It’s really hard to deal with losing a friend. For some reason, you drifted apart and can’t actually call each other friends. Here’s how to handle it.
Going through a breakup from a romantic relationship is hard. However, losing a friend is a special kind of heartbreak not many people are equipped to deal with. It’s almost worse, in a way. You were so close as friends and then someone decided they no longer wanted to be your friend.
They didn’t want to have you in their life anymore. And that hurts. It hurts even more because it has nothing to do with how you look or dress or anything. It’s all about who you are as a person. And when your very being is rejected, it’s more painful than you might think.
Why you might drift apart from an old friend
I’ll be honest; I only have one friend remaining from my childhood. Granted, we’ve been friends since we were seven, but still. I had plenty of other friends growing up but we just drifted apart. We grew in separate directions.
This actually happens a lot in life. You never stay the same. Your personality, ideas, values, and morals can change all the time. That means you might not always agree with someone even though you used to. This is a big reason why friendships end and you’re left dealing with the pain of losing a friend. [Read: Are you losing a friend or just drifting away?]
How to handle the hardships of losing a friend
Depending on how close you were to the person, you probably feel like shit. It hurts when a friend no longer wants you in their life. It’s also hard if you’re the one who realized you just can’t be friends with them anymore. Here’s how to get through those tough times and come out on top.
#1 Remember that it’s normal. I know it can feel very alienating when you suddenly don’t have a friend anymore, but it’s actually very normal. This happens all the time. There’s no need to be worried about it.
If you just take a deep breath and remember that this is just a part of life, you’ll feel a lot better. And it won’t be the last time this happens, either. Get used to dealing with this very common part of life.
#2 Think of how better your life will be without them. You probably had problems with that friend. If you’re not friends anymore, something was wrong, right? Your life is actually probably better without them. Think about all the ways your life could be better without having them. Only list the positives. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]
#3 Confide in your other friends. You two might share mutual friends but if you feel comfortable, go ahead and talk to them. Discuss how you’re hurt by it but you want to move forward. If anything, they might offer you some advice.
They might actually say they don’t want to be friends with that person anymore either. It’ll be easier to go through losing a friend with someone else right there with you.
#4 Stay busy. If you keep your mind busy, you won’t really have to face the unpleasant feeling of losing a friend. It’ll just feel like you’ve been so busy with life you haven’t been able to hang out.
#5 Avoid lashing out at them. You might get mad. This is usually the case if they told you they didn’t want to be friends anymore for no reason. You’re probably hurt and you feel rejected.
It’s natural to want to lash out and get angry. Don’t do it. Avoid this at all costs because you can’t take it back. Be the bigger person and just accept the reality of your situation. Just move on.
#6 Stop stalking their social media. It’s kind of strange how strongly we feel about paying attention to someone’s life even though they’re no longer in ours. The strong urge overcomes you and you have to look at their profiles to make sure their life isn’t fun without you.
Well, I have news for you. You’ll see their lives are probably just as fun. Because people only post the great things that happen in their lives. And more likely than not, they know you’ll be checking in. [Read: Why social media can kill your relationships]
#7 Try to meet new people. Go get some new friends. You don’t have to sit and be friendless just because you lost a friend. Even though they probably weren’t your only friend, I still encourage you to get out there and meet like-minded people.
You might realize there are other people you have way more in common with than the friends you currently have. So get out there and start meeting others. Introduce yourself. Get talking. Make new friends.
#8 Give yourself time to get over the friendship. Believe me, I know how hard it is to lose a very long, great friendship. It’s different from a romantic relationship breakup but it still hurts similarly.
#9 Remain civil while interacting with mutual friends. If you two continue to have mutual friends even though you’re not friends with each other yourselves, keep it civil. You’ll have to see one another here and there and if you both are rude and mean to each other, life will just be harder for you. Keep things light and friendly, even if you’re not friends.
#10 Keep living your life. Don’t just stop because you’re losing a friend and you think it’s the end of the world. It’s not. That person’s opinion of you won’t make or break your life. That means you can’t just derail your plans and your hobbies simply because of someone else. Keep living how you’re living.
#11 Pick up new hobbies. On the other hand, you can also pick up new hobbies. Find things that make you excited and help you forget about the fact that you’re losing a friend. Read more books. Try to paint some stuff.
Consider trying things you’ve never tried before or stuff you thought you’d suck at. You really don’t know until you get out there and try it. You could end up making new friends in the process, too. [Read: 8 ways you can find new hobbies and start over]
#12 Accept that the friendship has ended. Just accept it. The friendship is over. There’s no use in dwelling over it. Pick yourself up and move on. If that person doesn’t want you in their life or even if you had to get rid of them for some reason, it’s okay. Find new friends or grow closer to the ones you have.