Any form of a breakup can be hard to deal with, but I think people underestimate friendship breakups. They are just as hard, as romantic ones. In the back of your mind, you know some romantic relationships may not workout, so you can go and find a more compatible partner. However, with friendship breakups, we think they are forever.
This year I went through two friendship breakups with my best friends, one I’ve known for four years and the other for seven years. It is especially hard when you are on the receiving end of the breakup. It comes as a shock, and the grieving process is similar to the five stages of grief.
1. Denial and isolation
It is completely normal to go through these stages, you are person with emotions so obviously you will have a hard time coming to terms with a special frienship coming to an end. But there has to come a time when the grieving has to end, accept what has happened and move on.
In all honesty, my grieving process is close to the acceptance stage but there are still moments when I’m hit with sudden waves of sadness. That’s to be expected, I mean this happened to me just three months ago. I think this friendship breakup helped me view frienships a little bit differently, and not in a negative way but in a smart way. To see what I’m talking about, lets take a look at what I learned from my frienship breakup.
- Allow yourself to feel.
There will be people who will tell you to get over it, or why are you thinking about it so much? Or “you dodged a bullet, forget them”. It’s easy for people who aren’t in your shoes to make comments about your situation as if they know everything. It’s their way of trying to help, but in a way they are saying “enough with the pity party”. People need to understand that validating someone’s feelings and saying “it’s ok to feel like this, it’ll get better” is much better than the above examples. So allow yourself to feel every emotion, if you surpress it, it will come back later. You want to have an authentic experience with this and go through all the stages, until one day you move on and never look back.
2. Sharing Less.
It’s important to remember that friends are not your family, but when we learn to trust someone we feel comfortable to share more about ourselves. Now, I’m not saying you can’t share, but be choosy of what you choose to share. Some people may not understand and distance themselves if you are going through hardships. In my opinion, those are not true friends. Real friends are meant to be there through thick and thin, I know that I will always be there for friends going through a tough time. Have best friends with whom you can be yourself, but do not overshare.
It’s easy to feel anger when someone has misunderstood you or treated you unfairly. Anger does not hurt anyone else but yourself. According to Psychology Today, this is what anger does to your body:
A strong emotion that is accompanied by arousal of the nervous system, anger produces effects throughout the body. It eats away at your cardiovascular system, your gut and hijacks nervous system, often obliterating the capacity for clear thinking. And it may even grow in intensity.
As you can see, it does only damage to your physical and emotional health. As much as it hurts when someone mistreats you, you have to forgive because you are a kind person.
It’s easy in these situations to say that only one person is at fault for a frienship to end, but it takes two to end a friendship. Swallow your pride and apologize for anything you may have done wrong. If you have argued with a friend, do not wait too long to speak with them. Resolve the issues right away, express how they made you feel and where they might be in the wrong. But before you do that apologize for anything you may have done wrong, that will show a level a maturity. If they still want to end the friendship, it is not your job to convince them to stay friends with you. If you owned up for anything you may have done wrong, and they still do not accept your apology, then let it go. Sometimes people may need time to forgive and you may need time too and that’s ok.
5. Things Happen For a Reason.
Believe it or not, sometimes these things happen to teach us a life lesson and push us towards change. I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and this has forced me to make certain changes in my life that were necessary. If this didn’t happen I wouldn’t have gotten the push I needed to make changes in certain aspects in my life. Even though it’s still heartbreaking, something good will come from a friendship breakup. For example, thanks to my friendship ending I got in touch and have my first best friend of 15 years back in my life again. There is always a silver lining.
6. Goodbye is Not Forever (Sometimes).
As I mentioned above, I got in touch with my first best friend of 15 years. We had a falling out years ago and recently got in touch in again. At that time I thought our friendship was done forever, but a few years later we are friends again. Sometimes friends go through a rough patch, but if it’s meant to you will go back to each other. Let people roam, if someone is meant to be in your life they’ll make their way back.
7. Giving Second Chances.
It really is a your decision whether or not to give a friend a second chance, if they treated you badly then do not even bother and move on.
Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope whoever reads this finds it helpful. I wrote this from my own perspective and how I’ve been dealing with this situation. Remember it gets better and you deserve people in your life who will respect you!
Wishing you all love and positivity! See you soon.