You often hear people talking about the hurt that comes with breaking off a romantic relationship, but what about when you and your close friend part ways? Friends are a vital part of your social life throughout your childhood and into adulthood. A friendship breakup can take a long time to get over, as you grieve the loss of someone who is no longer there.
As you age, your friendships deepen as you find people to share your thoughts and even secrets. One of the reasons it hurts so much is that you bear your heart and soul to someone, and they leave. How do you go through a breakup with your friend, move on, and let go of the overwhelming feelings of hurt?
Twelve Ways to Heal After a Friendship Breakup
If you’ve ever experienced a friendship loss, it’s not an easy thing to handle. However, there are some ways to get over this pain without making foolish mistakes in the process. Here are a few tips to help you through this difficult time.
1. Go Ahead and Grieve the Friendship Breakup
A friendship loss is much like death, as this person will not be there for you anymore. They won’t be listening to you cry on the other end of the phone or be there when life is unkind. So, it’s okay for you to grieve.
The grieving process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance is inevitable in any loss. If you need to cry, then let it out. It’s a big deal to lose someone special to you, and you’re not going to do yourself any favors by trying to suppress these overwhelming emotions.
2. Work On Your Goals
Rather than focusing on your loss, which feels overwhelming, it’s time to focus on your goals. Work on you and what the future looks like. It would help if you used an old trick called diversion. When your child is fixated on something and throwing a fit, diverting their attention to something else often helps.
The same thing can be done to help with your grief. You can divert your attention towards something positive and away from the negative.
3. Process the Situation and Validate Your Feelings
Donna Mitchell is a therapist who helps people process things that happen in their lives. She states that while many people hear that they should process their feelings, they don’t know what it means. When you process, you’re reflecting on your side of the story as seen from your perspective.
It’s a way for you to get things out in the open and validate how you feel. It’s a tactic that’s often used in cognitive behavioral therapy as it’s a great way to get things from the inside out. Moving on isn’t easy when you’ve lost a friend, so processing the situation is a great place to start.
4. Be The Bigger Person and Move on Following the Friendship Breakup
Some people want to get even with a person who has hurt them, and this is especially true if you’ve been done wrong. However, don’t get all caught up in seeking revenge. The Universe will take care of any wrongs done to you, as this person is creating a karmic debt they will need to repay.
As for you, focus your energy on moving and put your efforts towards positive energy and healing. Karma will have a way of handling things done to you, and all you need to do is focus on your life.
5. Get Counseling or Join a Support Group
Breaking up with a friend hurts, so counseling is a great place to start your healing journey. Therapists can help you through your grief, no matter what it stems from in your life. If you don’t feel comfortable with counseling, you might consider a support group.
Support groups of peers experiencing similar things are very helpful, and they’re abundant these days. You can find them both online and in person, so you need to search for the group of people that best fits your needs. After a friendship breakup, it helps to have that circle of support to make you feel like you’re not alone.
6. Sever The Ties That Bind
Please don’t call them, text them, or comment on their social media posts. You’re only prolonging the inevitable, and your hurt won’t heal when you keep the communication going.
If there’s been a misunderstanding and the relationship can be fixed, then you should make such efforts. However, sometimes you need to know when it’s time to give up.
7. Manage Your Anger Throughout the Friendship Breakup
Your anger can get the best of you, especially if you’ve been done wrong. It would be best if you learned how to manage your emotions because they can get you into a lot of trouble. Rather than saying things you’ll regret or becoming vindictive, you need to strive to do whatever it takes to get your rage under control.
8. Write Them a Letter for Closure
You’ve heard of the Dear John letter that people send when they want to break up with someone, well you can do a similar action with a friendship breakup. You carry a great deal of weight with you daily from your emotional hurts. When you’ve been betrayed or have pain from others, one of the best ways to get all that stuff off your chest is through a letter.
A letter can help you say everything you need this person to hear, but you can’t seem to say these things in person. Once you write the letter, you can send it to them or burn it. Either way, you’re releasing some of the pent-up feelings that are hindering you.
9. Avoid The Blame Game During a Friendship Breakup
It’s easy to engage in the blame game, as pointing fingers seems the proper thing to do. However, it’s not wise to point at anyone because a friendship breakup often occurs when wrongs are on both sides. Finger-pointing is unhealthy and damaging, and it keeps you from taking responsibility for your part.
10. Don’t Be in a Hurry for New Friendships
Why do people feel like they need to rush and find someone to fill that void? You often see this in romantic relationships. People will jump from one person to the next and get involved in a rebound relationship.
An article on Magnet of Sucess discusses a poll done on rebound relationships, and shockingly, most only last about two to four months. Be wary of jumping out there and trying to find a new best friend to replace the one you lost, as you may get involved in a worse situation than you’re in right now.
You’re grieving and hurting from your friendship breakup. You’re in no position to be a good judge of character and start getting involved so quickly. It’s best to have a few friends so that if someone happens with one of them, you have the others to help support you.
11. Face It’s Not Going to Work
Like with marriages, some people hope that things will work out and waste their time and energy. Sure, even your best friend and you won’t see eye-to-eye on everything. However, a relationship should make you feel better, not worse.
If the relationship is more trouble than it’s worth, or you feel like it’s constant drama, then you need to face the fact that it’s better to let it go. Letting go and moving on from a friendship breakup is one of the hardest things to do, but getting rid of toxic relationships is better than letting things drag on.
12. Celebrate New Beginnings
So many people want to focus on the negative aspects, but it’s time to use this as a learning experience. What is the Universe trying to teach you through this loss? You will learn that you need to do things differently in the future.
Were you too clingy and demanded a lot of time from your friend, or did you tell them things that scared them away? Sometimes you have skeletons in the closet that you need to keep buried, as it doesn’t do anyone any good to dredge them back up.
Since you’re already in this situation, it’s time to use it to learn and grow. You can be a better friend when you understand why things didn’t work so well in this relationship.
Final Thoughts on a Friendship Breakup
It can be a harrowing and confusing experience when going through a friendship breakup. The good news is that there are ways that you can move on from the loss, process the pain, and hurt. There’s no need to carry baggage from one relationship to another, so you must give yourself the proper time to grieve.
Though you might be eager to move on and find someone else to fill the void your friend left behind, it’s wise to give yourself some time. Only you will know when you’ve had sufficient time to grieve the loss. Once you’ve moved past the negative stuff, you can move forward to the positive things.
New beginnings should be celebrated, and you should spend this time working on yourself and your goals. Most importantly, take time to learn a lesson from what went wrong with this relationship so that you can forge a more successful friendship the next time around.