I like to think of friends as the family we chose for ourselves. So what do you do when a member of your chosen family treats you badly? You've tried talking. You've tried listening. You've even tried pretending their behaviour doesn't bother you but it really, really does. Soon enough you start dodging their calls, cancelling plans and moaning about them to your mutual friends. Basically you start acting like a tool. The relationship has now reached hostile territory. Friend, it's time to break up.
In my experience, I have found most people are reluctant to actively break up a bad friendship. We prefer to let friendships fade out, we let life get in the way and do the dirty work for us. We move house/school/job and just 'forget' to keep in touch. I've been guilty of this. I moved to a different city and deleted my Facebook. I wouldn't recommend doing this, as do it more than once and people will think you are a serial killer.
The 'life got in the way fade out' option although effective is pretty cowardly and always leaves you feeling guilty. It also doesn't prepare you for those awkward bumping into each other moments. You can always tell when people bump into friends they've ditched. They spend far too long hugging and air kissing because they are trying to figure out an excuse for why they can't grab a coffee. I've also found that as you get older there are less opportunities for life to get in the way. You aren't leaving town any time soon so you might as well put on your big girl pants and deal with your failing friendship.
Talk to your friend. It's as simple as that. When I say talk. I mean TALK. Lay it all out, be real and be honest. Tell them how you feel about the nature of your relationship. Tell them why you no longer enjoy their company. For all you know, it's all been a matter of miscommunication and you can patch things up. They might not have realised they were being awful to you and perhaps they have some stuff going on that you've been insensitive to.
In an ideal world, you'd make up and go back to giggling and stuff. However this might not be the case. You guys might just not be good for each other and your lives are going in different irreconcilable directions. You don't respect their life decisions and they don't respect yours. There's been too much hurt and clearly no going back so you have to end it. How, you ask?
I don't think we should be friends anymore. Just say it and be free. This might seem brutal but it's significantly less offensive than just ignoring someone and hoping they go away. It's also so much better than pretending to be their friend and secretly loathing them. This way everyone knows where they stand. Your ex friend is now free to find other people that would appreciate those quirks that you found so infuriating. Bumping into them will most likely still be awkward, but hey it's a break up!
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