How to Heal from a Toxic Friendship

Friends who lure you into bad behavior are toxic.
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The end of a friendship can be painful and confusing. After all, you became friends with this person for a reason and probably shared some good times together. But when a friendship becomes toxic, moving on is the healthiest and best path forward and will help you feel better in the long run. The WebMD article "Toxic Friends: Less Friend, More Foe" states that friendships permeate our lives, impacting our careers, marriages, families, children and health. Detecting toxic friendships and learning how to let them go is essential to a happy life.

1 Remember the Truth

When mourning the loss of a relationship, it's easy to remember the good times and to wonder if you made the right decision to end the relationship. Friendships can become so comfortable that it's hard to let them go. "Like denim, it’s easy to get used to a pal who doesn’t fit you like she should," explains Holly Eagleson in the "Cosmopolitan" article "Signs You Need to Dump a Pal." The reality is, toxic behavior won't benefit you and it weakens the foundation of a friendship. The first step to healing is acknowledging the truth. Review the problems that existed in the relationship and remind yourself why you're no longer friends. Trust that you parted from this person for a good reason.

2 Focus on You

Now that you have severed ties with your toxic friend and accepted the importance of moving on, take some time to focus on yourself. Do things that help you relax or make you feel good. Nurture yourself. Swim, jog, paint, watch a favorite movie or get a massage. Separate from the negativity of that friendship by doing positive things for yourself.

3 Distract Yourself

Find things to do. There is no better way to move on from a loss than to distract yourself and stay busy. Spend time with family members and other friends. Think of activities you've always wanted to try. Take up a new hobby. Join a book club or local sports team or take a cooking class. Staying occupied will prevent you from dwelling on the loss of the friendship and from constantly reviewing the experience in your mind.

4 Make New Friends

One of the best ways to heal from a toxic friendship is to make new friends who bring happiness to your life. Seek out people with similar interests who make you feel good about yourself. Attend community events or spend time with other friends who can introduce you to new people. Psychology Today recommends being a little pushy -- if you meet someone you want to be friends with, don't be shy. Extend invitations.

Rachel Pancare taught elementary school for seven years before moving into the K-12 publishing industry. Pancare holds a Master of Science in childhood education from Bank Street College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Skidmore College.