Relationship break-ups are spoken about a lot. You will often see the 101 on how to cope with breaking up from a partner such as cutting your hair a different style, eating ice-cream or binge-watching Sex and the City. Friends and family also seem to know what to say or do when a relationship comes to an end “Oh I never liked them anyway” or “You’re better off without that dickhead”.
Friendships on the other hand are different, but why? Friends are the ones that are there when the relationships fall apart, when jobs are lost or life isn’t going the way we planned. They are there for the good times and the bad, for worse or for better. Why is it then, that there isn’t a great deal of advice when a friendship disintegrates?
I’m not an expert on friendship. I have had my fair share of friendships fail because I wasn’t invested enough. I don’t fully blame my mental illness for why they have failed, I am also an introvert at heart and generally really just like being alone. I also don’t take the full blame, there are many instances where the ‘friend’ could have also invested more time and effort as well. Friendship goes both ways.
I have lost a lot of friendships over the years, and to be honest I don’t know if this is a normal thing or not. It’s easy to tell yourself that when a friendship ends, there is something inherently wrong with you and that you aren’t a good person. I have done this to myself a lot over the years and it will eat you alive if you continue this line of thinking. So when a friendship ends, you need to remember these things:
1. Unless you harm other living beings verbally or emotionally, you are not a bad person. (If your friend has broken up with you because you kill puppies…I suggest you take this on board and get some help).
2. There is nothing wrong with you, you are awesome.
3. Friendships fade because interests change, life direction changes or you yourself may have changed. There is nothing wrong with this, it is life.
4. It is OK to be angry and sad. You have broken up with your friend, whether you were besties or just casual. Depending on which side you are on of the break up, you are going to go through the 5 stages of grief
5. Break-ups can be messy. Believe me when I say that the love you once had for your friend can quite easily turn to hate. I think that this comes under the ‘anger’ part. So hopefully, eventually, if you don’t keep getting screwed over by your ex-friend, you get to move onto acceptance and not feeling anything about them.
6. Your life will be better without them. This may be a hard one to see at the time, but with a bit of time you may start to see the warning signs that your friendship wasn’t in for the long-haul. As hard as it may be, try and look at the pro’s of why your friendship has come to an end.
7. Move on. Delete them from your phone, facebook…anything where you will come across their name. Hang out with other friends and remember that you have other people in your life who still love you and like you for who you are.
8. You are awesome. I know I am repeating myself, but you need to remember this because you will most likely doubt it whilst going through your 5 stages of grief. You are loved and liked, you matter to someone.
I finish with this. Unfortunately some friends you will never truly know until they finally show their true colours. They will be happy to take, and even happier to play the victim card and make you feel as if you are everything that is wrong with the world. Remember that YOU are not the problem. It is THEM. Leave them in their world of negativity and entitlement and move on. You don’t need that crap in your life.