The Case For Dumping Toxic Friends

Katie Klabusich
The Establishment
Published in
9 min readDec 14, 2015


Adapted from flickr/eek the cat

Having better friends drastically changed how I see myself — and how I see other people.

II f we’d been dating, the other people in my life would have no doubt been relentless in trying to break us up. But we were friends, and breaking up with a friend is almost unheard of — as though our friends implicitly have better track records with treating us well than our significant others.

“I dunno; we’ve been friends for a long time,” is a fairly typical response if you dare ask someone over 25 why they’re friends with their bestie. Or you’ll get a list of times that person was there when needed — even if none of those examples are recent. Or maybe it’s because two people or a group grew up together; shared history is a strong bond, like having your memories alive to spend time with.

We keep destructive people in our lives for the common, yet ludicrous, reason that they are in our lives. Until we face a fork in the road where remaining friends with someone becomes an active decision rather than a passive one, most of us just allow toxic friends to hang around simply because there’s no protocol in our culture for cutting them out. We aren’t necessarily keeping them around despite their effect on us; often, because they’ve been around for so long, we don’t even realize the effect that…