By Maan de Vera
Repeat after us: friendship breakups are real breakups. And just like ending things up with your S.O., a difficult aftermath to deal with is your mutual friends. If you feel like the only way to cut ties with a toxic friend is to leave behind the rest of the gang as well, then think again.
This may not be a walk in the park, but here is how you can gracefully FO someone when you belong in the same barkada.
1. Don’t expect your other friends to take sides.
Choosing to part ways with your ex-friend shouldn’t turn into a popularity contest. On the other hand, you also need to accept that your squad will be affected by this, and, sadly, you may lose them as well. No matter how tough this may seem, don’t rally people on your side when they ask you for your version of the story.
2. Vent, don’t trash talk.
Tell them the truth: what really happened and how you truly felt. Don’t try to make yourself look good and the other person look bad. While it’s tempting to throw shade and tarnish the reputation of your ex-friend, it’s 100% better to be the bigger person by simply expressing yourself without any agenda.
3. Don't go MIA.
Ending your friendship with one person doesn’t mean that you should also cut off all of you mutual friends. If you want to, you can go ahead and try to enjoy the same social circle, but you just need to accept the reality that this means that you’ll might see your ex-friend around.
4. Stay civil.
Keep in mind that being in the same place with you ex-friend doesn’t require you to pretend like nothing is wrong. It only means that you value the company of your other friends, and you are willing to set your feud with one person aside for this.
5. Draw your boundaries.
Remember that while acting graceful in your friendship fallout depends on you, your friends should also respect your boundaries. Don’t let them play mediator if you’re not comfortable. Don’t allow them to use your situation as a punchline when you’re not okay with it. More importantly, don’t forget that you don’t have to mend things with your ex-friend until you’re ready.
Calling it quits with a friend is not an easy thing to do, but there are times when you just have to face it head on if you know that it’s the right thing for you. Will it be tough? Definitely. Do you have to face it alone? Nope. You can still lean on the rest of your barkada as long as they respect and understand you.
ALSO READ: In Focus: 6 Ugly Friendship Truths That You’ll Learn The Hard Way