Dealing with the breakdown of a once thriving friendship can be hard, but sometimes, it’s for the best.
Sometimes friendships sink. It’s an unfortunate reality in life that sometimes your closest friend can become a distant stranger, and dealing with such a loss can be difficult to navigate. But sometimes, the right thing to do is to just let it go.
Once in a while, you come across a person and things just click. You find that you both like the same foods, you frequent the same coffee house, and your taste in clothes and movies is indiscernible. Before you know it, you become a duo and you’re doing everything together. You’re going to house parties, restaurants and game nights together. None of your other friends recognize you without your other half.
What we often forget is that as we grow and go through experiences, we are constantly being molded and shaped, no matter how old we are. We make choices and we go through losses and gains in life and these things are what make up who we are at our core. Beliefs, values, priorities, goals, it all changes and sometimes, who we mesh with changes, too. But the hardest part of all of it isn’t the changing, the growing distance or the emptiness that sometimes comes with dissolving friendships. The hardest part of losing a friend is knowing that it’s for the best and letting it dissolve into memories.
But how could letting this person go possibly be for the best? Well, your first clue is the growing distance. If you are consistently the one initiating conversations, planning hangouts and repeatedly getting cancelled-on, your friend has already subconsciously let go of you. They may not have intended to, they may not even realize it. But if they are no longer bringing anything positive into your life, it’s time to let them go. If you are the only one struggling to keep this relationship afloat, then you very well may be the only one who still cares. Carrying the weight of a relationship that was meant to be held up by two can be mentally and emotionally exhausting and damage your ability to handle other things going on in your life.
A good thing to remember is solid relationships don’t end. If your friendship has a good foundation, you won’t have much to worry about. Good friendships don’t just end. Artificial ones do.
Another huge clue to knowing when to quit trying to save a submerged ship is when this friendship and all its parts begin to interfere with other aspects and relationships in your life. If you feel too tired to hang out with those who do actually make time for you, you could be sending them the wrong signals and they may eventually quit trying. Don’t lose good friendships and relationships over trying to piece together already broken ones. More often than not, if you’re in an unhealthy relationship with someone, be it a friend or a partner, your loved ones will typically voice their concerns. If your friends and family are letting you know that this event is effecting you outwardly enough for them to tell, it’s in your best interest to trust that they can see things you may be too close to realize. Don’t let someone who no longer cares about you affect the bonds you have with those closest in your life.
I had a friend once, we went everywhere together for a while. Suddenly, she went through some stuff and ghosted everyone for a time before coming back and opening the door again. When we reconnected, I slowly realized that my best friend was gone. She was not the same person anymore and I could tell most of her interactions with me were based on what she could get from me. I kept fighting for it, though, and became mentally drained and emotionally unavailable to my own family. My husband had to finally bring all these hard things to my attention; things I already knew deep down but kept buried, hopeful that I could reignite a once raging flame. But no matter how determined I was, I would never be strong enough to keep fighting myself to let her go.
Fighting a fight we’ve already lost changes our behavior and our habits, and often births resentment. It can burn you out. Dealing with loss or rejection is tough, but it is often the only way to get through these difficult situations and get any sort of growth out of it. If hanging out with someone or trying to reconnect is causing you to pick up their bad habits, you may need to reevaluate what it is, exactly, that you’re still looking for there. It may be time to internally forgive them for any hurt they caused you and move on with your life. Something important to remember is that self-care isn’t selfish. If it’s not helping you GROW, then it has to GO.
Sometimes the best beginnings start in the wreckage of capsized relationship, whether it’s with a person or even an addiction. It’s a common saying that once you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. So if you find yourself mourning in the overturned ruble of what was once a booming barge, you need to ask yourself if this relationship is bringing anything into your life and if you have anything left to give to it. Rest easy, though, in knowing that letting go of a toxic situation can bring joy and freedom back into your life, allowing you to reach for your goals and be the best you that you can possibly be.
Remember to be kind to yourself,
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