Do you remember the time when you were like three years old and you would just go up to the first random kid in the park and tell them, “You’re going to be my best friend?” I wish it was still that simple as an adult. Trying to make and maintain friends nowadays is like a 9-5 job.

At 25, I have had my fair share of losing friends that I often don’t reflect on why they weren’t meant to be in my life anymore. I would like to take the time to thank a few of them, even if they never read this.

Thank you, B.

Thank you, B for being my best friend all throughout middle and most of high school. Truly, you were there for me when no one else was. You helped me through my parents’ divorce. You helped me with the heartbreak of my first boyfriend. Thank you for all of the adventures, the matching shirts that we made in my living room, the songs we wrote/sang together in your room, and making music together every day in band class. Thank you for always pushing me to be a better trombone player. We laughed together, we cried together, we got mad at each other, and we loved each other. I would honestly say that you were my first real best friend. I will always treasure what we had.

Thank you, G.

Thank you, G for helping me get through one of the hardest nights of my life; the night that I thought it was all going to come to an end. Your text messages uplifted me and really helped me to rest a little easier, when I was all alone. Your friendship for 4 short months means more to me than you will ever know.

Thank you, D.

Thank you, D. Our friendship was very short-lived and started off rocky. You taught me how to be more open-minded and accepting of people. You especially taught me how to not judge a book by its cover. Our daily conversations of encouragement, boys, and even the prospect of moving in together really helped me. I hope you find what you’re looking for in life, because you deserve it. I will always be here for you if you ever need a friend.

How to recover from losing friends

Losing a friend can be extremely painful. Some days it feels like the world has stopped. Some days you are depressed or angry and are not sure how to move back to a place of peace after a friend hurt you. Here are a few tips to help after losing a friend:

Losing Friends – Step 1

Loss is so prevalent. Validate the loss. Feel the loss. Experience the loss. Write down all of the losses from the friendship. Write down the memories and dreams you lost with this person. What did it symbolize to you? What did you lose? Did you lose a movie buddy? Did you lose a dinner date? How does it effect your schedule? It’s important to feel the loss. Recognize that it hurts. It makes you a stronger person to go through this grieving process. Give yourself permission to grieve. Be gentle with yourself.

Losing Friends – Step 2

This one may seem surprising, but letting yourself feel angry is very important. Anger is separate from grief and loss. It can come from feeling betrayed by your expectations or even painful or hurtful words exchanged during the breakup. Anger can almost sound like it’s blaming the other person, but in reality it helps you self reflect on what you could have done better in the relationship. The most valuable response to anger is asking yourself, “Where in here do I need to forgive?” List things down that you hope to forgive in yourself and the other person.

Through this whole process, you do not want to blame anyone or be bitter or be judgmental. You want to be someone who has processed their loss. Who has healed and felt it and owned it. Be someone who got better at forgiving.

Losing Friends – Step 3

The most important action is gratitude. Be grateful for the positive experiences the other person may be having without you. Be grateful for the memories you had with that person. Initially, it may be very painful to be grateful for the person that has hurt you so deeply, but choose to be grateful and push through those negative emotions. Make a list of things that you’re grateful for with that person. Hold onto the gratitude.

Losing Friends – Step 4

Lastly, make sure to talk about it really carefully. There is a thin line between suffering alone and hurting the other person’s friendships. Don’t bash the other person to mutual friends in an effort to try to ruin their friendships. Even if you’re mad at the other person, it is your job to speak kindly about them. Seek advise about situation. Do not go into the conversation trying to win them over and get them to agree with you about the person. Do so with a willingness to grow as a person.

Don’t think that doing all of this will not make you miss the person. Friendships ebb and flow. There are so many other relationships out there. Try to get as healthy and whole as you can be so that you can get back into loving and supporting relationships.

10 thoughts on “The Art of Losing Friends

  1. Absolutely adored every inch of this article! I can relate and love how you thanked a few even though they might never read it. And it is extremely hard to make friends as an adult!! I know and agree with all of this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved this – so beautifully written! As people grow they grow apart and it’s only natural for some friendships not to last. I love your tips on how to deal with it too. I’m also 24 and know how you’re feeling!
    Charlotte | charlotterick.com x

  3. I loved this post. It’s so hard losing friendships that we were once so attached to. The pain runs deep. But, I’ve truly come to realize that not everyone that comes into our lives is meant to stay. Sometimes people come to teach us something, or maybe for us to teach them something. I agree that it’s important to be grateful for the good times and we should wish them well.

  4. Wonderful advice! I’ve had my fair share of lost friendships. At the time they seemed like the end of the world, but how I find it hardly matters. Those who matter are still in my life.

  5. Very wise, it is ok to feel angry! I can remember all those friends from my past who all had a role to play. But now it would seem out of place to remain close friends. I guess as we follow the cycle that life takes us on we lose more friends but gain more as well! Thanks for the lovely read, it has given me pause to reflect x

    1. Life is definitely a cycle! I have learned that the hard way. I am so grateful for the friends that I have lost because they made it possible for me to have the life I have now. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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