There is nothing quite like a solid friend group. Your core group of friends who you can call on through thick and thin. You travel together, you celebrate holidays together, and you do life together. But what happens when two people in the group have a falling out? A friendship breakup can be difficult to navigate. That becomes especially true when the friendship that is ending is tied to a larger group of companions. While complex, it doesn’t have to have an unhealthy ending if you handle the breakup the right way.

Pursue Honest Conversations

There’s likely to be tension between when one friendship ends in a friend group. The hard part is that it not only affects the two people in the dissolved relationship, but rather the group as a whole. 

Navigating this will require you to pursue honest and, sometimes, hard conversations with all parties involved. You’ll need to communicate your boundaries and ask your friends what their boundaries are. Perhaps, they don’t want to hear about the tension between you and their mutual friend or maybe they want to know the details. Perhaps, you’d like to avoid being invited to gatherings with your former friend, or maybe it does not bother you at all to attend events or hang out with that person. Be honest with yourself and your people about how you’re feeling, and set clear and honest boundaries.

Avoid Putting Others in the Middle

This might be the hardest past of when one friendship in a group of friends dissolves, but if possible, avoid putting others in the middle. You don’t have to rehash every detail of a falling out with your mutual friends. The best place to get advice and feedback is from a neutral party who is not involved and won’t be affected by the outcome of the situation. 

With your other friends in the group, be intentional about spending time with them and asking questions about their personal and professional life. Center your friendship in your discussions and steer clear of focusing on the drama or falling out of another friendship.

Allow Yourself Time 

When a friendship dissipates in a friend group, the best piece of advice is to allow yourself time. You are not only navigating a friendship ending, but you are also navigating new dynamics with the entire group. Will the group chat still be the place where you share jokes and daily updates? Will the friend traditions remain the same? Allow yourself time to process and grieve the changes that will inevitably unfold after a friendship ends.