Ending Toxic Friendships

By Jess Weiner

You may have heard me talk about your “esteem team” before.

I think it’s important to know very specifically who has your back at all times.

The one you ugly cry with.

The ones who see you at your worst and know you at your best.

The one you call to the move the body.

Consider it my new definition of #squad goals – but you really only need one special person on your esteem team.

And I can’t emphasize enough how important it is on your journey to self-discovery. It’s been a crucial component on my own path, too.

So how do you know who’s on your team?


Your “esteem team” are the ones who allow you to grow, and who encourage it, actually.

But we may not always be surrounded by those people.

Especially when we’re younger, it can feel like having a bunch of friends is important. But the truth is – especially when it comes to friendship – quality goes much further than quantity.

Sometimes when we realize we are friends with people who are stumping our growth it’s hard to think about letting them go.

But trust me when I tell you – and you can borrow my 15 years of hard friendship lessons learned – you need to say goodbye to someone who can’t stand fully by your side.


How do you know when you’re in a toxic friendship?

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

When you are with this person do you feel more empowered or more discouraged?

Are your thoughts and ideas valued and listened to?

Do you feel comfortable being yourself around this person?

If you can’t be your true, authentic self when you’re with this friend, it may be time to have a conversation about this. I know – it’s scary, but a true friend can handle a moment of discomfort and honesty. It can be awkward but real friendships survive.

What happens if you have that convo and nothing changes?

Maybe it’s time to move on.


So now what?


Ending a toxic friendship doesn’t have to be dramatic. We can start by making a conscious effort to limit the amount of time we spend with that person. We can focus on the friends who ARE positive and gravitate toward them.

But it doesn’t end there. It’s also important to take a look inside yourself in the process, and ask:

Why am I continually choosing friends like this?

How can I prevent this from happening again?


When we want to make a change in our lives, we have to take initiative.

There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re capable of it. We all are.

We have to make sure we’re learning from our experiences. When you go through difficult patches, remember to think about what you can take away from them. How can it help you better yourself? How can it help you get back on track to where you want to be?

It isn’t always easy, but it IS possible and worth it!

David Harel