Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

The End Of Friendships: Lessons In Self-Care And Self-Love

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

Arguably, breaking up with a friend is just as serious as the end of a relationship yet isn’t talked about as much in society. We have all lost friends, whether it be from an argument or simply drifting apart. Nevertheless, it remains a very difficult situation to overcome, and it is expected to encounter a deep sense of loss and a range of emotions when a friendship ends. 

I think losing a friend is so hard because they are someone we choose to be with voluntarily. The people we associate ourselves with reflect our values, interests, and even opinions. They are people we rely on for emotional support and socialisation; they can even be viewed as part of our family or something very close to it. Friendships can significantly contribute to your emotional and mental well-being, and as a result, losing a friend can feel like losing a piece of yourself. When a deep connection formed between two people is made to feel forgotten or unnecessary on their behalf, it can be very upsetting and many will wonder how they will be able to handle such a significant change. 

I have had friends who have been a massive part of my life. With some, I would have considered them one of my best friends and often spend a lot of time together, rarely leaving each other’s side. When friendships break down, it can be challenging, especially when it is such a drastic change from all to nothing. However, it gradually brings many positives. So here are my thoughts on dealing with friendship break-ups while also seeing it as an opportunity to grow and develop as a person.

  1. Are you breaking up with your friend? First of all, it is good to look at the process of a friendship breakup, especially if you are the one doing the ‘breaking up’! Friendships can become too damaging to continue, and because you’re both so connected, it’s difficult to ‘break up’. However, you owe it to the person to tell them, even if you are not in a good place with them, otherwise, they can feel lost and confused. In difficult situations like this, it is always best to be honest and upfront; if you spent a lot of time together, they deserve an explanation.
  2. Being upset is okay! Being angry is okay! Being confused is okay! Any emotion is valid; it proves how real and important the friendship was. Feelings are not there to be sheltered but to be expressed. But try to treat yourself with kindness when things are hard. This could be going out for a coffee and a sweet treat or getting a takeaway- whatever will make you happy!
  3. It may be the fault of the other person, but there must be an awareness of what both people did wrong. Whether it was dealing with a situation incorrectly on reflection or expecting too much of them. It can be difficult to be so critical, but it is necessary to reflect to gain clarity from the friendship, and to grow from it. However, do not let this process prolong. Know for yourself when it is time to stop reflecting and take on board what has been learned. People will love you, and some may dislike you, but know that it does not reflect on you. 
  4. It is important to see why the friendship was important at the time and the benefits that came with it. However, it is vital to see if it is a friendship that is still needed or something that was outgrown. Growing as a person sometimes means leaving people behind. It is okay to outgrow friendships, life and people evolve, and that includes you. 
  5. It is tough to go through something like this alone. Recognise that it is time to move on. A harsh lesson is that if you cling too tightly to people who have already let you go, you will miss out on all the things on your path— future experiences and meeting new people. Giving your energy to someone who does not return it is mentally draining; however, we are all human, and we frequently try to see the best in others. Try to spend time with other friends to avoid prolonged loneliness, and encourage yourself to remain open to the people who are important to you.

We are inevitably going make a lot of friends in our life and also lose them. It takes time to find people who share your energy and put in the same amount of effort as you do, but when people find ‘their people,’ it proves that the effort is worthwhile. Accept the end of certain friendships, knowing that they can lead to a new journey and a new set of experiences; and know that there is a past version of you that will also be so proud of how far you have come!

Kate Hayhurst

Nottingham '24

Kate is the Head of Reviews at the Nottingham Her Campus, where she is the first point of contact for anyone seeking help writing reviews and collaborates with outside projects and companies for reviews. Her interests are in lifestyle and entertainment. She is currently a final-year student at the University of Nottingham. In her free time, she plays netball, leads a charity combating Period Poverty, engages with creativity and always drinks iced coffee.