Jodyne Speyer, author of "Dump 'Em: How to Break Up with Anyone from Your Best Friend to Your Hairdresser," told Early Show co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that she was inspired to write the book because of her own experiences having trouble parting ways with people.
"I'm a collector of people, so the idea of getting rid of them was just terrifying to me," she said. "I didn't want to be that person anymore. I really wanted to do it gracefully, respectfully."
Three people wrote in to The Early Show to ask Speyer's advice on how to break things off with others in their lives.
One man felt uncomfortable leaving his doctor, because the physician still treats the rest of his family. Speyer recommended writing a letter to the doctor explaining why he was unhappy.
"Doctors...said it's much easier for them to deal with a letter than a face-to-face dealing," she advised, adding that he should "sit down, go over the reasons he wants to leave the doctor and be as clear as he can."
Another woman said that she had gotten over her breakup and no longer needed to see her therapist, but was afraid to hurt his feelings. Speyer suggested being upfront about no longer needing therapy, while stressing that it was with his help that she got over the breakup. She also recommends staying on for two last sessions just to wrap things up.
"And you should never take care of your therapists feelings," she added. "The therapist needs therapy if that's the case."
Finally, the third woman has had the same hairdresser for years and wants a change, but lives in a small town and fears running into the stylist after breaking things off. Hairstylists can be particularly difficult to part with, Speyer said.
"It's difficult with a hairdresser because they touch you. And touch is bonding."
Still, she says to just acknowledge that it's an awkward situation.
"If she's cutting your hair and it's horrible and she's over-processing your hair, dump her immediately," she said. "Just let her know, 'It's not working out for me. It's time to let you go. I hope we can still be friends.'"
Overall, she stresses that ending things nicely is the most important thing.
"Try to be positive and end on a good note. You want to keep the door open."