Life and Inspiration - Love and Relationships

Giving A Friend The Pink Slip


There’s all sorts of advice out there about when to let go of  a romantic relationship, but sadly too little out there about when it’s time to let go of a friendship.

In the last few years, I have let go of a few friendships based mostly on one fact – respect. I’m no saint and there are hundreds of people who will come forward to testify to that! However, I rate respect very high in my relationships. I attempt to be respectful of the people I interact with and expect the same from them.

In the past, I have attempted to carry on in friendships where respect had seized to exist, but sadly they didn’t last for long. I’ve learnt now that it’s time to issue the pink slip when  I’m losing respect for someone or that they are not giving me the respect I deserve.

Giving A Friend The Pink Slip

In one case, a person who was supposed to be a friend were house guests and showed a total disrespect for my husband and I. Perhaps there are no rules for house guests, but the way I was brought up, house guests don’t sit around watching you make their beds while they read and pretend you don’t exist!  Perhaps she was a little confused between a hostess and a chambermaid ;). This is just one example of the awful behavior. I was furious naturally and although I didn’t say anything, I guess my non-verbals spoke loud and clear.  The worst part was when she went back and tried to pretend everything was okay. When I didn’t play along, but confronted her,  she acted like she was the victim. I issued a pink slip immediately. I can no longer be authentic with this person and don’t wish to interact with them.

Why am I writing about this? Because, I see this person all over the internet talk about the need for closure. Does closure mean that she gets to give me a pink slip, I wonder.

So where does forgiveness feature in all this, you ask? To me forgiveness is making peace with the past. It doesn’t mean that I necessarily invite that person in to my life again.

What are your views on letting a friend go? Please share you experiences and opinions.

May you be inspired – every day!



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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

85 Comments on “Giving A Friend The Pink Slip

  1. I had a friendship once that started to become not very mutual after awhile. My friend would not really be interested in talking with me as much as having me watch her kids when she wanted to do things. I enjoy helping my friends out, and when it comes to watching their kids that’s great because it usually keeps my kids occupied..but when it seems their only aim for our relationship..that’s when I start distancing myself. I’ve never given anyone a “pink slip” before…I’m more passive aggressive and just start contacting them less and less. Confronting a friend with what is bothering you in a relationship is undoubtedly a better approach though…it gives the potential for reconciliation just in case there is a misunderstanding or things can be worked out.

    Great post. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing, Jessica. There’s nothing worse than feeling used in a relationship. It takes much more to confront a friend – you’re always afraid to losing a friend, but I’ve realized that it’s better to have self-respect than to feel used, angry and lose the friendship anyway.

  2. There are some friends for all seasons, some are only a summer fling, while some last a lifetime. I used to mourn people who came into my life with a blaze and left me quicker than a hiccup After years of wondering why, I realized some people are not Ever Ready batteries and not meant for all my chapters nor I theirs. We come into one another’s life for a reason and often that reason stops making sense as we evolve. I wish it weren’t the case, but it is. I have lost friends over the years, some I will continue to mourn until there is dirt over my grave, while others I am relieved I no longer have to pretend I like. Friendship, as love, is part of the circle of life.

    1. Brenda, only you can put it so beautifully. Yes, I’ve realized that being ‘friends forever’ doesn’t apply to every one. I thought I was so wrong to let friends go, but I’m discovering that friends don’t always grow at similar levels and we have to move on. The circle of life, as you say!

  3. I have had a few people when I was working as a teacher who pretended to be my friends to my face, but, when push came to shove, they showed their true colors. It has taken me much longer to forget the injustices than to forgive them. I tend to be a very trusting person, and these experiences hurt a lot.
    On the flip side, though, I have true-blue friends who have stuck with me through sorrows, tragedies, and the happy times. I treasure them and know how God has blessed me through these relationships.
    Great post, Corinne, and wonderful food for thought.
    Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Martha. Yes forgetting is sometimes so much harder than forgiving, isn’t it? Perhaps we are not meant to forget, but to remember the lessons that these difficult experiences taught us. Much like how we remember the first time we got our hand singed when we touched something hot! I’m glad that you and I have friends who continue to love us no matter what.

  4. I will try in my power to resolve the conflicts or misunderstand but once I know there was nothing can be done. I will walk away and never look back. –I like to make things crystal clear so there was *regret* when I look back.
    I also have been in the other side of the coin and the person just shut off without letting me in so it was hurt especially you had no idea what you have done wrong.

    Enjoyed this post and I am also here to inform you that you are being tagged in a blog tag game ? 🙂

  5. Wow, I think I would have been upset too. But knowing me, I wouldn’t have picked up after them or made their beds in the first place! LOL! I would have told them to do it themselves. Sometimes you have to be verbal with people for them to understand. It is remarkable that they wouldn’t get the point automatically, but some folks need to be told things I guess.

    It sounds like perhaps there was a pattern of disregard though Corinne. I’m sure this wasn’t the first incident and this was probably your last straw. I have parted ways with friends over the years when I felt I was being taken for granted or mistreated and it usually took me awhile to do if the friendship was a long one. No one wants to lose a good friend over foolishness. But sometimes it’s good to establish boundaries and guidelines. If they are broken time and time again, you have the right to go your own way. I do hope you can come to some peace over this. Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. I get what you’re saying when you say you wouldn’t have waited, Tameka. I’ve learned to do that now.
      Yes, it was a pattern that I hadn’t really examined, until it hit me in the face, Tameka. So glad it did. I’m not so slow any longer 😉 Thank you for sharing so beautifully as you always do.

  6. I lost several friends in the months following Erin’s passing because of a lack of respect, snide comments, backstabbing, etc. Grief is a road that must be walked alone and every set of circumstances is different…I did what I had to do in order to survive from day to day while former friends rushed me, tried to alter my course, and as mentioned called me names behind my back. It was very painful and still is as I recall being called “Psycho Doggie Daddy” etc, needless to say I refused to acknowledge their existence after that. If someone can’t respect me and show support in my darkest hour then they’re no friend of mine. Thanks for the thought-provoking chat!!! 🙂

    1. I’m sorry you had to go through all this crap while coping with Erin’s passing, David. Grief is very personal and we cannot and must not venture to tell other people how to grieve. ♥

  7. I’ve always believe in forgiving but not forgetting… If you forget what was done to you and pretend that it never happened, you also forget the lessons that experience taught.

  8. Letting a friend go usually comes in the form of “out of sight, out of mind”, and I am the friend that is usually let go. Of course since I do not have that many friends anymore, it makes dealing with this so much easier. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the hurt any less deep.

  9. Wow! I find it necessary to prune my friends list very often. Maybe I give out signals to users that I can be used, but it isnt like that. Then I get imposed upon and freak out … end of friendship. Happens quite often sadly enough

    1. I thought it was only me, Ritu. In the last five years I’ve lost three friends who meant a lot to me. And you’re right, I too perhaps give out signals of being a wimp – and when I assert myself – people are in shock! 😉

  10. Happens with most of us Corinne!

    Yes, friendship is always a two way process, which requires trust and respect the utmost. I think I would have acted the same ways if I had been in your place. Perhaps such people don’t really need your friendship and it’s better to let them go. I guess I would have forgiven and even forgotten over the episode and friendship really soon and moved on, which I know isn’t all that easy for many.

    A lot depends on the kind of friendship we share also. I realize as I age, I make fewer friends and am more content and happy with the older ones I have offline, or the new online contacts I make. So, for me it’s never actually happened that a friend would just ignore me and not help out when required. But yes, had it- I would have done what you did.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing, Harleena. I too realize that the older I get the longer I take to make friends. Right now I’m in a happy place with my friends offline and online.

  11. Hi, Corinne! ~

    I must admit the word “respect” has become a trigger for me and I’m in the process of writing about that topic myself…

    Here’s the problem: Respect means very different things to different people. For example, I don’t usually make my bed at home. I find it to be a wasteful activity since it’s just going to get messed up again. I would not consider it ‘disrespectful’ if a guest did not make their bed at my home, and I would not consider going into their guest room to make their beds — actually, I would consider that a bit disrespectful of their privacy. I’m not saying this to criticize you but to point out that “respect” means very different things to different people.

    I think it would be more honest if everyone would simply come out and say what they are feeling in the moment instead of pretending like everyone’s supposed to know and agree with some universal list of ‘common courtesies”. If you tell people what you want then they can decide to do it or not and you can decide to associate with them or not based on that and nobody has to be a victim.

    When I visit you I will definitely stay in a hotel and we will have a BLAST!!!

    1. I would love to read your definition of respect, Linda. I agree that respect means different things for different people. I was talking about changing the bed linen as I do every few days in summer! I don’t know about you, but when I’m a guest in someone else’s home and I see them doing something for me, I offer to help. And anyway, this way just one of the things that happened. I am not going to list them out here for obvious reasons.

      Incidentally, precisely because it’s difficult to list out common courtesies, I’ve taken a decision not to entertain house guests who are not family. So there was no question of you staying with us, anyway.

  12. Hi Corinne 🙂

    I walked away from some friendships in the past because these people have a habit of putting other people down. But surprisingly, I gained more good friends when I did. And they’re not only good friends, but they are people who see the good in a person, are supportive, and are very encouraging.

    Respect is very important for me in every relationship. If there is no respect, then it’s no use sticking with those people. I’d rather let them go than continue to experience conflict with them over and over again, which is detrimental for everyone.

    Thank you for sharing this honest, thought-provoking post, Corinne. And I hope you’ll find friends who know how to value you, because you are a gem of a friend. God bless <3

    1. Thank you for sharing, Irene. I’m so glad that you have chosen to walk away from friends who put you down. It’s true when we move on, we make place for new and better things, friends included!

  13. This is a tough one, and I don’t pretend to know the answer. I have only given ‘the pink slip’ to one friend (who wanted fifty times more from me than I was able to give!) I still feel guilty about it, but know the situation was completely unworkable from my end.

  14. It is when we let go of the old that that new can blossom forth. I used to hang on to friendships and sometimes I still do, but mostly I just love them from afar. Forgiveness is for me, so I don’t get eaten away by resentment. But like you, we don’t have to invite it in.
    Awesome, thought provoking post!

  15. I completely agree with you Corinne. Over the years, I have been in touch with my high school friends, bringing them together for meet ups when I am in my home town. But, they have taken this for granted and expect that I keep calling them and make all the arrangements. I have had enough and stopped calling a couple of those who did not bother to call back at least for the courtesy sake. They fail to understand that I am doing all this for the love of the friendship I cherish. Yeah, I move on.

  16. This post hit a very delicate spot in my heart ~ on closure and forgiveness… I’m not a saint neither. Oftentimes during prayer, Jesus would subtly allow me to remember a hurt and I’d plea, ‘God help me to see this in a totally different view.’

    I’ve given a pink slip to a group of people I considered my friends but when that friendship was tested, nobody stayed to know what really happened. They all gave in to fear and rumor. Two days before Pentecost, one came to my dream and I hugged her. It felt so real… Yes, I’ve forgiven but that doesn’t mean I want them back in my life…

    Thanks for allowing me to vent that out. It has been a pretty long time and it’s time to say, ‘Enough.’

    1. Thank you for sharing as authentically as you always do, Melissa. I can imagine how these situation must have hurt someone as gentle as you. I’m glad that you were able to vent here and that you have moved on. I too have been able to see now the need I had to get out of this relationship and how much good came out of the hurtful situation.

  17. I completely agree to your thoughts here. Respect is actually very important in relationships and we need to respect each others space. But sadly people tend to forget that thing so easily these days. Last year I gave the ‘pink slip’ to two of my closest friends because I simply could not handle their attitude of taking me for granted any more. And sadly today they go about telling people how much egoistic I am. Though there are some moments when I feel bad and lonely. I am literally tempted to call them and apologize but then I remember the hurt I felt when they treated me shabbily. What I don’t understand here is don’t these people feel something? Even in your case, your friend too tried to portray that she was a victim here. I am surprised at their attitudes here, but at the same I am glad I chose this way rather than the other.

    1. I almost felt an echo, Privy! I know what you mean about feeling bad and wanting to start over. However, like you, I’ve weighed the pros and cons of that and find that it simply doesn’t make sense to me. Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. Without respect there is no friendship or any relationship. I always tell people that they do not have to love me, but they have to respect me. I am very careful with whom I spent my time. Life is to short to ask for more problems. I am blessed with very good friends and I try very hard to be the best friend I can be.

  19. “So where does forgiveness feature in all this, you ask? To me forgiveness is making peace with the past. It doesn’t mean that I necessarily invite that person in to my life again” That is EXACTLY what it means for me. I can forgive, but I do it for me not for the other person. I am not strong enough to cut the relationship. i can’t do it. i stay friend with the person. I listen and help as before, but I stop sharing a part of me.

  20. Rather than respect I would like to call it reliance: self reliance. We would value ourselves that much that we would not be a victim anymore. As if it’s a propaganda to all of our friends, relatives, loved ones and even employers: ‘Not abusive please.’

    Corrine, I respect you for your decision and the stand you took for your own self. That’s incredible. Very few people on earth has that stomach to show a *pink slip* to a nearest friend.

    I support and honor you for who you are and what you did at that particular circumstance!

  21. we have few if no houseguests, so I don’t run into this. But as to pinkslips, I don’t know that I’ve given out any — except to relatives who have no idea that they have a pinkslip. Though I’d gladly take it back if we could only communicate better.

  22. That’s right, Corinne. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting all about what happened. The restoration of a relationship is also a different thing and must come from mutual consent and effort of the parties concerned.

  23. Respect is huge on my list– once it is lost-it is hard to regain. That said– forgiving does not necessarily mean inviting the person back into your life. In my opinion–if I lose no sleep over it, then I know I have peace with the situation. Time to move on. And if they are losing sleep?? I can’t control that for them…but they have to find their own peace with things.

    Cheers, Jenn.

  24. It’s an honest post Corinne, there have been some people in my life, who expect too much from me, and take me for granted, It is hurting when you are treated badly, I am happy to let go of these kinds of people in my life, for fear of being exploited. I have no resentments, I have forgiven, but the relationship can never be the same again. I have no regrets, and am happy with friends who care and are respectful. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I so very agree with Corinne, and to me the meaning of respect ( I think it means the same in dictionary as well ) is ” a sense of the worth or excellence of a person”. I am sure what you mentioned is just one of the many incidents. We dont judge people usually just by one act. I have encountered many such people in my life who take me for granted, and thats definitely being disrespectful. I also feel if I let someone take me for granted and disrespect me
    , then I am not respecting myself….which is absolutely not acceptable to me.
    I really respect you for your decision.

  26. I guess we have to let go some friendships when we get into a relationship.
    Its difficult , and there is a little line between who to leave and how not to !!!

  27. Corinne, I understand completely. Although, when it comes to family and friends … we are expected to love unconditionally and do things for them without expecting anything in return. But after all, we’re all human and expect at least some appreciation if not anything else.
    On another note, I let go of a friendship too, but in a very different way from yours. I was extremely close to one person who made me choose between him and another person (that he thought was not treating me right). That is something that no one should be made to do, especially if you consider them friends! I thought I was an adult and could make my own decisions about whom I choose to stay friends with! Unfortunately, I stayed adamant and refused to pick one over the other and I continued to talk to the other friend (although I will admit to lying to the first friend about it initially). I was at fault as well, but our friendship dwindled and now we only wish each other for birthdays.
    I don’t know who gave whom the pink slip here, but your thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Aarti, thank you for sharing. Yes, we are expected to love unconditionally, but I’m wondering who made the rules for that 😉 When someone constantly openly or subtly put you down, or as in your case questions your judgement which is a form of putting down too, do we have to put up with it? Doesn’t that erode our own self-respect? But yes, I’ve learned to tell the other person what I think before moving on. 

  28. My dear Corrine,
    What a deep and interesting topic!! So many ways to look at this…but If I am a guest in anyone’s home, I will conduct myself as such and clean and pick-up after myself as often as possible. Friendship on the other hand can be a challenge for many of us because of the tribulations of life that sometimes prevent us from talking as much or spending time together. In any case, If we have love and respect for each other….all things will be easy to accept and understand. Thanks for sharing my friend.

    1. Thank you, Andy. I have no doubt that you’ll be a fantastic house guest. I think how people behave it has a lot to do with how a person is brought up and what they believe is acceptable and what is not. Love and respect are the bedrock of all relationships. 

  29. Corinne, you must have read my mind when you wrote this post! Lack of respect is one of the things that I cannot tolerate. Friends do not treat each other like that and it is even worse when it comes from family. I am not proud to say that I have given 2 people the pink slip this week, due to their lack of respect. I just couldn`t take or tolerate it any more. I am not closing the chapter but I am moving forward. It makes me feel liberated and it something that should have been done a long time ago. Loved this post, direct and to the core. Have a blessed week!

    1.  Dear Nelieta, I understand how difficult this process is when family is involved. It makes us feel a little empty inside. But staying on and allowing them to feel rotten is worse. I’m glad that you stood up for yourself and are moving on. Thanks for sharing  nelmi 

  30. I respect you for doing that Corinne and I’ve done the same thing myself. It’s been six years now since I ended my 27 year friendship with my then best friend. I won’t bore you with that story but she did the exact same thing your ex-friend did. Played the victim when I ended it. Then one year later I ended a 25 year friendship because of the same thing, lack of respect for me and our friendship.

    I heard the best definition of forgiveness just this past weekend while watching a program. Forgiveness is “‘giving up the hope that the past could’ve been any different.” I love that and it’s so true. Most people don’t understand that forgiveness is for your sake and no one elses. You don’t have to invite that person to dinner but when you hang on to the pain, you’re only hurting yourself.

    I applaud you for ending it and I admire you for moving on. Here’s to a long and happy life with only those who respect you and your friendship.


    1.  Thank you for sharing your experiences, AdrienneSmith40 . When I let go of three relationships in quick succession it made me wonder if there was something wrong with. On reflection, I realized that actually I had done something wonderful for myself that was long overdue. 
      What you say about forgiveness is ever so true – we do it for ourselves inorder to move on. 
      Wishing you (and me) beautiful, life-giving friendships. ♥

      1.  @CorinneRodrigues I did the same thing Corinne but you know what!  I don’t miss them at all.  I didn’t even look back and cry about what once was because they aren’t that person anymore and I didn’t want to be in the company of the people they are today.  That just goes to show that you continue to grow and they don’t.  
        Thank you Corinne and I wish you the same.  ♥

        1.  @AdrienneSmith Amen, Adrienne. I feel exactly the same way and sometimes wondered whether I was hard-hearted. I am grateful for what they once meant to me, but am aware that things can never be the same again – so I have no regrets. I so appreciate you sharing with me. ♥

  31. It is always difficult to… no, not letting go but asking your own self to stand up and confront a friend. It is easy to turn your back and walk away from relationships… but difficult to peer into eyes and tell someone the bitter truth.

    Liked the post… really liked it… makes me a bit bolder, surely.

    1. Arvind – Telling people what I feel is something that I’m learning to do, Arvind. I try to do it with compassion but I must admit sometimes that’s not always easy. I’m glad reading this made you bolder – I know the experience did that to me too! 

  32. Corinne, I know you have the wisdom to know you did what was best. The issue here isn’t forgiveness, but rather knowing when to hold’m and when to fold’m. As you’ve heard, some friends are for a season, some for a reason.
    Showing disrespect is just unacceptable, friend or not.
    I have a friend who uses me up. One day that still small voice said, “You need to set boundaries with this one.” And so I did. She was calling and begging me to critique and edit articles, book proposals, you name it. Finally, one night I said “no” when she begged for the third time in one day to look over her manuscript one more time. I told her I was tired. Then she got all snippy and sarcastic with me.
    So yeah, boundaries with those who use and abuse are a good thing. Bravo to you and me for wising up!

    1. Thank you for believing in me, Debra. Yes, know when to hold’m and fold’m is key to keeping ourselves sane and happy. I’ve seen what happened with you up close and personal. Some people feel we’re created to be at their service! Good for you that you stood up and told her like it is.

  33. Oh Corrine, I’m so sorry you had to go through this! I have always had many reservations about friendship. A part of me wants to believe it exists but then things happen that make me wonder why I ever thought it was possible. I think assertiveness is something we owe ourselves. We cannot stand idly by and let people take advantage of us. Your houseguest did not exhibit appropriate behavior and rather than use non-verbal, I think it may have been better to verbally articulate your feelings. This because some people aren’t attuned to the changes in our emotional state or they have a sense of entitlement that doesn’t allow them to see how their actions hurt us. I have let many “friends” go simply because a relationship with them doesn’t nurture my soul or spirit. Life is too short to spend it behaving like everything’s okay when nothing could be farther from the truth. I believe friendship, like marriage, is a two-way street; a give and take. If both parties are not vested, if both people are not supportive or encouraging, then it’s obvious that one of the parties is simply not interested. I believe you did the right thing, amiga. While the decision may have been difficult, you will find that life flows more when we’re not held down by toxic folk. Sending you love, lady! 🙂