Ask Erin: How to Drop Toxic Friends

Erin helps deal with toxic people and how to get rid of them.


Dear Erin, how do I drop toxic friends without getting into drama?

Dear Worried Friend,

In high school, friend group drama is inevitable. Many things could interfere with getting along with your peers and that’s totally okay. However, there are instances where the drama can start to get out of hand, causing a person to become so drama-focused that it’s the only thing they can think about. When there is drama and discord, toxic “friends” thrive. When there’s a lack of it, they have a tendency to stir some up. Once you notice this occurring in your own friend group, that’s when you probably need to stop hanging out with this toxic “friend.” 

Trying to disconnect yourself from a friend group is very difficult, especially if it’s a friend group that has been together for a long time and is super close. If you hang out with them all the time, it can be even more complicated. 

Instead of talking to the so-called “friend,” try to make new friends by talking to people in classes next to you or in clubs that you’re involved in. You could even get in touch with an old one. Friends can also be acquired by talking to people online, with the surge of technology and social media taking over our society. If you aren’t interested in finding new friends, you may be inclined to take some time for yourself. 

If you really don’t want to lose this friendship, talk to the toxic person and try to sway them from their drama-seeking ways. Tell them how you feel and how it’s affecting your relationship with them. Bring up how their attitude affects the overall friend group’s interactions. Try to not be too harsh and blameful, that could start drama. Instead, say how it made you feel and try to make them understand and sympathize with you. It could work, but if it doesn’t, don’t get hung up on it. Some people need their eyes opened in other ways. If it’s just one person influencing a situation, try to hang out in your friend group without them and see if it’s more enjoyable. Most times, it will be. Asking other people to hang out with you is also another great way to make friends.

People change in high school, for better or worse. It’s your responsibility to adapt or modify for your own benefit, not someone else’s.