Whenever any kind of friendship ends, it can put a sore spot on your trust and any future friendships you may have. The truth is, most friendships don’t last forever. Ending a long-term friendship is usually sad for the people involved, but when the friendship ends over a betrayal, the initial trigger may also be anger. You may feel hurt and wronged. Here are some tips for getting through the end of a friendship.
1. Write a Good-Bye Letter
If your friendship ended abruptly or in anger, you may not have had the chance to say goodbye. You do not need to send this letter nor do you need to bash your friend in it. Consider reflecting on the positive memories that you had with them, acknowledging the value the friendship added to your life, but then end the letter with a goodbye.
Have you ever seen that movie on Netflix called, ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’? The same premise applies here. Of course, no one is going to read it, not even meddling sisters and/or brothers. But that’s not the point. The exercise of writing it is astonishingly therapeutic. You need a way to communicate for purely selfish reasons. So that you could hear yourself say good-bye to this person that you really liked, or loved, or enjoyed having as a friend.
Sometimes feelings need a little nudging in order for us to acknowledge and process them. I’m horrible at processing feelings, I’ll admit it completely. It’s like they (the feelings) are seeds stuck in a shell, and we need to scoop them out in order to free them. Writing a goodbye letter is an excellent exercise that will allow you to spill your guts out freely without any consequences. This will help you to mourn an ending.
2. Cry It Out
If my extensive Disney Trivia knowledge has taught me anything, it’s that crying out helps release that pent up sadness and hurt. Though you might feel the need to be tough, realize that the true sign of strength is being able to be vulnerable. You cannot heal if you stifle your emotions. When you feel the urge to cry, do so. If you are at work or in public, step away to the restroom for a few moments.
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable will make it easier to process negative or unresolved emotions in the long run. Don’t be afraid to let everything out. Avoid constantly ruminating over the loss, however. Schedule time each day to think about it, cry and mourn your relationship. Once that time is over, move on to something else.
It’s as simple and easy as that.
3. Remove Objects That Trigger the Pain
If you have photos around the house, take them down and put them somewhere out of sight for now.
Don’t destroy them.
If you have gifts or mementos that remind you of that person, put those away, too. The memories of what you shared are now tainted. It’s hard to enjoy the memory of great times when the person you shared those moments with turned out to be a user, and this can lead to some serious confusion. Tuck them into a box you can sort through at some future time when your emotions are more level. At that point, you may want to give them away or throw them away. People often make rash decisions out of emotion.
This is true for any loss. It’s a good sign. It means you are processing emotions, which is part of any form of closure. Change can be fun and challenging at the same time.
4. Avoid Social Media
Social media will only trigger you to think about your friend more, thus making it more difficult for you to cope and move on. For the next few weeks, stay off of social media as much as possible.
Deactivate your accounts or simply delete the apps from your phone.
If you must still use social media, then you can at least unfollow or unfriend your old friend so that you don’t see the things they post. You might even consider blocking them. If you’re tempted to call your friend, consider blocking their number as well.
If you were Facebook friends, you can choose to unfriend or to just unfollow the person. If you unfriend and/or block your ex-friend, then you are truly disconnecting. Some people consider this a huge insult, but in truth, you are simply backing away from the toxic energy.
5. Give Yourself Time to Heal
It can take six weeks to fully grieve from the loss of a deep friendship, although it sometimes takes as long as two years. You shouldn’t expect to wake up a few days later and feel completely normal and fine. Don’t rush the process, be gentle with yourself, and give yourself space to heal.
Though being around people during this time is good, spending time alone will be instrumental in your healing. Avoid making plans with people every single day, and opt for every other day instead.
During this time of coping, taking care of yourself will be vitally important. In caring for your mental and emotional state, don’t forget to care for the physical, as well.
Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t see it coming; you were manipulated by someone you loved. When you trust someone, it’s normal to be open, to share your life, and even your money if your friend is in need. It’s easy to get burned.
Remember who you are, a loving and trusting person who got used by someone you let into your heart (and maybe your home). The best answer I can give you is that, although it really hurts, you are better off without a user or abuser in your life. Better to take the great energy you have and put it into something and someone new.