In Best Friends Forever? (Part I) I spoke about how a lot goes into maintaining a friendship. In Best Friends Forever? (Part II) I spoke about how to recognise when a friendship is turning or has turned toxic how to decide whether or not that broken friendship is worth saving.
But what do you do when you realise the friendship is over and how will you cope with the aftermath?
The end of any relationship is difficult. When someone becomes part of your life and suddenly they are no longer around, it can be very hard to deal with.
From my experience, losing a friend can be hard to deal with. Friendships are some of our closest relationships; many of us are closer to our friends than some of our family members. So losing a friend can seem like you have lost part of yourself.
Having lost a friendship or two in my twenty-five years, I have learnt a bit about how to cope with such losses.
It is never easy and following these steps will not solve everything but they will help to manage the pain and help you to move on.
So here we go,
Here are a few ways to recover from a broken friendship:
- Spend Time With Friends And Family. Even though you are probably missing spending time with that particular friend, it is important to focus on other people in your life right now. Spending quality time with family and other friends as well as working on developing stronger relationships with those people who are still in your life is essential for moving forward from the loss of a friendship.
- Remind Yourself Why This Loss Is Positive. Whether or not you were the one who initiated this friendship break up, the loss of this friend is for the better. Whatever situation you faced, if you two could not work through it, it is a benefit to you to no longer have this person in your life. It might not seem like it right now, when the pain is still fresh, but in time you will realise that this loss frees up room in your heart for those who really deserve to be there, friends that really care about you.
- Focus On What You Want (and do not want) In A Friend. While you are going through this tough situation, it is a good idea to try to prevent a hurtful friendship breakdown happening again. The best way to do this is to think about what you do and do not want in a friendship. (Maybe have a look at the questions in Best Friends Forever? (Part II)) Think back on your past friendship and determine what worked, what didn’t, and why. This exercise is a productive way for you to evaluate the past and then move on from it.
- Make An Effort To Form New Bonds. It is not always easy to make new friends, but doing so will help you to cope with the loss you are suffering from. The phrase “there are plenty of fish in the sea” proves to be true for friendships as well. Though you will never be able to replace the specific bond you shared with your friend, you can make an effort to create new bonds with new friends as well as building on friendships you already have. Keep an open mind and an open heart and you may just find your next best friend.
- Live In The Present. As tempting as it might be to reflect on what was, focusing on the present moment is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. The past is over and, like it or not, you can never get it back. The only moment you have is right now so you might as well make the most of it by doing things you love to do with people you love to be with. Try as hard as you can to focus on the present and allow yourself to help by living in the now.
Dealing with the loss of a friendship can be extremely difficult so don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself really struggling with it.
However, keep in mind that you’re not alone.
Sadly, some friendships don’t last forever so just remember that the friend you have lost may have only meant to be close to you in that part of your life, so let them go and focus on the present and building memories with family and friends for the future.