The end of a friendship can cause immense pain and hurt. It's not uncommon to obsess over what happened, wondering where it all went wrong and how you missed the signs that the friendship was steadily deteriorating. You may be going through the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, and so on—trying to come to terms with your loss. Here are some steps you can take to manage these emotions so you can eventually move on from the heartache.
Take Time to Reflect
In order to determine why things didn't work out, you need to spend time reflecting on what went wrong. Take a step back and think about the dynamics at play. Were there certain topics or triggers that routinely caused friction? Was there anything that could have been done differently or earlier that would have salvaged the relationship? Even if it doesn’t offer you any closure, there can still be a sense of relief in gaining clarity and understanding.
Recognize That It Is Not Your Fault
When dealing with a lost friendship, it is easy to blame yourself for the situation and become bitter or resentful. Don’t assume that the dissolution of the friendship was completely your fault. Many times these things happen due to disagreements and conflicting values and personalities. Whether it's one person's fault or mutual decision, it is important to remember that you did the best you could and the relationship ran its course.
It is normal to experience sadness and other painful emotions when you lose someone but it is important to recognize that it is okay to feel these things and move forward. Be sure to practice self-care during this time by engaging in activities that make you feel comforted and joyful. This could include going for walks, watching films, calling family members and friends, etc. Allow yourself the time to process your emotions and reconnect to positive experiences in life.
You don't have to go through it alone. Reach out to people you trust and confide in them about what you're feeling. Getting it off your chest will bring releif and may also open up new perspectives. Talking to somebody with different viewpoints on the matter can help you gain insight and understand the situation better, resulting in greater clarity.
Finally, accept reality and forgive. We all make mistakes and sometimes sorry just isn’t enough. Forgiveness is the path to moving on and improving your future. Look forward, reflect on the lessons you've learned, and adjust your focus. Know that you are capable of cultivating good relationships even after a difficult ending. Recognize the opportunity to grow and explore new connections in life.
Losing a friendship can be very trying, especially when you're forced to adjust to a world without that person in it. But life continues and you will find a way to cope. Give yourself the support you need and keep in mind that you are not defined by this ending.