I recently went through a separation with a toxic group of friends at my school, so I should be able to give you some personal experience and advice on this subject.
Now I don’t exactly know what your friend group has done long term, but it seems them taking credit for your work is the main problem at the moment. Taking someone else’s work is actually against the law, yet it never seems to be enforced!
I was in a toxic relationship with two girls who were using depression and suicide as threats and excuses to do immoral things I would rather not talk about. Another one had a body image problem she pushed on to others and another had a crazy mum who was hell bent of getting child authorities to take me away from my family, (what is absolutely amazing by the way).
Sorry Sarah, but the ‘ripping the bandaid’ won’t work for certain situations, so the slow and steady should always be though out aswell, in case a bandaid tactic is not suited. But I agree with you, sometimes getting it over and done with is the best way to go, as it is honest, but it does cause drama.
I actually signed up to activities at lunchtime to get away and I made three new friends who weren’t toxic. So lunchtime clubs or sports is great to get away from them and enjoy yourself. Eventually I would pop in and greet all the girls, then say I was going to sit with someone new to [do something random and if needed, made up].
It started as one day not sitting with them, to two, to three and you get the point. It it took a lot of time and a lot of sugar coating and sweet talking. Eventually they didn’t care where I was and who I was with, as I wasn’t really around them anymore. It took forever but was worth it in the long run.
The most important thing to do after getting away from them, is greet them normally, smile at them and make small talk every now and then. Maybe participate in one activity with them in the whole year. It’ll keep them off your tail, trust me.
If you don’t take my advice, it’s fine! But it is open to you anytime!