5 Tricks to Ditching a Bad Friend

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We’ve all had that “friend” who zings you with insults passed off as jokes every time you see her. Over it already? Learn how to leave her without ruining your nice-girl rep.

Make sure you're sure. Things will get uncomfortable, so make sure that you're up for it – and not throwing away a good friendship that's just hit a rough patch. “Ask yourself: Are most of your interactions negative?" says psychotherapist Rhonda Richards-Smith. “Do you find yourself avoiding this person? Do you suspect this person does not have your best interests at heart? If the answer is yes, then it may be time accept that the friendship has run its course."

Have the talk (or don't). “If you thought of this person as a true friend, versus just an acquaintance, then the breakup should be in the flesh or on the phone," says Constance Dunn, a communication and etiquette expert. If the frenemy is a casual friend, or someone too unstable to handle a frank talk, then a slow disconnect might be the kinder route.

Disengage. Quietly remove her from your world, including your social networks (hello, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!). If mutual friends start to pry, simply say that you had some differences in opinion with her and leave it at that, recommends Jane Greer, a marriage and family therapist.

Speak no evil. You're disengaging, remember? So, resist the urge to gossip about her to your friends in common, says Nicole Zangara, author of Surviving Female Friendships: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It might feel good in the moment to get it off your chest, but ultimately it comes off as cruel, and could make your friends feel put in the middle. “If you hear she's bad-mouthing you, rise above her behavior and let it go," she adds.

Focus on true friends. “We spend so much more time and effort on our broken and toxic relationships than on our healthy ones," says psychologist Ramani Durvasula. So take all that mental energy you were burning being pissed at a bad friend, and refocus it on the people who cheer you on -- and be their cheerleader right back.