No matter how much we don’t want to admit it, we all depend on other people. There is a reason why the isolation chamber is a punishment in prison. Human interaction is essential to mental health and well being. The only problem is, we are so dependent on social interaction that sometimes we allow people in our lives who aren’t good for us.

When you feel like someone is your friend it’s hard to see past all of the ways that they use and hurt you. Here’s the truth — real friends don’t make you compromise your values. Real friends don’t drop you when you stand up for something. Real friends don’t base their friendships on what you can do for them. Real friends stay your friend unconditionally.

If you have a friend that has done any of the above you need them out of your life. I know it’s hard.  Friendship is an important part of our lives. You may not feel like you have any other friends. That’s okay. It’s better to go without friends for a little while than to have a friend who does nothing but use you.

Here are a few tips for breaking off that damaging relationship.


Learn to Say ‘No’

This is the hardest part of breaking off a damaging relationship. You’ve bent to your friends will for so long you’re not sure you can stand up to them. But it’s time they know. You won’t put up with their controlling behavior any longer. When they ask you for a favor, you need to say no. You need to tell them that you are not just their slave but a real person with real feelings. It will be hard. They will be rude to you. You may even shed a few tears, but it will be the right thing to do and worth the price of losing that friend. It’s time to stop cowering in the corner and time to start being your own person with your own set of beliefs. Say no and see if it doesn’t change your life.


Find a Hobby

Wait a second. Back up the train. We were talking about breaking off bad relationships not looking for something else to add to our lives. I know, but the best way to break off old friendships is to find new friends. My hobby is writing. Not only do I enjoy making up intricate stories, but I have gain a lot of good friendships from it.

Think writing is a lonely occupation? Think again. I have a local writing group that meets once a month. There’s also a local critique group that meets once a month.  There is a writers conference for every day of the year if you want to or can afford to go. There’s an infinite amount of writers on twitter you can chat with. Not to mention other handy websites like and Agent Query Connect.

The point is, friends can be found anywhere. Find something you’re interested in, start doing it and it won’t be long until you find friends with the same interest.


No matter what you decide to do, don’t put up with people who use you any longer. Take a breath, think it through and be strong enough to be your own person. Just think of how proud you will be in a few years when you end up more successful in life than them. It’s worth the price, don’t wait any longer.

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