We’re all familiar with the term BFF (best friends forever), and as cliché as it is, it’s true. A good friendship is something we expect to last forever. Unfortunately this is not always the case, and sometimes the end of a friendship can feel as bad as a breakup! The end of a significant friendship is not an easy hurdle to overcome, but it’s not impossible. Here are some ways to make the best out of a messy friendship breakup.
The first step is to: Reflect, Don’t Reject
When a friend no longer wishes to harbour a relationship with you, pay attention to the explanation that follows. As they articulate the problems that have formed between the two of you, it is crucial to reflect on your friend’s concerns, instead of immediately rejecting them.
It is not easy to hear about your shortcomings, but that does not mean you shouldn’t listen when they’re brought to your attention. If your friend says that you can be selfish, stubborn or rude, recognize that. Consider the past few weeks or months you have spent together, and whether this is true. By understanding your flaws, you can work on correcting them.
The next step is to: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
While your friend may write you an essay, complete with a thesis and citations on how you have wronged them, you ought to evaluate the merit of their arguments. Listening to what they say is important for growth, but remember that everyone says hurtful things when they’re angry. Do not absorb their words wholeheartedly without filtering out what is and isn’t true. If you don’t, you may end up changing who you really are for the worst.
For example, suppose a friend wishes to call it quits because you refuse to support their romantic relationship. If you dislike their significant other because they are manipulative, abusive, or a negative influence, these are valid reasons. Do not pretend to vouch for a toxic romance to avoid future arguments. Know your character and your values before you try to change everything about yourself when a friendship ends.
The last step is to: Give What You Get
Parting ways with a good chum is not a split-second decision, or one that comes after a single fight. You have to remember that a friendship is a two-way street. The same way that your friend may have felt like they needed more from you, you may have been missing something from them.
Do not write yourself off as a failure when a friendship gets to the end of the line. For the sake of keeping the peace, or preserving an old friendship, we often excuse undesirable actions and ignore warning signs. Consider the friendship, what could you have compromised to avoid conflict? Your friends are not perfect. If you determine that a friendship was unfulfilling for both of you, discuss the areas where they also need to improve.
Getting dumped by a friend opens your eyes to the way the people around you are changing. It can force you to step outside yourself and realize where you can improve. It can be liberating. While losing a comrade may hurt at first, you gain a wider perspective, and with it, the opportunity to be a better friend to those who choose to stay by your side.
Written by Sherlyn Assam