How to Get Rid of Losers in Your Life
Friendship and relationships are important to your emotional wellbeing. However, some relationships become draining to the point you feel the need to disengage. There are many ways to end contact with someone who is not worth your time. You can simply taper off contact, or you can be upfront about the fact the relationship needs to end. You should also be aware of how to identify toxic relationships, as many people are prone to continually forming negative relationships. After ending a poor relationship, make an effort to move forward. Mourn the end of a relationship and work on surrounding yourself with positive, happy people.
Ending a Relationship
Taper off contact.Sometimes, the easiest way to end a friendship is to do so indirectly. You may feel guilt about not being upfront with someone. However, if a person is very difficult to deal with, a confrontation can be more trouble than it's worth. If you fear someone would get aggressive or angry in response to you being upfront about ending the relationship, try to make an effort to gradually see less of this person.
- You can stop sharing as much privileged information with someone. Do not talk about details of your personal life or share deep feelings with this person. Return texts and phone calls sparingly. Stop inviting this person to every social event you attend. With luck, this person will eventually take the hint that you are not interested in maintaining the relationship.
- If this person asks you where you've been, be vague. Say something like, "I've just been busy" or "Work's been really stressful." While you may dislike the idea of being dishonest, not everyone deserves an official confrontation. It you truly feel this person is a loser, and is draining your time and energy, you do not owe this person anything.
- In most cases, the person in question will eventually take the hint. However, sometimes people catch on to the fact they're being cold-shouldered. The person may demand to know why you are ignoring him or her. In this case, consider being honest about why you are ending this particular relationship.
Prepare ahead of time.In the event you need to have an official confrontation with someone, you should prepare ahead of time. Decide what you want out of the conversation, as well as what you expect of the relationship going forward.
- Think about why, specifically, you're ending this relationship. In anger, you may be inclined to say hurtful things, like, "I don't want to be your friend because you're a loser/a drain/a narcissist." However, this is probably not productive. You want to make a clean and quick break from this relationship and saying things that will result in an angry response from the other person will only serve to escalate the situation.
- Try to outline, specifically, why this relationship is not working for you. Does it seem too one-sided? Do you feel like you're constantly being put down or taken advantage of? You don't have to outline every single grievance to the person in question. In fact, someone who you consider "a loser" will probably not take criticism well. After writing out your issues, try to condense what you're saying into a short, somewhat vague sentiment. Try something like, "I just don't feel like I'm benefiting from this friendship anymore and I think it's better if we both move on."
- You may also want to consider what you want going forward. You may want this person out of your life completely and, if that's plausible, be upfront about that. However, if shutting a person out completely would make things difficult in family or social situations, see if there are other solutions. For example, you could maybe not hang out with this person one-on-one anymore, but still remain friendly at larger get-togethers. You could say something like, "I feel like we don't always click when it's just us hanging out together. I think we'd work better as more casual acquaintances."
Talk face-to-face, if possible.If you're going to break off a relationship officially, a face-to-face confrontation is best. Meaning can get obscured in writing. A real life conversation gives a person the chance for real closure. If possible, try to talk with the person face-to-face.
- Send a text or e-mail asking to meet up. Make it clear there's something you want to discuss. Send a text saying, "Can we talk sometime this week? When are you free?"
- Choose a time and place that works well for both of you. In case the conversation runs long, you want to avoid external time constraints. Pick a night when you're both free and choose a location where you can really talk. A crowded, loud bar does not help you have a conversation. A quiet coffee shop, big enough that the two of you can find some privacy, would be better.
Consider writing a letter or e-mail.It's not always possible to talk face-to-face. If you worry the person in question will get loud or aggressive, skip the in-person discussion. You want to make a clean break, avoiding unnecessary drama. If you worry meeting someone in person will result in further stress, write a letter or e-mail expressing your feelings.
- Take some time to compose your thoughts in writing. If necessary, write out a few drafts of a letter or e-mail before sending it. You want to make sure you make things as clear as possible.
- Try to avoid the temptation to write a hateful or spiteful send-off. Remember, you're trying to free yourself from losers in your life so you can move towards a brighter future. You do not want to end a relationship with unnecessary drama. As respectfully as you can, explain why your relationship needs to end.
Be as straightforward as possible.If you feel like you're able to be straightforward, do so. In some situations, like if someone is prone to emotional outbursts, it may be best to keep information vague or to even obscure your reasons to avoid a blow-up. For example, you can say, "I just don't feel like I have time to keep up this relationship right now" may be better than, "I don't feel like you're a nice person." However, if you feel like you can be honest safely, do so. For your own personal closure, strive to express your feelings as frankly as possible.
- Explain why you're ending the relationship. If the person has hurt you in some way, tell them specifically how. You do not have to have a laundry list of every grievance, but you should provide some general reasons. For example, say something like, "I feel like you don't respect my needs. I feel like you're always talking about yourself and you never ask about me."
- Set very clear boundaries. You do not want to continue to allow someone to hurt you. Make it clear what you expect going forward. You can say something like, "I want us to be civil when we're around mutual friends, but our one-on-one relationship is over."
- Try to be civil yourself. Just because you're eliminating someone's presence in your own life does not mean you have to harbor resentment. In fact, resenting someone or wishing ill against them can cause you unnecessary stress. Say something like, "I hope that you're happy with your life, and I only wish you well. I just feel like, personally, I can't maintain this friendship."
Use "I"-statements."I"-statements are statements phrased in a way that emphasizes personal feeling over objective fact. When having a difficult conversation, using "I"-statements can help because you're not forcing external blame on the situation. You're simply stating how another person's actions make you feel and why.
- An "I"-statement has three parts. You begin with "I feel..." after which you immediately state your emotion. Then, you explain the actions that led to that emotion. Lastly, you explain why you feel the way you do.
- Confronting someone without an "I"-statement can cause unnecessary hostility. For example, you may say something like, "We can't be friends anymore because you're a drain on me. You complain about your own problems, but you never ask me how I'm doing, even though you know I've been through a lot lately."
- Rephrasing the above sentiment using an "I"-statement can help emphasize your own feelings. This can make it feel less of an objective judgment and more of a personal declaration. For example, say something like, "I feel drained when you complain about your own problems without asking how I'm doing because it makes me feel like our relationship is one-sided."
Be firm.If you've decided to get rid of someone's presence in your life, that person may resist. He or she may ask you for another chance, with promises to change. If you've made up your mind about ending this relationship, be firm. Keep repeating something like, "I'm sorry you're upset, but I've made up my mind." If the person will not stop attempting to contact you after you've told them the relationship is over, it's appropriate to start ignoring texts and phone calls.
- If a person is unrelenting in their attempt to contact you, consider blocking their number. You may also want to block them on social media.
Identifying Toxic Relationships
Be honest about your feelings regarding a relationship.Many people have a tendency to fall into unhealthy relationships over and over again. If you're worried about losers in your life, try to take some time to honestly evaluate relationships. It can be hard to accept when certain relationships become toxic to the point of not being sustainable.
- Do you feel drained when you're around a person? Do you honestly want to spend time with certain people, or do you feel obligated? Do you expect an amount of respect that you never received? Are you consistently disappointed by someone's attitude, behavior, or treatment of you?
- Answer these questions honestly. Avoid the temptation to make excuses, like, "Well, I do feel tired when I'm around Marguerite, but she's been going through a lot lately." If you're feeling negative about someone overall, this is a sign this is not a healthy relationship. Everyone goes through bad times. However, even at their worst, most people will have some ability to care for another person's needs. If someone is consistently draining to be around, and this has been going on for quite some time, you may be better off ending the relationship.
Assess how someone makes you feel.A relationship should make you feel positive about yourself. You may occasionally feel frustrated with another person, and everyone inadvertently hurts someone else's feelings on occasion. However, if someone always makes you feel bad about yourself, this may be a toxic relationship.
- Try logging your feelings after spending time with someone. Returning to the above example, jot down how you feel after, say, having coffee with Marguerite. Do you feel drained, tired, frustrated? Are you going over things she said that upset you? If this happens consistently, this is probably not a good relationship. This is likely someone you should get rid of in your life.
- You may find you're significantly affected by another person's drama. If your friend Marguerite is upset about her boyfriend, for example, she may be unwilling to talk about anything else when you two are together. It may get to the point where you dread being around her when she's upset, because you know it'll result in endless and unproductive complaining.
Consider if the relationship feels equal.A relationship should be relatively equal. You should each support one another's emotional needs. In a toxic relationship, one person may always believe his or her needs are important.
- Once again, try to be honest with yourself and avoid making excuses for the other person. Try to remember the last time you were in need. Did this person reach out to you? Did he or she ask how you were doing? Or did this person simply avoid you until your neediness passed over?
- In a toxic relationship, one person may be competitive about his or her needs. Returning to the Marguerite example, you may bring up a stressful issue with your significant other. Marguerite may respond by saying something like, "At least you have someone. I've been single for almost a year." She may then launch into a tirade about her own issues, leading you to comfort her. This is an uneven balance. This person is placing her own emotional needs on a higher level than yours, and using your problems as a way to shoehorn in her own.
Watch for signs of emotional manipulation.Toxic relationships are often ripe with emotional manipulation, which can take many forms. Watch for signs of emotional manipulation to identify toxic relationships.
- If you're being emotionally manipulated, you may be afraid to assert your feelings to a friend, romantic partner, or family member. This person may find a way to dismiss your feelings, accusing you of hypersensitivity.
- You may also find an emotionally manipulative person does not take "No" for an answer. If you say you cannot attend an event due to work, for example, a manipulative person may ask several follow up questions, pushing you to blow off work unnecessarily.
- You may also feel controlled by this person. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around this person to avoid an outburst, to the point you're emotionally checked out. You may simply go along with situations to avoid the fallout, ignoring your own needs to cater to the other person.
See if there are any positives left in the relationship.It may sound strange, but identifying the perks of toxic relationships can be helpful for you. There are often reasons people are drawn to the wrong people. Try to figure what you get out of the relationship. You may have deeper issues you need to work out to stop the cycle of toxic relationships.
- You may be drawn to a type of personality due to previously poor relationships. For example, say your mother was cold and emotionally distant. You may unconsciously seek out people similar to your mother as you're hunting for an approval you never received.
- You may also have issues with self-esteem that draw you to toxic relationships. For example, if you worry your own life is a mess, you may unconsciously be drawn to people with problems you perceive as worse than yours. Emotionally unhealthy people may allow you to feel like you're caring for someone else, making you feel needed even when you have doubts about your own capabilities.
Give yourself time to mourn.When you've removed someone from your life, you'll need time to mourn that loss. Even if a relationship was negative, ending it can bring about a feeling of loss. Give yourself some time to evaluate your feelings and come to terms with the loss.
- It can be helpful to write a goodbye letter. This letter will not be read or sent, but writing it can be cathartic. Pretend you're writing to the person in question and state exactly how you feel. This is a great way to get out all the things you felt you couldn't say when ending the relationship.
Plan a ritual.Ritual is important to marking big events or big changes. When a relationship ends, it's sad. You can have some kind of ritual that helps you symbolically mark the end of a friendship or other relationship. For example, you can throw away items that remind you of a person, like old photos or keepsakes. While it may feel silly, many people find ritual helps bring them closure.
Surround yourself with positive people.You should make an effort to surround yourself with positive people after removing the losers from your life. Seek out friends who make you feel good about yourself. Choose people who make you feel energized and happy after you hang out.
Avoid feelings of guilt or shame.You may feel guilty about ending a relationship. However, try to silence feelings of guilt you experience after ending a relationship. You deserve to feel respected and to have your needs met. Everyone ends relationships throughout the course of a lifetime. You don't have to feel bad about making the decision to cut ties, especially if someone's presence caused you undue stress.
QuestionHow do I get a loser to stop talking to me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBlock their number on your phone. If you see them in person, greet them politely, then make an excuse to vacate the area so you don't have to engage with them. Avoid them whenever possible.Thanks!
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