A young girl uses 6 tips to get over a friendship breakup.

6 Tips to Get Over a Friendship Breakup

Practical tips for how to move on after a friendship breakup.

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Losing a friend is hard. Whether it’s your best friend, a friend group, or even a new friend. Regardless of the circumstances, getting over a friendship breakup can be filled with grief and requires emotional recovery and patience. 

Although a lost friendship isn’t as frequently discussed as a romantic breakup, they are a common experience. A good friend provides an intimate relationship involving emotional support, companionship, and a sense of identity. When a friendship ends, it disrupts this emotional bond, leading to feelings of abandonment and rejection similar to those experienced after a romantic breakup. Below, we delve into how to get over a friendship breakup and when to seek mental health support after a friendship breakup. 

6 tips for how to get over a friendship breakup

Like the end of any relationship, getting over a friendship breakup can be challenging. Here are six tips to make it a bit easier. 

1. Accept that the relationship is over

Acceptance is a crucial step in moving on from a friendship breakup. It involves acknowledging that the relationship has ended and that it’s time to let go. This can be challenging, but accepting the reality of the situation allows you to begin the healing process and focus on your future. 

In some cases, it may also be helpful to consider any unhealthy dynamics that may have existed in the friendship. Was the relationship one-sided? Did you feel drained rather than supported? Identifying these issues can help you understand why the breakup might have been necessary for your mental health.

2. Allow yourself to grieve

Just like any significant loss, a friendship breakup can trigger the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Understanding these stages can help you navigate your emotions and realize that what you’re experiencing is a normal part of the grieving process.

It’s important to allow yourself to feel sadness around the end of the friendship. Suppressing your emotions can prolong the healing process. Instead, give yourself permission to grieve, cry, and express your sadness. Acknowledging your feelings is a healthy step towards moving on.

3. Reflect on the friendship

Reflecting on what went wrong in the friendship can provide valuable insights and lessons. Were there recurring conflicts or misunderstandings? Understanding the root causes of the breakup can help you avoid similar issues in future relationships and contribute to your personal growth.

Every relationship, even those that end, offers valuable lessons. Consider what you’ve learned from the friendship and the breakup. This could include insights about communication, boundaries, or your own needs and preferences. These lessons can guide you in building healthier relationships in the future.

4. Reconnect with yourself

It’s important to remember that your worth is not defined by any single relationship and that it is important to be comfortable and confident in your independence. Affirm your value by focusing on yourself. A friendship breakup can be an opportunity to reconnect with your interests and hobbies. Spend time doing things you love or explore new activities that intrigue you. This can help you rediscover passions that may have been neglected and bring a sense of joy and fulfillment back into your life.

5. Set boundaries as necessary

Navigating a mutual friendship and shared social spaces can be tricky after a friendship breakup. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate your needs to avoid uncomfortable situations. Being honest with mutual friends about your feelings can help them understand and support you better.

Establishing boundaries is crucial to protect your well-being. This might mean limiting contact with your old friends or avoiding certain social settings. Clear boundaries can help you heal and prevent further emotional distress.

6. Explore new friendships

While it might be tempting to retreat after a friendship breakup, being open to meeting new people can lead to fulfilling new relationships. Attend social events, join clubs or groups, and be open to making new connections. New friendships can bring fresh perspectives and joy into your life.

Focus on building healthy and positive relationships going forward. Look for friends who support and uplift you, and ensure you do the same for them. Healthy friendships are based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding, which can contribute to a more fulfilling social life.

How Charlie Health can help

If you or a loved one are struggling with your mental health after a friendship breakup, Charlie Health is here to help. Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides more than once-weekly mental health treatment for dealing with serious mental health conditions. Our expert clinicians incorporate evidence-based therapies into individual counseling, family therapy, and group sessions. Fill out the form below or give us a call to start healing today. 

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