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Healing From A Friendship Breakup: 6 Lessons I Learned

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

I like to believe that everything happens for a reason and that every person in my life and every interaction I have serves a certain purpose. I have used this attitude to get me through friendship breakups because let’s be real, losing a friend is probably worse than losing a significant other. Here is how I try to heal and grow after a friendship breakup.


I have looked back on past friendships and realized how toxic they were to me as our relationship developed. But the thing about toxic friendships is that they don’t always start like that. I wanted to include a quick section touching on this because it’s not always easy to realize that you are in a toxic situation, in fact, most of the time you only realize that once you are out of it. Toxicity can come in all shapes and sizes, making it hard to recognize. But how the toxicity takes its shape doesn’t make it less valid. We often hear about toxic signs like someone being manipulative or being a gaslighter, but it can also mean that they are not supporting you how you want to be supported or are supporting them. It can mean that they expect the same amount of dedication to the friendship that you put in but refuse to match that effort. In these situations, there isn’t much you can do if you have already expressed how you feel, and cutting someone off is the best option for you, even if it hurts.

reality and reflection

It is easy to sweep everything under the rug to try to move on with your life. But one of the biggest points of growth for me was trying to understand what the actual breakup was about. Sometimes, there is no real reason, but if there is a reason, reflecting on that is always a good place to start. It is also important to realize that breakups aren’t always bad and sometimes they need to happen in order for you to keep growing.

Take the time by yourself, without listening to what others have to say, and think about how you feel. Often times after a friendship ends, you are able to look back and realize that there were a lot of small details in the friendship that you overlooked because you were close, but things you wouldn’t overlook when you are making a new friend. I suggest that you reflect by yourself first, because your friends might always have something to say, whether they mean it with good or bad intentions. Don’t let outside perspectives sway your choice, because, at the end of the day, this was your friendship.


If you end up in a sticky situation where there breakup occurred between two people in a larger friend group, I encourage you to observe your environment. What I mean by that is, once you have your own thoughts in order, look around to how your other friends are reacting. Most of the time, their reactions will tell you everything you need to know. It will show you who your real friends are and often times, those friends who love you unconditionally will show you what a healthy friendship looks like.

Lessons I have learned

Don’t let others stunt your growth

This sounds harsh, but sometimes there are going to be people in your life who hold you back from being the best possible version of yourself. It is different if you have friends who are at different points of their lives, but that shouldn’t stunt your growth. Friendship is supposed to help you grow and learn from each other. Cutting off someone who does the opposite of that, someone who is holding you back, is not a bad thing.

Put yourself first

When it comes to your own mental health and stability, please put yourself first! If that means cutting ties with people or taking space for yourself, then you do you. Prioritizing yourself isn’t selfish, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Protect your Peace

It is so easy to think endlessly about why someone would behave the way that they did, trust me, I’ve done it. But let me tell you how much it ruined my peace. You can’t change someone else’s actions, but you can control your own.

acknowledge your growth

At the end of the day, you can think about this experience positively or negatively, and that is completely up to you. I like to think that every relationship I have had in my life has taught me something. I don’t mean this completely literally, I mean it more in a sense that you can take away something from your friendship. Whether it be something that you learned about yourself or something you learned about how you want to be treated in a friendship, I am sure that everyone can learn something from every relationship.

Love is unconditional

This one was one of the most important things that I learned. Love is and should be unconditional. If someone loves you, they will try to maintain your relationship. Obviously, this isn’t referencing any sort of criminal activity, but it is important to realize that love or even affection shouldn’t be placed on a condition. Everyone will grow and change, and if that is something that a friend can’t understand or even accept, I would say that their love is conditional. And if one small disagreement is enough to break a friendship, what are friendships really for?

forgiving doesn’t have to mean forgetting

You can forgive someone and still chose not to have them in your life. Forgiving can mean healing from what happened, but not letting there be a possibility of it happening again. It is okay to be sad about what happened but still move on. These statements don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

Healing isn’t linear

While I hope I was able to shed some insight on the sort of mindset that helped me move on from friendship breakups, it is important to keep in mind that everyone’s path to healing isn’t the same and that healing isn’t always going to be linear in form. At the end of the day, who you surround yourself with is your choice, and you are the only one who can change that.

Pranathi Natarajan is a junior at the University of Connecticut. As a Human Rights and Political Science double major, when she isn't reading, she is dancing, drinking coffee, and spending time with her friends and family.