When we have best friends, we assume we will have that friendship forever. Sadly, sometimes that isn’t the way it works out.

When Friendships aren't ForeverFriendships end for a variety of reasons. A friendship might dissolve when one of you moves away, or it could end when there is conflict or disappointment or betrayal, or could be when one of you has experienced more emotional growth and healing and one has not.

Friendships require a foundation of love and respect. One of the best questions to ask yourself is, “Is this a friendship where I can like myself when I am with them?” It is important to look inward and determine why you want to be friends with this person and how do they make you feel. Do you feel loved and is the foundation one of authenticity and vulnerability?

Sometimes growing apart is exactly what you need, or it can also be unexpected. When the loss occurs, it is can be painful. Here are some suggestions to help you process the grief and cope with the situation.

  1. Recognition that some friendships end. Some friendships are meant to be in our life for a specific time and based on your connection and shared life. These types of friendships usually end due to a change in the shared life.
  2. Reflection and Accountability for endings. If there was conflict, or betrayal, or put downs, this is the time to take an inventory of your part in the situation, or how you may have reacted. Assess if you might need to seek therapy to address some underlying issues that contributed to the conflict. You might need to use this time to take action to heal from some unhealthy patterns. If there is a mutual emotional maturity, then perhaps you can talk it out and address the concerns to have closure and move on.
  3. Leave the past where it belongs. It is easy to stay stuck in good memories and feel like you need to keep trying and putting forward effort. But if you are the only one wanting to stay connected, then use perspective to recognize that the friendship is behind you, as it takes two people to be active participants for a friendship. You can also want the best for someone but recognize that you don’t want to spend time with them as they do not contribute to your life anymore. Accept that you have changed, they have changed, and it is ok for you each move on.

Regardless of the scenario you find yourself in, remember to put yourself first. Remember that you are worth of healthy friendships that add to your life, not subtract from it. Goodbyes can hurt, but sometimes this change can be a good thing.

If you have a question you would like to ask or a topic to be addressed in next month’s article, please email jenn@pinkertonpsychotherapy.com. If you would like to schedule an individual appointment, please contact us at 713.800.6999 or www.pinkertonpsychotherapy.com.

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