It maybe the gradual drifting apart of a childhood friend, the quick, sharp detachment formed by a quarrel, or one of the countless relationships that have quietly drifted away during the pandemic; losing someone you thought would always be in your life is deeply upsetting. In this blog Inzspire examines 5 ways on how to get over a breakup with your friend.
Friendship breakups will occur throughout our lives, and we must begin to learn how to cope with them in a healthy manner. The most important thing we need to do, is to normalise the reality that friendships can end for a variety of reasons. We haven’t been taught, however, to apply this possibility to our friendships.
It is interesting that we consider looking at our friends through the prism of, “I hope this friendship works” but we do with a lover or partner. When it comes to friends, though, we presume they’re the one from the moment the friendship is formed. Because we don’t consider the death of a friendship to be a typical occurrence, it feels like a personal failure and something we should be embarrassed of when it happens.
Friendships, like any other type of relationship, aren’t always meant to be, and even when they are, keeping them takes a lot of effort. We undervalue the importance and value of our social interactions and friendships. Yet we realise the burden people bear when it happens, and we feel their pain and disappointment.
So how do you get over a friendship that has ended?
#1 Give yourself time and space to get over the loss
Tell other people what you’re going through, and try to use the same language and self-care that you would if you were going through a split with a partner.
Be honest with other people in your life about what you’re going through, and try using the same language and self-care that you would during a breakup with a partner. You are allowing yourself a dis-service if you avoid feeling the same way you would over breaking up with a loved one. To your brain, a break-up is identical whether it is finishing with a romantic partner or with losing a friendship.
#2 If it is possible-try to find closure
There is usually a breakup talk with a romantic partner, and you know if you’re in the relationship or not. Breaking up with a friend has an uncertain process. It is difficult to navigate and you have to ask yourself the question “Where is the end?”
Before that, you need to establish, “how did this happen?” or “what has happened to get you here?” and then you need to understand what you are feeling about it. Then, at this point, you can try your hardest to gain clarification from your friend, if you are still talking. That is not in an attempt to persuade the other person to change their position, but rather to provide you a sense of closure as you establish the level of the loss.
If a friendship has ended badly, you may have to accept that you won’t be able to have a final chat with them. If you have done something wrong, then you should try (if you can) and apologise whether they are open to discussion or not. Alternatively, if you are not at fault then you need to go through the healing process in any event.
#3 Establish what you need to do next
Your first course of action is to concede that the relationship is over. Then you have to think about moving on.
This could be talking things through with a trusted friend, making more space for yourself to grieve, or removing things from your life that bring up memories you’re not ready to ‘re-live’ yet in your mind.
You can be grateful for the relationship and not bitter once you can put it in the past tense and recall that you were really pleased that the person was once in your life.
#4 Examine the state of your other friendships and their boundaries
One of the most common concerns following a friendship breakup is how it will affect your larger circle of friends. This where you will need to trust the other connections and don’t try to disguise or deny what happened when you lost your friendship.
If you start losing other friends because of what happened, it suggests such friendships were never healthy in the first place, and they aren’t well suited to help you now. Realizing that you have varied levels of connection with each other within a group is a big component of keeping good boundaries. Some people can make you feel very close, while others just come into your life because they are friends with your pals. You just need to establish which one is which.
It is tempting to think that our friends will always be there for us, yet meaningful friendships necessitate upkeep. This entails having honest talks with one another and checking in on a regular basis in a meaningful way that can identify concerns before they become problems.
#5 Keep in mind that you are still deserving of friendship
It’s not always simple to establish new friendships, especially as you get older, but don’t let the loss of one friend make you feel unworthy of friendship.
It’s difficult to lose that sense of belonging and acceptance, which is all the more reason to work on creating an inner feeling of self-worth that may help you get through difficult times.
Being a friend entails being open about your feelings, and you should not consider partial friendships acceptable. You’re so much more valuable than that.
✔️ An abridged video version of this post can be found on our YouTube Channel-please click here: https://youtu.be/vWAvSOkfIyY