You thought you had a friend forever, but lately, you’ve been feeling otherwise. Maybe you’ve been gradually growing apart from your friend or maybe you had a bad fight that’s making you question this friendship. Whatever happened, you’re suddenly sad and confused and missing your support system. We’ve all been there. It’s a friendship break-up.
Society doesn’t treat friendship break-ups like it does romantic break-ups. When you end a relationship, it’s ok to stay in bed for a week and eat nothing but chocolate. When you end up a friendship, you’re supposed to keep moving like nothing is wrong even though you’re struggling because you’re missing an integral part of your support system. I’ve been there.
It’s not easy to get through. Friends are the people we share everything with, from our screaming rants to our achievements and joys to our bitter break-downs. We open up to them and show them us at our core, our most vulnerable. When a friend chooses to walk away after having truly seen you, it feels like you’re going to fall apart entirely. You won’t.
Friendship break-ups hurt so much, but they are survivable. I know how you feel and I have gotten through those low moments when suddenly, your whole world is changing.
So what do I do to get through my friendship breakups?
- Take some time alone. It’s ok if all you want to do is cry because you miss your friend. Go ahead and cry. Don’t be afraid to grieve your friendship. Your friendship meant a lot to you– that doesn’t change over night. Let yourself experience the hurt, don’t push it under the carpet– you’ll only end up feeling all those emotions later. Take the time alone to process how you’re feeling and what you want to do going forward. Maybe, you want to try to make up your friend or maybe, you just want to move on. Take the time you need to think it through and know that whatever decision you make, it will be okay.
- Talk to another friend. Talking to a friend helps give some perspective. I always try to talk to two different people: one who knows me and the friend who I’m having issues with and one who doesn’t know the other person. Having the perspective of someone who knows me on my own and in reference to the friendship always helps me find clarity. Additionally, whenever I go through a friendship break-up, I feel like I lost everyone, even if it’s only one person leaving my life. Talking to friends reminds me that I’m not alone and I have people who love and support me still in my life.
- Do a ‘self-care’ activity. No matter how bad I feel, I feel better with a face mask on. So, when I feel down- I do a face mask. Do something small that makes you happy- whether it’s baking cookies, painting your nails, or going to a yoga class. It might seem silly, but when you feel down, you need to remind yourself that you deserve good treatment and are worthy of love from others and yourself.
- When in doubt, Netflix binge. I’ve never had an emotional problem that can’t be better by watching Netflix. My go-to show when I’m feeling down is Gilmore Girls. I always feel like Rory and Lorelai get where I’m at and that’s comforting. I’m also a big fan of binging Disney movies and bad romantic comedies. Find what makes you feel good.
- Sleep. A recurring problem you’ll hear about on this blog is my tendency to cut hours of sleep in order to get more things done in a day. This might be good for my academics, but it’s not so good for my emotional health. Everything feels better with some sleep- it gives you time process and heal.
Those are my five tips for getting through a friendship break-up but like always, it isn’t one size fits all. Every friendship is different and every end is also different. No matter your situation, make sure you’re taking time for yourself and your feelings. Most importantly, remember:
Your friendship ending does not mean you are not a good or deserving person. It means this specific friendship doesn’t work at this point in your life. It says nothing about the type of person you are.