive but 'too far' to visit, yet they went on holidays abroad."
8. "I was best friends with someone from my conservative school from fifth grade through my early 20s. I became more liberal as I got older and ended up marrying a Black guy."
"The first thing she did was go on 'missionary work' that the church and other Christians, including myself and my parents, donated to. This 'mission work' was her studying the Bible in the Swiss Alps and across Europe. We were basically funding her vacations. The final straw was when she started reposting Candace Owens crap during BLM protests. As someone who has a mixed family, it was so hurtful. It sucked to have 10-plus years of friendship gone. But I don’t regret it."
9. "It was the most toxic relationship I've ever experienced, and that's saying a lot. She controlled me in every sense of the word, and emotional abuse was her happy place."
"I was working for her at this company where she was my immediate boss at the time, and I had been there for about four years. Once I began working for her, the level of control she had over my life doubled; she was completely intertwined with everything, even my livelihood, and she took advantage of that at every possible moment. The worst part was that she showed everyone else a completely different persona, so speaking up about it felt impossible. One day at work, after a particularly bad six months with her literally bullying me at every moment she could, I'd had enough. My body and mind couldn't take it anymore.
I gathered all of my things and quit on the spot, walked out while she was in a meeting and never looked back. She texted me later that day, saying horrible, vile things, and it hurt, but I was free. The first necessary step to repairing my life was pushing that horrible woman away. It's been almost 10 years, and I've never been more sure about a decision in my life."
10. "So, I met her online on an app, and we were (online) best friends for about four years. Slowly, she started to be judgmental about me and my lifestyle. I was on a diet and losing weight; she was triggered and said to never tell her about it. I understand triggers, so I stopped telling her. I had a friends with benefits who flaked sometimes, and she said I was dumb for still seeing him — OK, rude, but whatever. I wanted to chat, and she ignored me — fine. Much more happened, but the breaking point:"
"One day she called saying she had trouble with her kitten. For the record, I don't like cats. But I loathe people who abuse cats. The whole phone call was her SCREAMING at the kitten for just existing in the same room. She wouldn't listen to anything I said. She just kept screaming at the poor kitten. After the call, I decided I couldn't be friends with someone who treats animals like that. I dropped her so fast.
I can only hope the kitten's OK. For those curious, the reason she had a problem with the kitten was because it stopped using the litter box. It was maybe a few months old at the time."
11. "My former best friend began dating a very insecure girl who did not like that he was close to another female. She began a campaign of negativity against me, twisting my words, assigning bad motives to my actions, and doing everything she could to undermine our friendship."
"She mined him for personal information about me and then weaponized some of that info against me. He couldn't see that he was being manipulated by her, and he ended the friendship. When I emailed him in the months following to let him know that my friendship was still there for him if he needed it, she encouraged him to get a no contact order against me. I can only hope one day he realizes how malicious, dishonest, and controlling she is."
—Anonymous, 46, North Carolina
12. "My former best friend has been anti-vaccine for as long as I’ve known her. It was always a point of contention, but I just chalked it up to differing viewpoints. Once the pandemic hit, she got even worse with her views and actually showed up to support the trucker convoy."
"She refused to get vaccinated and bitched about wearing a mask (she’s a teacher). The final straw was when she compared federal vaccine mandates to the Holocaust and racial segregation. I couldn’t be friends with someone who had and shared antisemitic and racist views. I blocked her on social media and haven’t spoken to her in over two years."
13. "I was never a priority. Even though we considered each other best friends for 10 years, there was always someone or something else that took precedence. Things came to a head when she told me I’d be in her wedding and then asked another friend to be in it instead."
"I had to find out on Facebook when all the bridesmaids posted their invites to being in the wedding party. We made up after that, but what finally made me realize things would never change was when we made plans to hang out on New Year’s Eve a few months later, and then she never followed up but went to hang out with that same friend again. I never expected her to not have other friends, but after I prioritized her always, I thought things would be reciprocated a little. Ending our friendship helped me focus on relationships where I was valued and appreciated."
14. "About 10-ish years ago, I started hanging out with a coworker, and we became fast BFFs. We texted every day and hung out a few nights a week. Over time and after some various incidents, I realized how emotionally immature and selfish she was. I was always there for her, but whenever I needed emotional support, she was nowhere to be found and full of excuses if I called her out."
"She got into a really expensive hobby and got mad when I didn't have the funds nor energy to participate with her. And to top it off, I had feelings for a friend at the time, which she damn well knew about, and she slept with him after we all went out one night.
She eventually found yet another boyfriend and started investing all her time and energy into him, and I began drifting away, communicating less and less until we basically just stopped talking entirely. I miss her sometimes, but it was definitely for the best."
15. "For me it wasn't one big thing, but the culmination of several small but damaging things, like when she wouldn't stop accusing me of stealing her stuff, including a book she gave to me and wrote an inscription in the front of (this was the only way I could convince her I didn't steal it)."
"She also used to talk up her other friends' qualities to me that I didn't have and would tell me how I wasn't doing enough with my life even though I was in grad school full time and working a part-time job. I started noticing how I always felt bad around her, like I couldn't measure up to her standards. After that, I cut off contact."
16. "My ex-bestie (of 50-plus years) and I stopped talking when she didn’t show up to my immediate family member's funeral. I knew she had a 'thing' about attending funerals, and I respected that. What I didn’t respect was the fact that she wasn’t waiting for me outside the funeral home or at the wake. I needed her, and she was well aware."
"This was just icing on the cake after she spoke ill to my adult children about MY past and also told a third party about a very private situation I was in. She shared this private info and even changed the info to make me look worse. I was done, and I don’t miss her at all. Sometimes, the trash takes itself out."
—Anonymous, 65, Ontario
17. "We were best friends since we were 3 years old and went through major, significant life events together. I moved abroad in 2014 but made a huge effort to see her every time I flew home (she was always one of the first to know my flight details and make plans with me). She had her first child in 2017; nothing changed on my part. I still made the same effort, if not more, to spend time with them both. She then had another child. I had my first baby just before lockdown and have flown home six times since he was born. She managed to meet him once for 10 minutes because that’s all she could spare me."
"It got to the stage where trying to see her or make plans was like pulling teeth, and everyone could see it but me. The final nail in the coffin was her insisting that I attend three separate hen events for her wedding and attend the wedding regardless of whether I was heavily pregnant or with a newborn. After 27 years of friendship, I just had to walk away and accept that we’d grown apart."
18. "We had been drifting apart for a while — it was really feeling like I was putting all the effort in and getting nothing in return. The breaking point came when I had been in a nasty car accident earlier in the week. When I saw her at sport on the weekend, I mentioned to a teammate I was nervous about my back 'cause of the accident."
"She piped up, 'Oh yeah, I heard about that!' Hadn't messaged/called/bothered in any way to check in with me to see if I was OK. It was a moment when I realized she really didn't care about me and that I was really, finally done."
—Anonymous, 35, Melbourne
19. "I reconnected with a guy I went to school with. We became good friends quickly and hung out all the time. I made it clear that I just wanted friendship with him 'cause he told me he had a thing for me. At first he was cool, but every now and again, he'd send me random gifts and flowers — one time to my work! I told him it was out of order because we are not in a relationship, and it made things weird. Again, he backed off for a while."
"The last time we spoke, he had come to meet me after work for a drink. Everything was OK, but he started saying something about me messaging a guy. Apparently, he knows someone who knows someone else, who told him I was chatting to a guy. I was shocked; again, it was none of his business who I spoke to — we were NOT together. He then pulled out the nice guy card, said he had done so much for me (I never asked him for a thing), and I don't fancy him. He insinuated that I owed him.
I was fuming by this point. The last thing he said before stomping off was, 'I hope you remember this one day.' Oh, I did. I immediately deleted his number, ignored every message he sent trying to apologize, and ended up blocking him on every platform. It's been nearly a year since I've seen or spoken to him, but I don't miss him at all. He just would not respect my wishes or feelings, and it felt like our entire friendship was a lie."
20. "Not sure who exactly cut ties with whom first. After 15 years or so of checking in and reaching out, at first consistently and then sporadically, I just gave up. We were once 'true blue' pals from the preteen years on, but after going to separate universities after college, she always had an excuse to not write, message, call, or visit. Then, I would find out she did have time for other friends."
"She missed most of my big life milestones and painful moments since. For some reason, I still put her in my wedding and thought we'd turned over a new leaf, but she phased right back out of my life and knows none of my children. Turns out, I over-prioritized this person most of my life and had a hugely unhealthy dependency on that friendship.
Sure, it is a little sad to think we didn't stay 'true blue friends,' but I've built new friendships, the best of which is with my spouse, and in the end, it feels so much more rewarding to not waste the energy reaching out. I still wish her well!"
21. "Best friends for nearly 40 years. She acted entitled and loved offering her 'parenting advice' although she didn't have any children of her own. Apparently, taking some psychology classes made her an expert. She turned into an ungrateful bridezilla when she got married AND tried to get me to pay for a baby shower that SHE wanted to throw for one of my kids even though I was across the country. At that point, I was done."
22. "I was dating my boyfriend of two years who told me that we couldn’t sleep together due to his religious beliefs, and I respected that. I found out he was, in fact, sleeping with my best friend of 16 years for the past year of our relationship by seeing dirty texts from him on her phone. I immediately cut her out of my life, and I’ve never looked back."
—Anonymous, 31, USA
23. "We were best friends since seventh grade and went through a lot together. She got married at 19, and her husband did not like me. He felt like I was a 'bad influence.' I never knew why until I found out he heard stories about me that were really about her."
"She never took accountability for the lies about me; he was disrespectful to me because of it, and she never defended me or clarified that it was her. Her image was more important than our friendship. That was the ultimate breaking point for me."
—Anonymous, 23, Houston, TX
24. Lastly: "I met my former good friend in beauty school. We started hanging out outside of school: going to clubs, shopping, hanging out at each other’s houses, etc. She was fun to hang out with until I noticed how self-centered she was. If I was talking about an issue I had, she would make it about her. Anytime we went out to the store, she swore every man was checking her out. Every conversation was about her."
"I worked nights at a warehouse at the time and would go to beauty school Saturday mornings with no sleep in between sometimes, and taking her home after school turned into driving her around to run her errands. She didn’t care if I was operating off no sleep because it was always about her. When she decided to drop out of beauty school, I took that as my cue to drop her, period. It was exhausting to be her friend."
—Kay, 31, Texas
Why did you choose to cut ties with a best friend? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.