Thursday, January 23, 2014

Real Life: How to Handle a Friend Break-up

Today's post is going to be a little bit different. Since my blog is not specifically just a 'beauty' blog, I thought it would be fun to share some personal/lifestyle posts every once in a while.

At the ripe old age of 27, I have learned some things over the years. I've made many friends and even lost some friends. Losing friends can be devastating, especially if you were particularly close to that person and it didn't end on good terms. Sometimes people just grow apart, and that's okay! This post is directed more towards a friendship ending badly or a 'friend break up' as I like to call it.

In the year after high school, I went through a friend break up with my best friend. We had been best friend's for a few years and were super close. I practically lived at her house most of the time. Although this 'break up' was both of our faults, I was the one who ended it and I'm not proud about the way it was handled. I haven't spoken to her since but I thought it would be helpful to share some some tips on handling a friend break up. I wish I would have known some of these things back when it was happening to me but they say hindsight is 20/20 for a reason.
How to handle a friend break up
Here are my suggestions for handling a friend break up:

1. Do not wait until small problems become big problems: This is a big one. One of the main reasons I was starting to drift away from this friend was because of how judgmental and negative she was. I could not stand listening to someone say so many negative things about people all the time and it came to the point where I was starting to act the same way. Instead of saying something to her about it when it was happening, I ignored it until it came to the point where I couldn't handle it anymore and I just stopped talking to her without giving a reason. I just needed a break. Looking back, if I would have expressed these things to her before they became such a big deal it possibly could have saved our friendship or at least we could have had an actual argument about it.

2. Do not respond out of anger: This is another big one. Back when my friend break up was happening, Myspace was the big thing. This friend of mine sent me a horrible Myspace message not long after we stopped talking. The message was so hurtful that I remember crying and asking my Mom if the things she said about me were true. At this point, I should have let it go and just not responded but I was so hurt and so angry that I sent a message back. The message I sent was just as hurtful and this destroyed the possibility of us ever being friends again. So if your friend sends you a rude text, email, or message, take a step back and give yourself time to respond (if you even choose to). If you do respond, keep it factual and leave out the personal attacks. If I knew then what I know now, I never would have responded to the message.

3. Do not seek revenge: If the friendship is over (or you're taking a time-out), do not try to seek revenge for hurt feelings. This could include a multitude of things: posting mean pictures, writing rude things about them, spreading rumors, etc. After my friend break up, we agreed to bring borrowed stuff back to each other (I had a dress of hers, she had my CD collection and a necklace) at our school. When I arrived at my desk, I noticed that she had thrown my CD collection all over the top of it and my necklace lay broken on the pile of CDs. Obviously this upset me but I just walked her dress (hung up nicely in a garment bag!) over to her desk and laid it down. I was done putting so much energy into this fight. I think I was over the anger and mainly just hurt by her actions. It's NEVER okay to be the person who seeks revenge. It makes you look immature and you will never let go if you continue to fight. Sometimes you have to be the bigger person and just walk away.

4. Let yourself be sad: It's okay to be sad after a friend break up. Your feelings have been hurt and you just lost someone you used to spend a lot of time with. Spend some time in your sweatpants watching trashy tv and eating ice cream. Cry if you want to! This is all totally okay. Just don't let it last forever because you'll miss out on opportunities and other friends!

5. Find people you enjoy being around: Sometimes after a friend break up, your other friends will choose sides. This sucks but it's the way things seem to go. I was lucky to have had a solid group of friends before the 'break up' so I still had them afterwards as well. I spent a lot of time getting to know my current best friend (she's been my bestie for 10 years now!) and ended up sending time with people I may not have had time for when I was spending all my time with my previous best friend. If you don't have a solid group of friends, I would suggest joining a club or sport that you love to find people who enjoy the same things as you. Or host a get together and have everyone bring a friend of theirs that no one has met. This is a great way to find potential friends!

6. Apologize (or don't!): Sometimes after you have had time to think you will realize your fight was stupid or you just want your friend back. If you find that your break up really was unnecessary, reach out to them again! I have a friend who went through a friend break up and after a year or so they got back in touch and realized they were both sorry and wanted to continue the friendship. If you reach out and your friend is still upset, let it go. It doesn't make sense to continue to reach out to someone who doesn't want to make contact. In my situation I have never apologized or reached out to my friend. There are days when I think it would be nice to send her a message and apologize for the way things went down but I don't want to go back to the way things were. I believe the friendship I was in was bad for me and made me a worse person. Even if I apologized, I couldn't see me and this person hanging out again. If this is the case for you, then it's okay to move on and not look back. I believe that some people come into your life just to teach you something about yourself.

I really hope this post was helpful and if you are going through a friend break up right now, hang in there! If you have any tips to add to the post, please leave them in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

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