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Surviving the Best Friend Breakup

Mathew Goldsholl

Most of us have, during our lives, reached a point in a friendship that becomes plagued with anger, fights, silences, extended silences, one-sided bad-mouthing, mutual bad-mouthing and/or violence (hopefully not).

If you haven’t, and you don’t relate to the subject, good, count yourself lucky.

But if you’ve gone through any of the above or experienced a friend break-up, or are currently experiencing one, or a friend has/is experienced one, or if you hope/fear to do so, you know that it cuts into your happiness and keeps you up at night.

I’ve never been through a romantic breakup, but a friend breakup hurts.

You tell yourself it’s fine, because you didn’t actually want to be friends with your former frater anyway. It was all to pass the time. So, if you don’t like lying to yourself and suppressing prominent emotions, take a look at this helpful list should you find yourself in a friend breakup.

  1. Don’t Seek Revenge — It’s tempting to do so, but this makes it clear to your new enemy that it is acceptable to play dirty. If you do this, the person who knows everything about you could destroy your life. Say good-bye to secrecy and say hello to misery. You’re former best friend knows what hurts you; he/she knows what secret trauma runs deep throughs your life, and unless you want everyone around you to be slyly manipulated into leaving your side and knowingly torturing you with the things you can’t fathom to live once more, don’t seek revenge.
  2. Try to Forgive — This doesn’t mean you have to like your former best friend, it just means you probably should try to understand his/her motives and thought processes and attempt to forgive. While for some, it is hard at first, forgiving someone is a great relief and an even better relaxation. You can now focus on things you want to stress about. Also, if you did anything bad during the friendship, try to forgive yourself: attempt to understand what you may have done (or maybe you did nothing wrong) and relieve yourself of the anguish.
  3. Replace ­— Friends give friends  emotional stability. If you did not value friendship because it pleases yourself, then you would not care about losing your former best friend. So pick a person or people who may fill the void and be happy. Be natural. If you try to recreate the fractured friendship with someone else, it does not become a friendship– it becomes insanity.
  4. Write — Write out your feelings (if you’re into that). Conscious understanding and verbalization of feelings help to bring us closer to peace. Knowing how we feel and who we are makes us more confident, and therefore, more able to function.
  5. Mending ­­— Talk to this person. Have a calm conversation. If you can’t have a peaceful talk, get a neutral mediator. In favor of you, your friend will not like that and things will get messier. Trust will dissipate even more so. Don’t try to set a trap for your friend. Save everyone the agony and sit down like mature human beings. You don’t have to revive your old relationship, but if you have’t already done so, it might be therapeutic to understand from where your friend is coming, and to possibly have him or her understand from where you are coming. Maybe this will even allow you two to push aside this rift. You never know.

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