Have you ever seen those quotes around Pinterest that say, "If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors," or "If you wanna find out who's a true friend, screw up or go through a challenging time... then see who sticks around"? If so, chances are you've lost a friend at some point in your life. If you are one of the lucky souls who hasn't gone through this, let me tell you something: it sucks. It's worse than a romantic break-up. However, no big loss comes without some gain, so here are 10 things I've learned from losing a friend:
1. You Never Truly Know Someone
When your friendship is good, it's great. You see all the good in them, and rarely see any flaws. You convince yourself that what you see is what you get with this person--until the friendship ends, anyway. No matter how well you know someone, they can still surprise you. People are capable of almost anything, no matter how often you convince yourself otherwise.
2. Social Media Is The Devil
When someone who has been in your life for a long period of time suddenly isn't there anymore, you feel sort of empty. You start to get that itch to see what they're doing, so you log in to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to check out their profile. Don't do this. Seriously. As soon as you two (or you and a group of people) go your separate ways, unfriend, unfollow, or block them on all social media. It's way too easy to check up on them and it halts your emotional healing and prevents you from genuinely making new friends.
3. You Have To Process Your Emotions Before You Move On
A lot of people are obsessed with not dwelling on the negative, which is great, but it often leads to bottling up emotions that are necessary to heal. Let yourself cry, whether from sadness or anger, for however long you need before getting back on the horse again. It's important to not beat yourself up or point a finger at your ex-friends during this time, however.
4. It's Really, Really Hard To Not Let Your Emotions Get The Better Of You
When I get angry, which is rare, I get mean; especially if that anger is coming from a place of hurt feelings. While I was venting about my lost friendships to my closest friends I made myself very aware that my anger, if left unchecked, could lead me to saying things I regret. If I caught myself thinking negative, mean, or untrue things about the people that hurt me, I made sure to keep my feelings to myself until I could express my thoughts in a way that was healthy for me without dragging my ex-friends through the dirt. It might be satisfying to talk shit in the moment, but it leads to misunderstandings and guilt later!
5. Admitting That You're Wrong Is Hard, But So Worth It
When a relationship of any kind ends, it is never just one person's fault. It takes two to make or break anything. It's easy to blame the other person for the friendship falling apart, but it's incredibly important to take a step back and look at the situation objectively. Ask yourself if their reasons could possibly be true. Likely, their issues with you really do hold some truth to them, as much as it sucks to admit it. If you want to continue making real, genuine friendships in the future, make sure you acknowledge your own faults and flaws from the lost friendship so that you don't make those mistakes again.
6. People Who Don't Make Time For You Aren't Worth It
I am a doormat through and through. I will seriously bend over backwards for people in hoped that they will pay attention to me for even just a minute. I've been in my fair share of one-sided friendships in my life and they always end in heartbreak. These people will wear you down until you question whether or not you are truly worth paying attention to. You are! If someone calls them self your friend but you have to beg for attention and you wonder if they actually care, they are not a friend at all.
7. If Someone Avoids Problems Or Confrontation, Be Cautious
No friendship is perfect. You're going to disagree, annoy each other, and get into fights. It's unavoidable, and healthy if done right. If you have a problem with a friend or see a behavior of theirs that is worrying, talk to them about it! Nothing will change if they don't know that what they are doing is toxic or hurtful. If a friend says everything is okay for months and months, acts like everything is normal, and then suddenly blows up on you--that's not a healthy friendship. That's someone who didn't think you were worth working on and decided to take the easy way out.
8. Don't Let Bad Endings Prevent New Beginnings
There's a quote that goes around that goes something like, "Everyone in life is going to hurt you, you just have to find the people worth hurting for." People are dumb and make mistakes, there's no doubt about that. You are going to hurt and be hurt by people--but don't let this fact make you isolated from the world. Go out and get your heart broken and mended again. You are going to find people who are worth it, and who think you're worth it, too!
9. It's Important To Treasure The Good Memories
No ended friendship should ruin the good times that you had together. Eventually, you will be able to look back on those memories without crying. Treasure those times you shared because they made you happy, because the friendship was great while it lasted.
10. No Matter What Hurtful Things Were Said, You Deserve Awesome, Supportive Friends
Even if they called you a bitch, a slut, and said you were the most terrible person they had ever met, know this: regardless of your flaws, you deserve love and support like everyone else. You will find someone who thinks you're awesome and worth loving, and you will deserve it!
Friends will come and go throughout your entire life, but make sure you think about the good times you had, and make sure you take something away from each experience.