People come in and out of our lives, but there are those you depend on. Losing a best friend isn’t a minor thing, and you need to grieve the loss.
Some people move from one friend to another without investing much time. Sometimes because they move around a lot. Others because they are very social and seem to find a friend everywhere they go. But, I would guess that there are very few people who haven’t felt the sting of losing a best friend. Losing a best friend is grief, like any other, and it takes some healing time.
Best friends may seem like a silly notion or something that you write in grammar school, like BFF. But in reality, most people have that person in their life that they call when something bad happens, when they have good news to share, or just when they need to feel supported and grounded.
7 ways to get over losing a best friend
The reason the phrase “you look like you just lost your best friend” is something that we commonly understand is when you lose your go-to confidante, yes man, devil’s advocate, person to lean on, or the only person who you always trust to “get you,” it is devastating. It turns your whole world upside down.
One of the hardest lessons in life is learning people come in and out of our lives whether we like it or not. The good news is that when you lose someone, there will always be someone to take their place. We lose people for all sorts of reasons. The key is to not dwell on it, but to see it for what it is, a learning lesson.
#1 Don’t ruminate about it. The worst part about losing a best friend is that the person that you turn to when you need someone the most, is the person you try to get over. That makes the pain even worse and leaves you feeling more lost and alone.
Sometimes it is both a blessing and a curse. Often, we ruminate over our losses with our best friends when having a pity party of two. With them not there to listen and gain some sense to the loss, you can just accept it for what it is and move forward.
#2 Keep yourself open. In any relationship when we are hurt, we have two options. We see sometimes things just don’t go the way that we want them to and move forward, or we stay stuck and shut ourselves off.
Don’t take the loss of your best friend, no matter how it happened, as a self-fulfilling prophecy for the way things will be in the future. Sometimes we misjudge people, or they take longer to reveal who and what they really are.
If you lose your best friend because they did something ugly, don’t taint your future by thinking that you can’t or shouldn’t get close to anyone ever again because people can’t be trusted. Just because one person you loved let you down, that doesn’t mean everyone will. You just chose the wrong person to let close. [Read: How to deal with fickle friends in your life]
#3 Forgive yourself. If you lost your best friend over something that you did, even if it was super ugly, stop beating yourself up about it. It is important to apologize and to try to make things right.
But, unfortunately, there are some things you can’t take back. Don’t beat yourself up about something you did. If you truly are sorry, tried to make amends, and learned your lesson, leave it behind you and move forward.
#4 Learn from the experience. If you wonder how to get over losing a best friend, it may take some introspection. Look at the relationship for what it really was, instead of what you thought or hoped it was.
Sometimes we get so caught up in relationships that we can’t see them for what they really are. Instead, we see them for what we needed and wanted them to be. Think realistically about what you both gained.
There was some reason that you two aren’t friends anymore and true BFF’s, short of cheating with their significant other, should always be at your side, supporting and forgiving you. If that didn’t happen, then maybe you weren’t as close as you thought you were. [Read: Letting go of someone you love–minus the bitterness]
#5 Don’t speak ill of the dead. Don’t turn losing your best friend into a battle of who gets who. Likely, even if you two were thick as thieves, you had others in your “group.” It isn’t a contest to see who takes whose side.
If that is the route they choose, let them talk it up. Take the high road, defend yourself if necessary, but mum’s the word about your opinion about them. If you want to move on with grace and dignity, don’t start a battle by talking ugly, or stoop to their level if that is what they choose to do. Rise above it and simply say “I will miss them.”
#6 Be okay with being alone. Just like any relationship, when you lose a best friend, one of the hardest things to realize is that you are on your own. I hate to say it, but spouses, friends, family, anyone in our lives have the capacity to be gone at any minute.
It feels wonderful to have someone at your side to support and always be there. But, in the end, it was and always will be just you. We come into this world in the same way we leave it, with us.
So, find the strength to know that whatever happens, you can go it alone, be okay, make new friends, and dust yourself off. You can ALWAYS rely on you no matter what. [Read: 15 ways to discover self-love and happiness]
#7 Consider not having just one person in the future. There is something super comforting about knowing that there is that one person in your life to turn to. The problem is that it just isn’t realistic.
You don’t need just one BFF. You have an abundance of people in your life who love and care about you. Sure, they might not wear the half-broken heart necklace that professes their “BFF” status, but they are there to help you through the rough parts and lend a hand when you need it, just as you are for others.
In the future, consider it okay to really like someone and spend a whole lot of time with them, but don’t isolate yourself or define one person as being everything.
We are a community of souls, so acknowledge the community. Be engaged instead of defining that one person to complete you. Only you can complete you.
I have lost many best friends in my day. Sometimes my fault, sometimes their fault, sometimes no one’s. The problem with life is that there is no predictability or promises. So, if you have someone at your side and then they leave, the good news is that there are always other people around to fill the emptiness that you feel.