How to handle an ex-friend who is in your same group

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How to Deal With an Ex Best Friend

Three Parts:

Ending a relationship with your best friend is sometimes harder than ending a relationship with a lover or family member. Your best friends know you inside and out, and you often spend more time with them than anyone else. When these friendships fall apart, you will have to let it go, be mature about the situation, and learn to interact around your former best friend. Learning to deal with your ex best friend will not be easy, but it is necessary to move on and let yourself be happy.


Letting Go of the Friendship

  1. Find closure.When your friendship ends, it's important that you accept that and resolve your feelings. Write a letter to your friend expressing all of your feelings (you don’t have to send it to them), or create a ritual to symbolize the end of the friendship. To be happy, you will need to acknowledge the your feelings, process them, and move on to the next stage of your life.
    • Write about how the friendship started off great, but then went downhill. Explain what ended the friendship, how it made you feel, and clearly state that it's over.
    • For a ritual, take a meaningful item that your friend gave you and bury it, burn it, or throw it away.
  2. Let yourself be happy.Start with small changes like eating well. Try to avoid venting your anger too much or too often. Do things that you enjoy doing, and allow yourself to do thoughtful things for someone else. This can be daunting, but you have to push through because happiness is largely in your control.
    • Go watch movies that you like, eat at your favorite restaurants, and try new things to see what makes you happiest.
    • Don't be afraid to seek comfort in other people. Spend time with other friends or close family members.
  3. Plan for future encounters.There are many reasons that you might end your friendship, but it is possible that your ex best friend will want to rekindle it later on. If you are caught off guard, you might regret the decision you make. Think about what you will say to your ex best friend if they ever mention being friends again.
    • Practice saying something like “I am flattered that you want to be my friend again, but I think it’s best we don’t go there,” in front of the mirror.
    • Apply this to social media as well by declining any friend requests. You could send a private message with a similar statement.

Dealing With Your Ex Best Friend’s Drama

  1. Ignore what your ex best friend says about you.You will probably be hurt by what your friend says about you, even if they stick to the truth. The key to dealing with this kind of drama, though, is to ignore it. If you decide to “set the record straight” you will be playing into a vicious friend feud that can go on for a long time.
    • "Setting the record straight" can jeopardize your other friendships and keep you from moving on.
    • For example, if your ex friend spreads rumors about you at school, ignore them. Don't spread bad things about them in retaliation.
  2. Leave other friends out of the feud.Nobody wants to pick sides. It isn’t fair to ask your mutual friends to do so. Avoid gossiping about your ex best friend, especially with mutual friends. You should also refrain from sending any messages back and forth between mutual friends.
    • Never say things to your friends like “Next time you see them, tell them I said that they are a liar!”
    • This mostly goes for mutual friends, but it also applies friends who attend the same school. Any gossip or rumors may find their way back to your ex friend.
  3. Set boundaries for yourself.Avoid talking to your former friend. Distance yourself from the things that you used to do together, and change any routines that heavily involved your former friend.
    • There will be instances where you and your former friend have to co-exist, but limit contact with them as much as possible.
    • If this friend is from school, you could explain the situation to your teacher. Tell them that pairing you for projects may keep you from doing a good job.
  4. Pretend it doesn’t bother you.Most nasty comments or rude gestures are done to get a reaction out of you. If you don’t give them a reaction, your ex friend will leave you alone much faster. Stay positive by realizing that what your ex best friend says about you doesn’t actually define you.
    • You should also allow yourself to feel good for ignoring the immaturity and letting the situation go.
    • Don't retaliate if your ex best friend leaves a nasty note. Just throw the note away and go on about your day. Try not to be upset.

Interacting With Your Ex Best Friend in Public

  1. Try to be polite.You are likely to run into your ex best friend again sometime. When this happens, you need to be calm and collected. If you can avoid talking altogether, that’s great. If not, say hello, and be polite.
    • If you see your old friend at a party and they ask how you have been, respond with something like “I’ve been doing well. I hope you are well, too.”
    • If you run into your former friend at a school event, just acknowledge them and keep going on your way.
  2. Keep it short.Being polite does not mean that you have to entertain your ex best friend for a long period of time. Answer any questions briefly, if you are comfortable answering them at all. Avoid asking questions; they only invite more conversation.
    • Be polite if they try to start a casual conversation. For example, if they ask about your mom, say something like “My mom is doing well, thanks."
    • The key here is not to add anything that might continue the conversation, such as "I hope your parents are well," or "How is your mom?"
  3. Leave no room for misinterpretation.If you have no interest in rekindling your friendship, do not be too accommodating. Be polite in the moment, and leave that moment with closure. If you make it appear as though you miss your ex best friend that opens to the door to starting the friendship and/or fight back up.
    • You don't have to say “It’s great to see you,” or “See you again soon.” This will give them false hope for reigniting the friendship.
    • End the conversation with something like “I’m glad you're doing well, but if you’ll excuse me, I need to go talk to my date (or any other person you can think of). Goodbye.”

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What should you do if your best friends are still friends with your former friend?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Leave your friends out of the feud. They have the right to be friends with both you and your former friend. Enjoy the time you spend with them, and avoid talking about the former friend altogether.
  • Question
    My ex-friend is trying to steal all my other friends. What should I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Avoid talking badly about your ex-friend. This will only make things worse. Instead, make sure to spend plenty of time with your friends, and they will appreciate the effort you make for them.
  • Question
    What if you have a friend that said that they hate you, but you still want to be their friend.
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sometimes, it is best to know when to let a friendship go. If this person does not want to be your friend, or is toxic for you to be around, you should end the friendship. This will free you up to seek out friends that will appreciate you more.
Ask a Question
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  • Being happy is the best form of revenge against a vengeful ex friend.
  • Make sure to ignore them if they are trying to hurt you feelings. If you don't and try to argue, it just causes so much more drama.

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