We often hear the acronym BFF — best friends forever. As kids and teens, we probably used it a lot to indicate a close bond with someone. When we’re young, we probably won’t experience a friendship fallout. Even if we did, it probably didn’t have that much influence on our lives. We move on and find someone else. But as we grow older, we come to realize that relationships are not simple whatsoever.
Our bonds will be tested over and over again until they become either stronger or strained. At some point, whether through an argument or otherwise, the friendship may cease to exist. Or, on the other hand, the friendship may slowly deteriorate. Slowly, you drift apart, and then you realize that you’re basically strangers. With that being said, here are some mindsets that will help you cope with your friendship fallout.
This statement may sound a bit insensitive, especially for someone who’s reading this and having just fallen out with a long-time friend. Friendship fallouts, much like breakups, are painful if we’re in the thick of it. It’s difficult to look beyond our immediate reactions and find the strength to move on.
We can’t heal if we’re still stuck contemplating the reasons why and how everything went downhill. Was it our fault? Was it something our friend did? What could we have done differently?
These are just a few of the questions that swirl in our minds right after a friendship fallout. Notice how it’s pretty much the same when we break up with a romantic partner. Which one is more painful? Did we not move on from that one too? If so, how did we do so?
It’s only by recognizing that we did what we could to salvage the relationship that we start to move on and remember, we can only do so much. What’s done is done. It couldn’t have gone any other way. We can’t control the actions of anyone but ourselves, and at this point, there’s no going back.
When there’s pain, there’s growth. When a relationship ends, the best thing that we can do moving forward is to not commit the same mistakes over and over again if we don’t want to keep hurting the people we love.
We start by recognizing our shortcomings, admitting them to our friends, and promising ourselves that we won’t commit the same mistakes again for as long as it’s within our control. Sometimes, vanity and pride can get in the way. Don’t let them.
This could be the biggest positive takeaway we can learn from a fallout, an education on how to be a better friend and person. Knowing that we can prevent hurting other people left in our lives can make us a bit optimistic about the situation.
Also, empathize. Understand what your friend went through. Perhaps they pushed you away because they were going through a rough time or had a major lifestyle shift. Only by fully understanding their side of the story will we know how to view the situation in a realistic light.
The worst thing that we could do after a friendship fallout is to speak ill of them.. All that does is put ourselves into a much deeper hole that might be too difficult to climb out of.
Remember, the things we say about others reflect more about our own character as opposed to theirs. Instead, realize that none of the things we say moving forward would mean anything anymore. Yield and wish them well.
Years and years of friendship surely could have yielded a lot of mutual friends. This is the part where we take care of them too. They may have gotten caught up in the fallout as well, more than you know.
Don’t ever put them in a position to choose, however. Your mutual friends have the right to stay friends and keep in touch with both of you.
Change is the only thing that’s constant in this world. And that’s also true to our bonds and relationships. Nothing lasts forever they say, but also let’s not fault ourselves for treating someone as our BFF.
Know that we will forever have the memories of the friendship that we shared. Fun times, sad times, crazy times, and bad times. These are treasures that no one can ever take away from us.
While we accept that we can’t ever possibly be friends again these shared memories will always put a smile on our faces.
“Wait, what?” you may be asking. We’re not going back on our word here, but this is talking long-term. People come and go. Relationships get broken but they can also be healed and, as such, friendships may be rekindled.
While you can’t expect it to be rekindled, you also shouldn’t burn the bridge completely. There is always a possibility that as you both mature, you can come back and be friends again. The friendship will not be the same as it was before, but it can change for the better. Leave your heart open to the possibility of future change.
Letting go is hard but sometimes it’s what we need to be a better person. Remember, blaming ourselves won’t do any good. Maybe what happened was what’s best for both parties. We need to learn from our mistakes, be mindful of the people still left in our lives, and know that we can cherish the memories.
While it may seem difficult at first to adopt these mindsets, know that every day you try implementing them is a day you progress on your path to healing. And, through that healing, you’ll come out of this stronger.