How To Deal With Losing A Best Friend?
As different stages of our lives go by, we are faced with several changes, both mental and physical. Transitioning from stage to stage, there are often difficult situations that we have to go through, many times on our own. We struggle to understand and overcome, yet still emerging with valuable lessons for the future. One difficult situation which life has repeatedly forced me to face through each stage of my life is losing a best friend.
Over the years, friends have come and gone. It took me a long time to understand that it was normal, why it was happening, and how to deal with it. I had said before that there are many situations that we have to go through alone, however, we can definitely learn from each other wherever we can, so why should I leave you struggling in a situation I found solutions for? Here are some of my most valuable lessons on losing a best friend:
Why Do We Lose Friends?
Often, these losses and changes are beyond our control. We must take the time to look around and realize that we are not the only ones tackling the different stages of life and all the things that come with these changes. As we grow, we encounter different transitions within ourselves.
Our opinions and moral codes change as we mature, our needs are no longer the same as before and what we look for in our companions may eventually begin to change. We outgrow some environments and venture out in search of new ones that will match our altered mental space. As we ourselves face these changes, we must have an understanding that our friends are facing them as well. They are prone to changes and prone to leaving us in order to accommodate these changes, just as we are prone to do the same.
- With growth, we find that we acquire new responsibilities. Some people in our lives may be heading off to new educational ventures, starting businesses, advancing in careers, and starting families. Many will be doing all of that at once, and each is bound to significantly cut down the attention we grew accustomed to getting from them. As we grow, and our responsibilities increase, our attention and time will be divided between adjusting to these things. As such, the attention that we are able to give to our friends will undoubtedly lessen.
- It is inevitable that our responsibilities will take us away from some of our friends by distance. We will change schools, change jobs, or move to different places, and with distance, comes unavoidable separation. A few persons are able to maintain strong friendships despite the distance placed between them, but the majority of us will replace these friends, and will be replaced by these friends, as we naturally crave closeness with companionship.
- Some people are just toxic. They bring nothing good to our lives. They speak negatively, pressure us to do things we’re not comfortable with, they show no appreciation for our presence in their life and what we do for them, as well as betray your trust. There comes a time when we must open our eyes, stop seeing our friends for what they might have been once, or for what we want them to be, and see them as they are. You don’t need them to apologise or acknowledge their faults to you. It is up to you to acknowledge their toxicity and understand when it is time to leave the friendship for our own mental wellness and personal growth.
How To Cope With Losing A Best Friend
- Acknowledge and accept what is happening. The ending of a friendship can be hard to face. Some friendships can and deserve to be fought for and there are others that have just expired. Deep down inside we know the difference, yet we often still decide to go against our better instincts to just leave when the time has come. Many times we do this because of how much we feel we had invested in the person and the friendship. As hard as it can be, we must simply learn to let go when it is time. Trying to deny what is already happening will cause more grief than necessary; you will be the only one holding the relationship together while the other individual tries to move on with his/her life, bringing much stress and emotional pain to you.
- Express how you feel. Friends are a natural part of most persons’ lives. It is normal to trust persons if even just a few whiles forming strong attachments to them. So, of course, it is natural to feel grief when a friendship has ended, and bottling up any kind of grief is never a good idea. It can lead to the deterioration of your overall mental and physical health. Whether you need to write how you feel, talk to an individual you trust, or any other healthy way you can find to release your thoughts and emotional hurt, it is vital that you find an outlet in order to begin to let go of this friendship and cope with its ending.
- Find healthy replacements. Sitting idly and overthinking about losing a friend is one of the sure ways to trigger depression. You must try to maintain positive thoughts–in light of this new loss, there is the opportunity to meet new people, develop other friendships, try new things, and find new hobbies. Healthy distractions from the situation will see you moving on in no time–making new friends and new memories while you simply learn to live with and appreciate the good memories you made with your friends from the past.
- Engage in self-reflection. Even though I placed this as the fourth step, it can be done at any point. Take some time to look into the situation and identify the faults so that you may avoid them in the future. If the ending of this friendship was legitimately your fault to any extent, you must try to see exactly where you went wrong and work on improving yourself in order to prevent it from happening again in the future. However, it is also important to remember that some losses are beyond our control and can be no one’s fault.
- Let go. Don’t set your heart on revenge nor try to erase the memories. There will be no benefits to doing this. Obsessing over the person and the ended friendship will only block your own progress, making you miserable. Trying to scrape their existence from your mind also won’t be beneficial, despite how it may feel like the solution. You need to accept, treasure the good memories, learn from the bad ones, and move on to new experiences without the weight of losing a friend overshadowing you and your relationship with others.
As painful as ending any relationship can be, it is important that we accept and understand that separation is a part of life; that everyone goes through many times. Yes, it can be hard to digest, but the quicker we come to terms with it, the easier it will become to move on completely. Plus, there will always be new friends and adventures awaiting us!
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