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Letting Go Of Friendships and Moving On

Whenever we experience a breakup, there is always an abundance of music and movies for us to cope with and grieve, portraying the challenges of ending a romantic relationship. Often, we think that the process of grieving only involves the death of someone. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that in addition to loss, grief also occurs with break ups, failures, distance, ghosting, and in termination of friendships.


Something that is not commonly spoken about, and we are left to figure out on our own is how to move on from a friendship.


From when we are young, we are taught the meaning and value of friendships, and how we can maintain them. Often, we may have heard our parents reason with us about that introverted and reserved kid, or about the bully; reinstating that we must be kind and understand everyone has their own battles. This is where we start to understand better, how friendships work.


Over time, we may tend to taper off, especially during adolescence as this is when friendships become more significant. As priorities change, and we meet different people, the meaning of these friendships can change too. We might decide, we want to keep our social interactions smaller, or we might decide to back off from those who were once our friends since our values do not align anymore. Sometimes, we may even move towards social isolation and loneliness.


Whatever might be our reasons for choosing to maintain or terminate our friendships, there is evidence that strong social support systems promote physical and emotional health.


Benefits of Friendships


Having friends creates a sense of belongingness, and also helps boost self-esteem. Our friends can help us feel seen and heard and can often be our biggest cheerleaders.

Maintaining friendships can also help with memory in our later years of life. In order to keep our brains active, socialisation is a must and can significantly reduce the risk of dementia. This primarily occurs because of brain stimulation and can lead to better cognitive resilience.

Stress and anxiety levels can be lowered by friendships.Having close and solid friendships is closely linked to better mental health.


In several ways, having strong connections can increase life satisfaction. It increases your chances of enjoying life by enticing you to trust in other people and adopt a positive outlook.


How To Move On From The Heart Break?


Maintain Distance

Distance is necessary for healing and moving forward. The places you visit might need to change for some time to avoid the memories and kickstart the process. One can also delete pictures from social media or unfollow or block them if they are consistently appearing on your feed. It’s alright if you need to temporarily stop participating in activities. At first, withdrawing can be therapeutic, but don’t give up everything you value to avoid encounters with your ex-friend.


Let go of guilt

Try to release any guilt you may have about how things ended or past situations in your friendship. At the same time, it is important to take ownership of your actions and any mistakes you may have made in the friendship, no matter how minute. Letting go of unfounded guilt frees you from being emotionally attached to the other person and allows you to move forward. At the same time, taking responsibility for your actions promotes personal growth and helps you become a better friend in future relationships. It’s a win win for you!


Practice self-compassion

Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Acknowledge your feelings and emotions without judgement. Treat yourself with the same care and understanding that you would offer to a friend who is going through a tough time.


Take care of your physical health

Make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular exercise. Physical health has a direct impact on emotional well-being, and taking care of your body can help you feel better overall.


Engage in activities you enjoy

Do things that bring you joy and fulfilment. Whether it’s a hobby, a sport, or spending time with loved ones, engaging in activities that make you happy can help you shift your focus away from the lost friendship and towards positive experiences.


Seek support

Reach out to supportive friends, family, or a therapist for emotional support. Talking about your feelings and emotions with someone you trust can be cathartic and validating, and can help you process your thoughts and feelings about the lost friendship.


Set boundaries

It’s important to set healthy boundaries to protect your emotional well-being. This may involve limiting contact with the person or taking a break from social media if it’s triggering for you. Focus on creating a positive environment for yourself.


Practice self-reflection

Take time to reflect on your own needs, desires, and values. Use this opportunity to reconnect with yourself and focus on personal growth. Journaling, meditation, or mindfulness practices can be helpful in gaining clarity and insight.


Practice self-empowerment

Focus on building your self-esteem and confidence. Set and achieve personal goals, engage in activities that make you feel accomplished, and celebrate your achievements. Building a strong sense of self-worth can help you thrive independently, without relying on external validation.


Validate your emotions

The end of a friendship can indeed trigger feelings of rejection and a sense of loss, similar to a romantic breakup. It can evoke emotions such as hurt, loneliness, jealousy, guilt, shame, social anxiety, embarrassment, sadness, and anger, as highlighted by research.It’s important to acknowledge and validate these emotions, even if society may not always recognise the impact of friendship breakups in the same way as romantic breakups. It’s okay to feel the pain and loss associated with the end of a close friendship, and it’s important to give yourself permission to experience and process these emotions in a healthy way.


Remember that healing from a friendship breakup is a unique process for everyone, and it’s okay to take the time and space you need to process your emotions and move forward. Be kind to yourself, practice self-care, and prioritise your emotional well-being as you navigate through the challenging experience of a friendship breakup.

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