“We never lose friends, we only learn who our true ones are.”- Unknown
Friendship breakups can be one of the most painful things we ever face as women. Trust me, I know, I've been there and have been completely devastated.
No matter how hard we try or how good our intentions are, things happen — our hearts break, and friendships can fall apart.
Sometimes things happen so quickly and it’s easy to find yourself wondering what went wrong. Wishing things could be different.
As I’ve grown, I’ve come to realize that I can only do the very best I can do and then let the universe guide the outcome. Getting to this mindset hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to learn the hard way sometimes and have taken actions I've regretted later.
But over time, I've learned how I can better navigate through it all.
#1 - Acknowledge what happened.
One of the worst things that can happen when a friendship goes wrong is for everyone to walk around acting like nothing has happened. In my mind, this creates a formula for disaster. For healing to occur, we all have to acknowledge the roles we have played and what has happened.
#2 - Realize that friendship can cause heartbreaks just like romantic relationships.
Honestly, some of my monumental friendships that have ended have literally broken my heart. For whatever reason we drifted apart or when they ended, it has sometimes taken me months (and even years) to stop hurting.
This is normal because as women we often form bonds that are so strong. We share raw, real, and transformational moments with each other... and sometimes the things we share with our best friends, we don't even share with our own partners.
So if for any reason you're hurting right now over a friendship breakup, please know that it's normal. Give yourself time to heal and know that there may be a piece of you that always aches for the bond you had.
#3 - Try to come from a place of love.
Sometimes when I've hurt over a friendship, I've said or done the wrong thing out of anger, frustration, or pain. These words or actions have never resulted in anything good for anyone involved.
Coming from a place of love can be hard when we're hurting, but it's so important to look beyond the moment and at the greater picture.
Every human being deserves a life of support, love, and joy — and if a friendship needs to end in an effort to support a better future for everyone involved, moving forward is an act of love.
When I've come from a place of love (even though I'm hurting), I've found that beautiful things can spring from it all.
#4 - Forgive.
There is no healing without forgiveness. Period. I know this to be true.
Each morning and evening, I sit down down and journal about the things that are both amazing in my life and things that are weighing on my heart. Sometimes writing about friends or family members that I need to forgive is the perfect springboard for actually doing it in person.
In my mind, there are few gifts more powerful on this planet than two human beings saying I'm sorry to each other.
Of course, you may forgive and your friend may not. This can be troubling, but I've been so amazed at how admitting my wrongs frees me to be a better and more loving person.
#5 - Don’t drag your friends into it.
Dragging friends into a friend breakup is a definitely no-no. Yes, sometimes it feels so good to express how frustrated and hurt you are, but inevitably it leads to more pain than you've bargained for.
I've been guilty of it myself, and have learned to pour my pain into my journal or to talk to Sean about what's swirling around in my mind.
I try to be extremely intentional about the words I use and the energy that they produce in my universe. Sometimes it has been so hard to bite my tongue in some situations, but I've never regretted not saying things I can't take back.
#6 - Be positive.
As you work through your friendship challenges, be as positive as possible. You may want to talk the situation through with a professional therapist or reach out to someone that you trust for advice.
#7 - Set friendship boundaries.
I've learned that expectations can be easily misunderstood and boundaries crossed when things get difficult. Sometimes it's easy to forget that there are more than just two people in the mix, and no matter how hard I try it can be a challenge not to make mutual friends feel uncomfortable.