Give the Gift of Thank You — and Good-Bye: Bowing Out of a Friendship

Walk away from a friendship with honor: say thank you...and good-bye.

Walk away from a friendship with honor: say thank you…and good-bye.

It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it hurts.

You know, the day when you realize your friend isn’t coming back without her ever telling you anything.

Before that moment of clarity, you spin the wheels in your head wondering what happened or what you did or what could have gone through her mind to ignore your calls and find ways to avoid meeting up. With some, you even call to inquire only to be met with “I’m just tired” or the ultra-standard “Nothing, everything is fine.”

Well, if you are the one who wants out, put on your big-girl panties and exit with honor. It may seem like a really scary thing to do, but once you do it you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Know that by standing up like this, you will give your former friend closure and a true chance to move on without remaining hurt. And for yourself, you gain a release from carrying the stress of just walking away. That’s O.K., you don’t have to admit that it is stressful, but just know that getting to the other side with honesty and respect for the person your friend still is feels amazing.

1. To walk away with honor, simply use the next inquiry from your former friend to make your honest and graceful exit. Start with: “Thank you for reaching out” or “Thanks for the invite to…”

2.  Then, take a big, deep breath and say, “Let me be honest and tell you why I’m going to pass on meeting up…”

3. Outline in objective (i.e. not catty or judgmental) terms how your friendship took a turn for you. “I find it stressful to have to …” or “We no longer have the same interests and….” Or “When you kept borrowing my clothes and returning them with stains, it makes me feel like I cannot trust you…”

4. Then, say thank you. “Please know that while we were friends, I am thankful for ….., so thank you.”

5. Finally, say good-bye. “…So if anything changes, I’ll give you a call. Until then, again thank you and good-bye.”

Why not just cut her loose without doing a thing instead of giving the gift of good-bye? Because it will haunt you in that karmic way in which only the universe can. Well, that and because it’s rude, and your momma taught you better. Plus, it feels better to be able to walk away with honor knowing that you gave your former friend the respect she continued to give to you.

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