Breakups are awful.
Watching someone walk out of your life – whether by choice or by force – is traumatic. A friend breakup is just as terrible and in many ways, worse than the breakup you experience with a partner.
Splitting from a friend is so hard to deal with because there is an implication in the relationship that it will never end. Romantic partners can come and go but a friend is supposed to be there no matter what – right?
Friendships are supposed to be free of jealousy and spite. They should be full of laughter, love and support. In an ideal friendship, you open up in completely different ways than you do with a partner. You share parts of yourself that you don’t feel comfortable showing the entire rest of the world.
But – sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way.
Sometimes, you realize that your friendship has become co-dependent or toxic. Maybe your friend betrayed you or you were the one who betrayed your friend. Or maybe you just both realized that the friendship has served its purpose and now its time to move on.
Regardless of the reason for the friend breakup – it sucks and it happened so now you just have to figure out how to deal with it. Here are some tips to help you heal and recover from the devastating loss of your friend.
How To Heal After A Friend Breakup
If someone makes it clear that they don’t want to be in your life – or vice versa – there is no need to continue communication with that person. I know it can be tempting, especially if texts and phone calls with that person filled your entire day – but you have to let them go and learn to live without them. Keeping that line open leaves you both susceptible to further hurt feelings if either one of you decides to lash out at the other. Lean on another friend or friends (because you do have others) to be your lifeline if you feel you’re about to cave. Delete old friend’s number out of your phone and remove them from your social media accounts. Trust me – you need to remove any reminders of this person in order to heal and move on.
Create the Space
A thought that I’m really feeling lately is this idea of creating space. If your energetic, physical and emotional space is taken up by a bunch of nonsense that no longer serves you – you’re just preventing the Universe from bringing you anything new. There just simply isn’t enough room. So, take down the pictures from your fridge and your walls. Delete them from your phone. Sage the sh*! out of your apartment or your car – any places that remind you of them. Not only will this be therapeutic, you’ll also be creating the space not only in your life but in your physical presence in order to invite in something new – and oftentimes better.
Whether you feel at fault for the friendship ending or you blame the other person – you need to learn to forgive both them and yourself. Looking back on the choices you made isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, you had to make those decisions in order to learn, grow and get to your current place in life. But constantly berating yourself for ‘messing up‘ or harboring anger towards your old friend isn’t going to help you heal. Accept the responsibility and/or be at peace with the hurt they caused you. Feel compassion for them. Know that they are human and are most likely doing the best they can, just like you. Send them love, especially if it’s the last thing you want to do. And remember..
“Being angry and resentful of someone is like letting them live rent-free in your head.”
One of the best ways to find gratitude in this current obstacle on life’s great journey is to really reflect on its existence in your life. Why was this person brought to you? What did you learn? How can you find gratitude for their presence in your life and the purpose this friendship served you? What can you take from the experience in order to strengthen your other friendships? Write about it, talk about it, meditate on it, reflect on it. Feel the pain. It’s okay to cry – let it out! It’s cleansing for your body and soul. You want to truly release all of that to, once again, create that emotional space so you can love all of your other friends and the future friends you haven’t even made yet.
A friend breakup is the worst. If you’re currently experiencing one, my heart goes out to you. Know that you are loved by so many in your life and in this world. Take this experience and instead of bitterness, find inspiration to really show up for the other friends in your life. Be good to them and share your love with them – you have so much of it to offer.