It stinks, but everything will work out.
Friendships between two people who were once best friends often end very badly. Losing a close friend can make you feel even more alone and empty than a breakup in a romantic relationship because you can’t spend hours commiserating with them over too many mimosas. Making it through is no easy feat, but it is possible.
Things may improve to the point where you find yourself oddly relieved that the breakup occurred. For advice on coping strategies, I consulted Dr. Andrea Bonior, an author and adjunct professor of psychology at Georgetown University.
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Don’t try to force closure.
Seeking closure is a good idea from an emotional health perspective, but it needs to happen organically and when you’re both in a good place mentally and physically.
Amid a dramatic breakup with your best friend, explaining how you and your ex feel can be extremely challenging without further agitating the situation.
Dr. Bonior warns that it’s unlikely that either party will be able to experience a healthy and mature ‘closure’ process if the relationship ended because of dysfunction. “Accepting something’s existence does not necessitate understanding how or why it came to be.
(And [you] can remind [yourself] that] your friend simply wasn’t capable of being the person [you] needed in order for the friendship to be sustained, no matter the reason.”
Perhaps you will gain some perspective on what went wrong with time. The possibility exists that you won’t. In any case, you must proceed with your life for the time being.
Give yourself a lot to look forward to.
Since the end of a friendship can hurt as much as (or more than) the end of a romantic relationship, the same remedies, like keeping hella busy, apply. “the same coping techniques that help boost mood in other circumstances,” as Dr. Bonior puts it, are “exercise, time outdoors, expressing gratitude, looking to help others, spending time with people whose company [you] enjoy, and learning new things.”
She stresses making changes that will improve your life in the long run, and warns against filling your time with meaningless activities. “It can be beneficial to set a new goal for yourself to work toward, whether it be professional, financial, fitness-related, or anything else.
Make some new friends, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
If the friend you lost was your primary social contact, you may feel an urgent need to find a replacement (much like wanting to date someone new right after a devastating breakup).
To form stronger bonds, a more natural process is required. As a stopgap measure, it’s always a good idea to put yourself out there and meet new people.
In order to make friends, Bonior advises people to “concentrate on becoming a part of a community,” which can be anything from a yoga class to a coffee shop to a volunteer site to a neighborhood listserv.
On Saturday nights, you’ll find people who share your interests or find ways to keep yourself occupied that you enjoy. The results are a win for everyone!
It would help if you modify your social media strategies as necessary.
Is there anything more infuriating than scrolling through Instagram and seeing your ex-friend having a great time with their new group of friends?
It can be extremely painful to be reminded of them at any time, but especially when they show no signs of distress over losing you.
Generally, you don’t want to do anything aggressive that will only make you feel worse (or lead your friend to escalate things), but you also want to shield yourself from constant reminders of your upset, according to Dr. Bonior.
It’s why there are options to “unfollow” people or “untag” yourself. Don’t shut them out unless you really want to, but for the time being it’s probably best to ignore everything they’re putting out there.
Have a strategy for interacting with people you know in common.
The question of “what do I say to everyone who still thinks we’re best friends???” becomes more pressing if you share common social circles or the possibility exists of running into each other at a future event.
A simple “not much” is the best answer if you’re looking to avoid any sort of drama. To paraphrase Bonior: “Develop a mantra that you might need to repeat over and over again,” both to yourself and to people who may ask. “Just saying, “She and I don’t really spend much time together” with a straight face and a smile can go a long way. If you run into a friend, a polite “Hope you’re doing well” can go a long way toward avoiding any uncomfortable situations that might arise.”
Make an effort to gain insight from it (if you can).
Dr. Bonior advises, “Try to identify patterns.” “To what extent does this happen in your friendships? Does the reason this friendship ended sound familiar to you in the context of your experiences with other relationships? Do you have many friends who are like this one?”
The bright side of a friendship ending is the chance to examine your own toxic patterns of behavior.
The flip side is that your friend may have been profoundly problematic due to their unique circumstances, and you may have to face the sometimes-harsher truth that there was nothing you could have done to fix it.
Realize there’s a chance you won’t talk again.
Depending on how you feel about the situation, you probably don’t want to see this person again or you’re still hoping that things can be made right.
Despite how lovely it is to imagine forgiving and hugging them, you should not count on it happening.
“You have to realize your lack of control in any of that happening,” says Bonior. “Sometimes there are specific things that you will hold out hope for, like your friend getting sober or not being so emotionally exhausting if she finally works through her own stuff.”
Hopefully, one of you will get in touch with the other in a few years, and you’ll be able to restore your friendship and strengthen it.
Or we won’t talk to you again. Even so, you can forgive them (and yourself). You should get over it and move on, whatever the future may hold.
P.S ALL THESE PHOTOS IM STILL FRIENDS WITH – But just showing friends.