BFFs No More? How to Cope When Your Friend Breaks Up With You
You thought you and your best bud would weather all of life’s storms, but the reality is not all friendships last forever. Sometimes you have a falling out, and words are said that neither of you can ever take back. Then there are times when your friendship ends in a slow fade and you never hear from him or her again. Similar to when a partner ghosts you, you’ll notice your calls, texts, and emails are returned after a significant delay or they’re just not returned at all. Sometimes it takes a while to realize what is happening, but when you do finally get it, the shock and sadness will sting for a while. If you didn’t have a big fight, your first thought might be ‘why?’ You may also wonder what you did wrong and how you can fix things.
“In the case of being dumped, there are strong parallels between a friendship and a romantic relationship. Being tossed aside by a best friend is just as painful as being jilted by a boyfriend, husband, [girlfriend, wife], or lover. The ambiguity of not knowing why adds to the sense of abandonment and betrayal. Making matters worse, there are few supports to draw upon when you lose a close friend,” said psychologist Irene S. Levine in Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend.
The dissolution of a friendship can hurt just as much as a romantic falling out. Being broken up with by a friend doesn’t hurt any less than when a significant other decides to permanently bid adieu. Here are a few tips for moving on after your close friend dumps you.
Know when to let go
You may call to follow up a few times, but if you haven’t gotten a response after several tries, it’s time to move on. Take the hint and come to terms with the fact that you are down one friend. Sure, friendships take work, but you shouldn’t always be the one acting as the official events coordinator for your friendship. Not only is it unfair, but it is also selfish of your friend to allow you to assume the burden of carrying the entire relationship.
Being dropped as a friend is a hard pill to swallow because if you’re like most, you want people to like you. The thought that someone close to you decided you weren’t worth the effort will hurt for a while. Just take it in stride and give yourself time to let reality sink in.
Give yourself time to grieve
Don’t feel silly for needing some time to recover from your friend cutting off contact. The breakup of a friendship is a loss, and you will need some time to resolve your wounded feelings.
“The hole an intimate friend leaves behind can never really be replaced or filled. It is the loss of a loved one, a permanent loss, and in some ways dealing with it can be more difficult than dealing with death because this loved one made a conscious decision to leave your life. A full resolution rarely happens,” said relationship expert Liz Pryor in What Did I Do Wrong?
Don’t beat yourself up
Try not to dwell on what you may have done wrong. Learn to forgive yourself so that you can move toward healing. Also know there are times when it wasn’t anything you did; it was just that the relationship had run its course.
“There are shifts in whom we consider a friend and even how we define friendship, and there are also changes in what we value in someone or in life in general and what we want in our lives,” said Dr. Jan Yager in When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You.
Talk about it
Breakups, regardless of the type, can be difficult to get through. You may start to question your self-worth and replay the events leading up to the breakup over and over. Know that it’s normal to feel this way. If you had been friends for a long time, it may take a while to get over what transpired. If you find that you can’t move past the situation, you may benefit from speaking to a therapist. There’s no shame in getting things off your chest.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo
More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet:
- Feeling Lonely? 4 Ways You Can Make Yourself Feel Better
- Dating Dilemma: What to Do When You’re Ghosted
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