Friendship Break Ups! We all go through this. It has been 7 months and 25 days to be exact since I broke up with my best friend and in that time I have realized how less we acknowledge the toll that a break up between friends takes as compared to romantic ones, although both do the same amount of emotional damage.
It is this lack of acknowledgement and terming a friendship breakup as “a normal part of life,” which makes it even harder to get through. So, keeping this in view I decided to share how I came out of this phase even stronger than before. Following are the three steps that can help you in surviving a break-up with your best friend.
1. Confront and Analyze!
Whatever the issue may be, whatever the size of the issue may be, if it is there then you must discuss it with the concerned person. Never in the history of mankind, has not discussing a problem actually solved one! So, if you feel like your friend has betrayed you, has done any wrong to you, you don’t feel the same about them anymore or your friendship is fizzling out, then confront your friend and let them know.
This will save all the energy that you might waste in guessing or waiting for them to guess. It will also help you in knowing if you and your friend are on the same page or they are completely clueless about this whole thing and its nothing but a misunderstanding. After the confrontation, you will be able to understand the situation well and this is the time when you have to analyze if you want to hold on or you must let go!
There is a good chance that half the problem may get solved after the discussion but if it leads you nowhere, you continue to feel the same about your friend and you can’t respect them anymore, then it’s high time that you let go!!
Let them know that you can’t carry on with the friendship anymore and try to explain your perspective. Remind them of all the good times that you two shared and say your goodbyes. Also, do remember to accept and apologize for your part in the conflict and the damage that you might have caused.
Note: Don’t take such decisions when you are emotionally charged. Take your time to reflect, understand what is at stake and then take the decision. Because once you take it, then as a man or woman of your words, you have to stick by it.
After getting past the formally-communicating-the-break-up phase, you need to make sure that you forgive your friends not in just mere words but also in spirit. You need to do this for your own good. Now I know that this is not easy and it might take a lot of time for you to forgive someone who has not apologized (if). But holding on to grudges and resentment has never done anyone any good. As Carrie Fisher once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” So, make it a point to free your heart of all the bitterness. This will not only help you in getting closure but will also help you in reaching the next and the most important stage of this process – i.e. moving on.
Note: Do not by any chance fall into self pity in this phase. It will drag you in the black hole of hate and vengeance, which will change your world view into a negative one. This will have adverse effect on your mental and physical health.
3. Move on!
While I have made peace with the fact that things will never be the same again between us (me and my former bestie), I have also learned that the forgiving part is easier than the forgetting part. I know that we both miss each other; especially when every other day the notifications of our memories pop up on Facebook but we also understand that one has to move on in one’s life, make new friends and collect new memories. You need to look for the silver lining and have to get back on your feet.
Things may not seem the same now because of the fresh heartbreak and the lessons that it has taught you. But how you use this experience to nurture your soul and mind is all up to you.
With no one to share your happiness and troubles with and a lot of time left at hand (due to the end of your virtually non-stop communication with your former friend), you get the chance to know yourself. You learn how to self heal. You realize how much you were dependent on an external source for your happiness and start seeking ways to be happy again but all on your own! It also gives you the time to reflect on all those things that you had been doing wrong in your other relationships and gives you a chance to mend your ways with other friends and family members whom you once neglected because of this one bestie.
This incident may also leave you afraid of trusting people again. Never let that fear get to you! Meet new people, catch up with the old ones, make new friends (not just for the sake of replacing your best friend; let it happen in a more organic and natural way). Remember, everyone is not the same. Not everyone will hurt you! Expect less but don’t become hopeless.
Most importantly understand that not everyone is here to stay in your life. People will come and go but the only thing that you will be left with is the memories. So, make sure that these memories are worth your while!!!