Friendships, like any other type of relationship, sometimes entail breakups. Often, this happens because the friendship has turned toxic — a survey by Today.com in coordination with "Self" magazine discovered that 75 percent of men and 84 percent of women report having a toxic friend, as reported in the article "Toxic Friends? 8 in 10 People Endure Poisonous Pals" by Diane Mapes. Other times, the friendship simply ends because you two have slowly come to have less in common, or because one person moved away. If your BFF — "best friend forever" — has become a "best friend never," finding closure can help you heal from the past while also empowering you to make new friends.
Put Your Friendship Photo in a Different Frame
The ending of a friendship may seem to be a terrible situation, but try to re-frame what's happening and see it in a positive light. This starts the healing process and eases bitterness. View the friendship's finish as an opportunity that allows you to learn more about yourself. You now have more time to focus on yourself and your positive relationships, instead of spending all your time trying to mend, repair, manage or endure the old friendship. This could be your big moment to find new strengths, interests and connections.
Grieve but Don't Cleave to the Past
There's nothing wrong with feeling miserable, angry, frustrated or sad when a friendship ends. Don't try to hide your pain by putting on a fake smile. Allowing yourself to fully feel these emotions helps with healing. Meanwhile, trying to deny or delay these emotions can simply leave those relationship wounds open and raw, postponing closure. The key is to acknowledge and experience the emotions, but not to try to hold onto them. Holding onto the past promotes bitterness and keeps you from finding new joys in the present. Allow whatever you're feeling to move through you and then to move out of you.
Pump Up and Build Emotional Strength
The ending of a friendship, no matter what the reason, can sometimes leave you feeling vulnerable, insecure and weak. Boost healing and hasten closure by mentally focusing on your strengths. It often helps to actually write down your strengths on a piece of paper. In essence, what makes you awesome? What makes you good at what you do? What do people love about your personality and character? Affirm yourself and build your self-confidence while surrounding yourself with friends or family members who likewise affirm your strengths.
Find a New BFF
"Nature abhors a vacuum," goes a quote often attributed to Aristotle. This ancient philosopher's words apply to your friendship breakup. Forge new friendships to fill the vacuum left by your old friend's absence. This can help you to see that your past friendship wasn't the end-all and be-all of your social life, and having new experiences with new people lets you heal and find closure. An easy way to meet new people is joining a group of those who share your interests, such as a book club or a hiking group. Don't rush this process, and don't try to be someone you're not just to make a few friends. Simply be yourself and smile; over time, new relationships will happen at the right pace.
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