Answers for Teens

Return to List of Questions

How Can I Back Off From a Friendship that’s Not Good for Me?

Backing off from a friendship is never easy—even if the friend has been a negative influence on you.

If you back off a friendship with someone, you will want to explain why. Here’s what you might want to say, “You know, Delilah, I’ve renewed my commitment to Jesus Christ and I don’t want to disappoint Him any more by doing the things I’ve been doing lately. If you want to do those things without me, that’s up to you, but I don’t want to join you anymore. If you would like to get closer to the Lord with me that would be great! What do you think?”

This is just a suggestion. Put it in your own words. Just keep in mind these pointers:

  • Identify yourself with Christ.
  • Display humility, not a holier-than-thou attitude.
  • Be gentle in your conversation, yet firm in your decision.
  • Invite your friend to join you in getting closer to Christ. If he or she does not, they left you, not you them.

Remember, it will be tough to back off, especially right afterward because of the pain of your new loneliness. But continuing the friendship would be tougher, especially in the long run, because of the friend’s negative influence (adapted from Friendships: Making the Best of Them, p. 29).

Taken from The Teenage Q&A Book, pg 106.