Friendship breakups are a surreal experience! We all go through them, however, we rarely talk about them. These breakups can be unexpected, confusing, painful, and hard to process. Sometimes, it is something we really miss, and other times realize it is for the better.
They are often different and maybe more painful than an intimate partner breakup due to not having the break up – “we need to talk” type conversations.
Friendship breakups often happen for a few reasons – something major happens (like an argument, breach of trust/intentional hurt, toxic relationship, etc), grow apart, fizzle out, and in different stages in life. The calls and texts stop, hanging out becomes less frequent, and we may slowly start to see them as strangers. For me, the major ones in my life happened when I: changed schools as a kid, went to college, moved across states, changed jobs, went through a divorce, and most recently, had a baby. It was the distance, me changing and evolving as a person, and being in different phases of life. All have had their own story of how and why they ended as well as their own grieving process.
Friendship breakups can be difficult to navigate due to the friend being our go-to person, the one we have spent the most time with and tell everything to, and the person we saw in our lives forever. You may have to see them around socially, have other friends that are connected to them, or still stay friends on social media, which adds to noticing the relationship is no longer. I mentioned that I have had to process the grief of friendship breakups many times in my own life, and now, I want to offer a few key ways to support yourself through these experiences:
How to manage friendship breakups:
- Allow yourself to feel it and process it; acknowledge the hurt and the grief
- Talk about it! Most people have experienced this or will
- Self-care; rest, exercise, music, art, being outside, etc
- Connect with others; maybe even try something new or a new friend group
- Self-reflection; how do you want to be a friend going forward?
Sammy (Amick) Feltes
I am a Staff Therapist at Stillpoint. I am dedicated to creating a supportive and collaborative environment to understand each person’s unique challenges and to help find solutions and long-term change. I have a strength-based approach and am honored to walk alongside the journey of healing with people.