Having long-standing friendships enrich our lives and make us happy. Clinically, good friendships reduce our risk of many health problems and are good for our mental health. Making friends have been taught to us early on in life because it is a social norm to surround yourself with people of similar interests as you. You make friends with a girl in class because you like the same color. You make friends with the boy in the playground because you both enjoy taking turns on the slide.
We gain a lot of friends when we are younger but when we grow older, the number of our friends whittle because we only share the same sets of principles and interests with a few. We keep those who understand us and hold no judgment of us despite their objections to our life choices. We keep friends who ground us, allow us to grow, and are there for us no matter what.
Maintaining a friendship requires trust, honesty, good communication, treating each other as equals, and independence. Most friends do not see each other due to work commitments, family, and other priorities but they remain closer than before. While there are some friendships that do not last despite the constant get-togethers and lunch dates or coffee dates.
That is why losing friends you’ve spent most of your life is not only difficult but it’s also hurtful. You wonder why one misunderstanding or argument can break your friendship, so you ponder and reflect where you went wrong. Out initial response or reaction to this situation is to try and fix or solve it. We trace the root cause and work from there. We try to mend by asking for forgiveness and resolving to be a better friend.
What’s worrying is when you or your friend has reached a breaking point and you lack the desire to continue being friends. This is not a good situation to be in, It is heartbreaking to lose a friend, especially losing them for good.
How does one cope with losing a friend? Here are 5 ways on how to cope with losing friends.
Take your mind off things.
A lot of your day to day activities may remind you of your friend or friends whom you’ve cut ties with. Probably because you do these things together. It may be best to take a different approach to your day and do things that you wouldn’t normally do. If you’d have lunch dates every other day at your favorite Italian restaurant, maybe try to eat at a Chinese restaurant on that day that way you wouldn’t be reminded of them too much. If you meet up for coffee after work, maybe you could go to the salon and have your nails done. A little bit of break up from routine should be a refresher and will take your mind off things.
Find a hobby you can enjoy.
Having an enjoyable hobby will not only keep you preoccupied but it gives you a new sense of purpose. It also keeps you productive. Having to lose friends may make you uninterested in things you’d usually like. Being productive and cultivating a new hobby may just give you the boost that you need.
Try to volunteer.
Talking about a sense of purpose, volunteering is your best option. Go to your local NGO (Non-Government Organization) office, or other organization close to your heart. You get to visit different places, hear the stories from locals, and gain an understanding of their way of life. It allows you to meet new people, to appreciate life, and gain a new perspective on things. Volunteering helps you realize that life is not always about yourself and your problems. There are people suffering more than you and are waiting for help, or even just someone that can bridge them towards the help they need.
Enroll in a Zumba class, or enrolling in a gym.
Exercise brings out the needed endorphins to perk you up. Having something to look forward to every day is good for you. You may think that you’re just dragging yourself to work out but once you experience how fun it is to overcome your daily goals at the gym. It is also one way you could make friends- people at the gym are fun people. They might seem intimidating at first but they’re actually fun-loving people too focused on their daily goals. It’s also a nice way to form friendships from people at the gym because you have something in common- surviving your daily workouts.
Seek out from family, other friends, or a professional.
When the aftermath of losing friends is too much for you to take, reach out to someone you can talk to and comfortable to be yourself with. There are people who are too emotional to handle losing friends, especially if they’re long-time friends. They would feel dejected and would lose interest in participating in daily life. If you’re having a hard time moving on from losing your friends, there are steps you can take and things you can do to overcome it. You can talk to your parents, your work friends, your friends from church, or you can even check in with a professional (Psychiatrist) if you’re uncomfortable talking about it with close friends and family. Get all the help you need. The outcome you’re looking for may not be instantaneous, but a step forward towards the right direction is so much better than no progress at all.
How you cope up with losing friends is totally up to you and your conviction and desire to move forward. Before you take the necessary steps though, make sure you ask forgiveness from your friend whom you have a falling out with. Regardless if it’s your fault or not, it’s important to say sorry and make peace. That way, you can move on and put the falling out behind and not be burdened by it. It is essential that you do this because the aforementioned suggestions will render useless. What is important is you have peace of mind and a heart at ease.