I’m not sure if any of you have ever lost friends for one reason or another, but if you haven’t, let me just tell you it’s not much fun. You go from having that one person you can talk to about anything, a person you can confide in, and go see that new movie with to suddenly feeling like you have no one. It’s almost like breaking up with a long term boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s hard, and it takes some time to get used to.
I had this happen to me quite recently, and I must say it has definitely been an adjustment. We had been best friends since Elementary school. We roomed together (by the way, if you ever want to test your friendship with someone, live with them for a semester….), complemented each other (she was a Harry girl and I was a Niall girl), and she was always the person I would call when I wanted to go get my nails done or just go out to dinner. Looking back, though, I think I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. We had just become different people.
It happens. Sometimes you just outgrow people. It doesn’t mean one of you is better than the other. It just means you’re both different than you used to be, and that’s okay! Or maybe you didn’t outgrow each other and the two of you just had a fight you don’t think you’re going to get past. Maybe your best friend just got a new boy/girlfriend, and you’re starting to get pushed to the side. Whatever the situation, you are not alone. I think all of us have been there at some point, so whether you’re going through it now, have gone through it, or will go through it, here are some helpful hints from what I’ve learned….
- Let them go. If you feel like you’re the only one trying to fight for the relationship or they only seem to come to you when there’s no one else available, you don’t need them. Let me repeat that. YOU DON’T NEED THEM. Sure, friends are fun and important to have, but in the end, you have to be okay with being alone before you can add someone else into your life. Otherwise, you’ll end up changing yourself for them (yup, it happens in friendships too) or letting yourself get hurt over and over before realizing you’re in a toxic friendship.
- Don’t make your mutual friends choose sides. I’ve been on both sides of this one, and it is never fun being drawn into a battle between two people you really care about. Personally, I’m of the opinion that the drama should stay between you and your old BFF. I know it’s hard, but immediately texting your mutual friends and giving them a list of reasons why the other person sucks just makes things worse on the two of you and all the rest of your friends. If your mutual friends decide to stop hanging out with you because of that then see number 1! Which brings me to my next point….
- Don’t cause unnecessary drama. This kind of goes along with number 2, but don’t go out and tell everyone what happened between the two you. Like I said before, for the most part, the drama should stay between the two of you. However, if your ex-best friend is telling lies about what happened, make sure you’re not just letting it happen. If someone asks you about it, calmly tell them the facts about what happened and leave it at that. Don’t let it turn spiteful or let emotion get in the way, and remember, if they’re really saying hurtful and untrue things about you, you’re better off without them.
- Use this time to try new things. The worst part about losing a best friend, or any friend really, is that you may start feeling completely alone. Hopefully, your old friend wasn’t one that only let you be friends with her (or him), but if it was like that, just view it as a growing opportunity to make new friends and make sure you never fall into that trap again. Join a sorority, join a club at school, try talking to the person sitting next to you in class, or sitting with new people at lunch. Coming from one of the shyest people on the planet, I know that it can be very hard and scary stepping out of your comfort zone and finding new friends, but I promise it will be worth it in the end.
- Rekindle old friendships. Remember that girl you used to do Colorguard with in high school, or the guy you used to study with in Biology? Text them! See how they’re doing. Ask if they want to get together sometime and go see that new movie that just came out. Who knows? Maybe they’ve been missing you too!
- Make sure the new friends you’re making are good ones. When you’ve just lost a friend and are feeling alone, it can be really easy to try and be BFFs with the first person to come along. Remember what you just went through and make sure that the new friendships you’re making are lasting relationships. You deserve friends who will lift you up and be there for you in the good and bad times. Wait for that person (or people!), and remember to be yourself!
- Try not to get frustrated. Finding good friends is hard, and it’s going to take some time. If that club you just joined isn’t making you as happy as you thought it would, or if you thought you found a new friend only to have it fizzle out, don’t give up! Join a new club. Make a new friend. Just don’t give up hope!
- Don’t go back. Finally, if your old best friend has been coming and going for years, only wants to be your friend when it’s convenient, or tears you down instead of building you up, don’t go back to them. When life gets hard without having a best friend and you feel like you’re all alone, tough it out. Don’t go back to them. If they say they’re sorry, accept the apology, forgive them, but don’t let them have the control or access to your life that they once had. You deserve better!
I hope this helped even a little! Finding friends is hard, but it’ll be worth it in the end to have people who really care about you by your side, helping you along. A good friend can make all the difference in the world. Good luck! We’ll work through this together.
*If you ever have any questions, comments, need advice, etc. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave something in the comments sections!*