Surviving the end of a long friendship may be the worst thing we ever do and also one of the most painful processes in life. Many a sufferer has had suicidal thoughts due to friendship breakups. It is also one of the most common problems for which people, adults and teens alike, seek counseling. We are rarely taught how to deal with end of a long friendship and that makes most of us ill-equipped to handle it. So today, we are going to discuss some strategies and easy ways to help you cope with the end of a long friendship. These suggestions, in no way will help you overcome the loss and pain overnight- but they will certainly help you cope with things in a healthier way. We also hope that these ways will help you move a bit more easily through the grieving process and have satisfying friendships in the future.
1. Do not fight your feelings
Let the pain come. Do not try to suppress it. A breakup can give rise to other emotions like anger, loss of self esteem, fear, regret, jealousy etc. Identify these feelings and allow yourself to experience them. Know that by realizing these feelings, you are letting them decrease day by day. The shock denial and grief might seem like it might last forever but, as with everything else in life, it won’t.
2. Talk to someone
Discuss how you are feeling with supportive friends and family members. This will help you get an understanding and even help relieve some of the pain. Talking will also help you realize that such feelings of grief are normal. You might even find out that others have dealt with similar breakups and survived them. The last thing you’d want to do is isolate yourself. If you are uncomfortable talking with someone, you can maintain a journal to write down your feelings. Journaling is especially useful when people are not always around to talk to you. Writing down stuff can also be very liberating. If these things still do not give you a closure, talk to a professional counselor.
3. Do not ruminate over the loss
There will be times you feel like crying. If you are in a public place or happen to see your friend, just go to the restroom and let it out. However, do not wallow or ruminate over it again and again. You can schedule time on a daily basis to cry. This way, you can avoid thinking about the person all the time.
4. Write them a letter
If your friendship has ended abruptly, and you did not have a chance to say goodbye or explain yourself, then it is time you write them a letter. Do not use harsh words or bash them in the letter. Instead acknowledge the positive stuff and good memories you had with them. Say that you value the friendship and also acknowledge your shortcomings in the letter. End the letter with a goodbye.
Meditation is a great tool for healing. It can calm your mind and senses and help you relax. With practice, meditation can help stop recurrent thoughts of sadness, jealousy and anger.
6. Avoid social media
Social media does not let you get over broken friendships easily, especially if the person you have broken up with is active there all the time. So try to get off social media. If possible, block or un-follow the person in question. You can even take the extreme step of deleting all your social accounts. To avoid the temptation of calling the person or texting them, delete their number from your contact list. You can write down the number on a piece of paper and give it to someone if you like. At least do not memorize it.
7. Develop a plan for when you bump into them
When healing from a friendship breakup, the best thing to do is not see the person in question. But if that is not possible, especially if you work or study together, then develop a plan as to what you will do and/or say when you bump into them. You can avoid approaching them as far as possible, but if they happen to be nearby, you can at least smile and say hello. If needed, speak a few words and be polite.
8. Manage current friendships
It could also happen that you have common friends but the last thing you should do is make them pick sides. Tell your friends that you understand that they would want to hang out with the other party. At the same time, make sure you are clear that they do not arrange outings or events where they invite both of you.
9. Learn from the lesson
As you move on, learn from this life lesson. Instead of feeling sorrow over things, or beating yourself up over mistakes, move on. Take things into perspective and try and be objective about things. This will help strengthen your current and future relationships. Look at all the positives-use the breakup to invest time in yourself. Pursue hobbies, workout, build a better body. Spend time with other friends and connect with family members.
10. Take care of yourself and spend some ‘me’ time alone
It is a good time to be with other people, but you need not make plans every day. Instead, spend some alone time too. Also use the time well to learn something new, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Avoid constant busyness and spend some time in nature as well.
We hope these 10 easy ways help you cope with the loss of a long friendship.