The 5 Best Ways to Confront a Toxic Friend

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What is the best way to confront a toxic friend? This question may seem odd, but it’s something that many people are asking. Friendships are valuable and worth fighting for. But what if your friend is bringing you down with negative comments and criticism? Or maybe they’re stealing from you or making rude remarks about your family members. It can be challenging to figure out how to handle this type of situation, which is why we’ve created this post.

1. Have A One-On-One Discussion

An excellent way to begin confronting a toxic friend is with an open, honest discussion. If they are your best friend or you value your relationship, then this person must know how their behavior makes you feel and why it bothers you so much. It can be difficult knowing where to start in these kinds of conversations, but you can say something like, “I’ve been feeling hurt lately by some of the things you have said or done. I don’t want to lose our friendship, but I need us to work on communicating better with each other.”

Be prepared for unexpected reactions during this conversation and know that they may deny doing anything wrong. Even if your friend is defensive, you must speak up and let them know how their words or actions made you feel. Don’t just talk about the bad things your friend has done. It can also be helpful to discuss what they do well as a way of reinforcing positive behavior.

If you’ve had this discussion before, but your friend continues to act in a toxic way, then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. If you’re afraid of confronting your friends head-on about their behavior, don’t worry. There are other ways that you can address this issue without directly talking with them about how they make you feel or what they’ve done wrong.

2. Go Back to the Basics of Your Friendship

There could be a reason why their behavior has been affecting you so deeply. Perhaps the friendship isn’t as healthy and balanced anymore, which can make it easy for your friend to take advantage of you or not respect your boundaries.

Maybe they’ve always had more control over the friendship while also being more emotionally unstable than you are. In this case, you may be more sensitive to their toxic behavior because the imbalance makes it difficult for you to communicate how they make you feel.

It’s possible that this person isn’t aware of how their words or actions affect your friendship, especially if they haven’t done anything like this before. Don’t automatically assume that they’re intentionally harmful just because they’re acting in a toxic manner.

3. Call Them Out, and Don’t Let it Slide

You may have already tried having a one-on-one discussion about their behavior, and it hasn’t seemed to make much of a difference. This is where calling them out can come in handy. There are good ways and bad ways to confront your friend, so make sure that this person feels respected during the conversation, or else they may walk away feeling attacked.

Begin by telling your friend that you care about them and want to resolve the issue productively, but be careful not to sugarcoat their behavior. Tell them exactly what they are doing wrong with specific examples of when it’s happened before.

4. Bring a Buffer Friend Along

If getting into a big argument with your friend isn’t the best way to resolve this issue, then maybe bringing along someone else can help. This could be another mutual friend you feel comfortable talking to or even a family member you know cares about both of you and will support whatever decisions are made.

5. Take A Step Back from The Friendship

If you’ve tried confronting your friend about their behavior, but nothing seems to be working, then it may be time for this friendship to end. It’s not an easy decision and one that should only come after lots of thought. You can’t fix a toxic relationship if the other person doesn’t want to change or isn’t doing anything wrong in the first place.

Remember that you’re allowed to have toxic people in your life, but only if they are willing to work on themselves and become better for you. Unfortunately, some friendships aren’t meant to last forever, and it’s important not to feel guilty about letting go of a relationship when things get too complicated or hurtful.


The best way to confront a toxic friend is by calling them out and not letting it slide, bringing along someone else to resolve the issue, taking a step back from the friendship, or ending things if nothing seems to be working.

Are you still afraid of confronting your friend? Well, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call us on (833) 922-2653 now.

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