Grieving A FriendshipJuly 20, 2018
No matter how you look at them, the friendships we have are just as meaningful as our romantic relationships. Although most movies and books in popular culture represent great love stories of our times, friendships also teach us valuable lessons about trust, compromise, commitment, and love. Tragically, not all friendships last. While some may crash and burn, others can fall apart slowly over time. Regardless of how it happens, there will be a period of grieving when an important friendship ends. The following steps will help jumpstart healing and recovery as you move on from old friendships to form new relationships.
Process Your Feelings
The first step to any grieving process is to locate your feelings and come to terms with them. Sitting alone with feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion can be an overwhelming experience, so allow these feeling to pass through you and onto paper. A good writing exercise is to write a letter to your old friend that you will never send. Let this be your opportunity to say all of the things you need to say while respecting the personal space you and your friend need to heal. If writing a letter to your old friend is too difficult, write a letter to yourself instead. Be honest with your emotions and try to focus on how letting them out makes you feel.
Don’t Talk Trash
It might be difficult to avoid turning your feelings of hurt and anger towards your old friend. Regardless of the details of your friendship breakup, it is always honorable to stay quiet. The new people that will surround you might interpret your trash talk as negative and toxic. In order to forge a new path, make sure to leave those negative feelings and emotions behind to build healthier future relationships.
Walk Down Memory Lane Then Turn Around
Just because a friendship ended, doesn’t mean the happiness and joy you experienced together wasn’t real. Look back on your memories with fondness, then make your peace with them. This might be strictly emotional, but this can be physical too. For instance, look around your house for objects (photographs, concert tickets, presents, etc.) that remind you of your old friend. Give them one last look and either hide or get rid of them to represent closure for your lost friendship.
Do Things That Make You Happy
This might seem obvious, right? However, studies show that people are more attracted to those that appear happier and are more confident. The happier you are, the more you feel connected to who you are. Take long walks with your dog, paint a pretty nature scene, knit a new fall scarf, make an extravagant dinner, do what brings genuine joy and peace to your heart. This self-care will become noticeable to those around you, and they will respond positively to that energy.
Unfortunately, there is no avoiding the sadness that results from a loss of a significant friendship. Whether the reason a friendship ended is clear as day or remains a mystery, the fact remains, you must move on. Taking extra time with yourself and feelings while staying positive will help you allow the path to healing and new friendships.