The pain of losing a friend can mirror the breakup of a romantic relationship. You may be left reeling, confused as to what you did to cause such animosity. While you may never get to the bottom of what happened, there are ways to feel better when a friend announces she is a friend no more.
Evaluating the Friendship
A friend's sudden departure can give you time to think about the friendship -- and whether or not it is worth holding onto. Maybe you put more energy into the friendship than you received, or your friendship left you feeling drained and unhappy, according to the article "Toxic Friendships: Do You Have One?" by Heather Hatfield on WebMD. While occasional problems are normal in any relationship, a friendship may not be worth it if it continually stresses you out or results in cruel or uncomfortable arguments with your friend. A healthy friendship involves two people supporting one another and working in the other person's best interest.
What Did I Do?
Misunderstandings are also a natural part of forming relationships with others. If your friend has told you that you are no longer friends, take time to cool off before approaching her again. Ask her if you can set aside private time to discuss what has happened. If she is willing to meet with you, you can calmly say "I think I have hurt you. Did I do something wrong?" Listen to what she has to say and consider if her thoughts are valid. If you feel your friend is continually unreasonable in her expectations of the friendship, you should not apologize to appease her, according to psychologist Tamar Chansky in the "Psychology Today" article "How to Apologize." If you do feel she is right, you might say "I feel awful about what I said. I'm sorry for making you feel that way."
The end of a friendship can be painful, especially if you did not see it coming. If you feel that the friendship is not worth pursuing, or your friend is not willing to discuss the issue, focus on taking care of yourself. Putting energy into other, positive friendships can help you heal from this hurt, according to Therese J. Borchard, associate editor at Psych Central, in the article "8 Steps to Closure When a Friendship Ends." Talking to other family members and friends can also give you support and encouragement as you go forward.
Losing a friend can leave you feeling down about yourself, and you may find a lack of closure difficult. Thinking about whether or not you will accept your friend back can be useful in the event she changes her mind, according to Borchard in her Psych Central article. You may also find some relief in writing a letter to your former friend expressing your feelings -- though only you should read it. If you continue struggling with the end of your friendship, seek a mental health professional for help.
Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.