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Learn the two routes to a healthy friendship breakup.

March 16, 2016

Do you otherwise enjoy her company? If so, before you split, consider making one last effort to let her know that you want there to be more give-and-take between you. She may have no idea how much she hogs the floor. Try saying, “I like being your go-to person for problem solving, and I would also love if we could save some time to talk about my life.”

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If that doesn’t change anything, there are two routes to a friendship breakup. The easier one is to fade away, simply becoming less and less available. She’ll eventually get the message that you’ve moved on. Frankly, if she’s that self-involved, she’s likely to find someone else for her therapy fix pretty quickly once you stop being there for her. If she’s really annoying you, though, and you’re ready to outright burn that bridge, explain that you’ve each come to want different things from the friendship. Don’t expect her to be happily accepting—rejection can be painful and embarrassing. But when faced with the hard truth, she won’t have much choice but to move on.

Gail Saltz, MD, is a psychiatrist and television commentator in New York City who specializes in health, sex, and relationships.

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