Ways to Survive a Friendship Breakup

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Getting Through the Loss of a Friendship In a Healthy Way

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Breaking up with a friend can be just as sad and surprising as a romantic breakup. In addition to the pain of losing a friendship, you may have to see mutual friends who are still talking with your ex-pal, which can make things even more awkward. Here are some healthy ways to survive a breakup.

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Process Your Emotions

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When your friendship ends (especially if you’re not sure why things went south) you’ll be dealing with a lot of different emotions like anger, confusion, and sadness. Take some time to process everything before trying to make sense of the situation. Sort your emotions out by recognizing what you feel so you can begin healing.

People tend to deny their emotions after a friend breakup, probably because in our culture it seems odd for someone to grieve the loss of a friendship. But go ahead and cry and get it out so you can process it. Only then will you be able to move on.

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Get Some Emotional and Online Space (No Cyber Stalking)

Cyber stalking a friend
Cyber stalking your ex-friend won't help get them back. Jan Scherders/Getty Images

It can be a challenge when one friend cuts you off because you’ll probably still have friends in common. This might mean you’ll get left out sometimes from events. You will feel the urge to find out who is still hanging out with your friend by checking in with other friends or by following their every move online on Facebook or Instagram. But don’t!

Instead, give yourself the space to heal by unfriending your ex-pal or blocking them. It may seem harsh, but why torture yourself by seeing that they just spent the day with some of your pals and didn’t invite you? Having a constant visual reminder every time you log on will only delay the process of moving on. 

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Don’t Badmouth

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You might feel the need to badmouth your ex to other friends, either from a sense of revenge or because you genuinely want people to watch out for this person. But don’t. Even if your intentions are good (and you want to protect a friend in common from getting hurt) you’ll still be viewed as negative and petty. Instead, let people come to their own conclusions about your ex-friend.

Some folks will find out the truth about the toxic friend that dumped you, and others won’t mind the behaviors you found impossible to deal with. Everyone is different when it comes to friendship. 

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Accept the End as the Only Closure You Need

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Too often friends try one last phone call or email in order to get closure on a failed friendship. But having your say a final time will only serve to bring up new problems. Instead, realize that the end of a friendship (for whatever reason) is closure enough all on its own. You should accept this as the final statement about your friendship and put your energy into forming new friendships instead. 

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Get Out and Make New Friends

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Sometimes the best way to get over a friend breakup is to get out and make new friends. You can take all those great lessons you learned with your old friendship and apply them to your new one. 

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Be Really Good to Yourself

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Exercise, mediate, get creative. Find ways to enjoy alone time because it gives you a chance to regroup and figure out what you want in your life and relationships. Treating yourself to a massage never hurts either.

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Don’t Obsess Over Everything You Said and Did

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It’s natural to want to think through everything you said or did in order to figure out what went wrong. But there's a balance between reflecting back on a friendship and obsessing over your actions. Learn from your mistakes (if indeed you made any) but then let it go. Most friendships don't last because of normal life circumstances.

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Go Ahead, Indulge

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Eat that pint of ice cream if it will make you feel better. But don’t keep doing it forever. You can allow yourself the space the indulge for a short time in order to heal your spirit. 

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Nothing can help you put things in perspective like helping out someone in need. So get your volunteer cap on and put your energy into improving the lives of other people. Whether it's random acts of kindness or volunteering for a cause, you'll soon find that your friendship breakup will be old news when you concentrate on people who need help.

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Do Things That Make You Happy Without Revisiting Memory Lane

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It's tempting to look at every activity as something you'll never get to do with your friend again, so instead of that, do the things that make you happy for your own reasons. Don't go down memory lane but do things that bring joy to your life.

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Binge Watch a Favorite Show

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Feel like vegging out in front of the TV for several hours while you catch up on a favorite show? Go for it. Binge watching a television series can take your mind off the problems with your friend. 

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Write Out Your Feelings

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One way to figure out your emotions is by writing them out. This helps if you feel like you have things you still want to say to your friend. Get all your thoughts on paper, but don't send them to your friend. Writing out your emotions in this way is a form of closure just for you.

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Let Your Doggie Show You Just How Fabulous You Are

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After a breakup, you may be feeling as if having a true friend is just not in the cards for you. This is especially true if your friend betrayed you. That's where spending time with your dog can help. Dogs help teach us about kindness and acceptance and they're even a good way to meet new people. 

It's hard to stay sad about the end of a friendship when you have a dog who looks at you like you're the center of the universe. 

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Seek a Professional Counselor or Therapist If You Feel You Need To

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If you feel stuck, unable to move on from the friendship or make new friends, it might be time to get professional help. When you're really struggling to get over the end of a friendship and just can't seem to make the mental leap you need, seek out a professional therapist or counselor who can help you sort out your emotions.

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Hang Out With Your Good Friends

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When one friend dumps you suddenly it can make you feel as if all your friends hate you. That's why you should spend time with your inner circle, or ​good friends who can lift your spirits.