Sometimes, friendships end without explanation, even if you are the one that ended it. The worst part is not even when they end in a clear-cut way, but when there is a slow decline. As someone who loves to be in control and know why things are happening, this situation is the worst. The not knowing and the loss of routine can cause me to spiral into self-deprecating thoughts: Why wasn’t I good enough for this person? What did I do wrong? Is there something inherently horrible about me? These thoughts can lead to an extreme hole of self-hatred and sadness. As someone who has gone through this, it can be daunting. So, to help people with these uncomfortable but needed transitions, here are some tips and tricks to help them learn to move on.
Before you can analyze what happened, you need to remember a couple of key things. First, you can not control what other people think of you. I spend so much time trying to analyze what I did wrong or what happened. All of this comes down to ego – what is it about me that they don’t like? But here, you need to find compassion and love for yourself. Their decision to not be friends with you does not reflect who you are as a person. You are still worthy and valued. Remember, most people are not meant to be friends forever; friendships evolve and change over time. There can be a hundred reasons why friendships end, such as incompatibility. These types of conflicts are normal and natural.
Another thing to consider is if a friendship ends abruptly, it’s always good to have a conversation and be able to clear the air. However, you cannot force people to reach out if they don’t want to. Sometimes people will not give you the answer you want to hear because communication isn’t always easy. Just remind yourself that if someone could cut you off without any warning, they probably weren’t a good friend in the first place.
All that said, it’s important to also reflect on yourself. Every loss is a lesson in the making. The best way to reflect is to be honest with yourself. Were there some things you could have done better? Was the friendship satisfying or beneficial for either of you? Did you also distance yourself? Sometimes when caught up in a loss, people only think about how they feel wronged. While it’s important to reflect, remember to also have compassion. You can not change the past, but you can use what you have learned for friendships in the future.
I think the hardest part of losing a friendship, outside of confusion and sadness, is the feeling of loneliness. Especially on a college campus, students are always surrounded by people who appear to be having the best time ever. However, a lot of people around them are also feeling lonely. According to a study done in 2017 of nearly 48,000 college students, 64% said they had felt “very lonely” in the previous 12 months. As the study shows you are not alone, and the people who you think have it together- probably don’t. This is why comparison only will make a person feel worse and lead to nothing productive. Instead. Remember that in the same way nobody knows how you are feeling all the time, you don’t know how everyone is feeling constantly. Some people can look like they are having the time of their lives but are also struggling with friendships and loneliness.
No matter what, you can always reinvent yourself. People are like a constant work of art. If you feel like you’re stuck around bad people or feel stuck being alone, remember you can always change your reality. Joining clubs, interacting with friends from classes, or maybe asking someone to grab a coffee are all great ways to meet people in college. Plus, using the new time to reflect and work on yourself will allow you to heal and attract good people. Additionally, you can always work to spend time with friends that you haven’t seen in a while. At the end of the day, everything will be okay, and if you give it time, new friendships will blossom.