A Year After Losing A Friend
How to Get Over Losing a Best Friend
Ending a friendship is never easy, but it’s especially hard to lose your best friend. Whether the friendship ended because the two of you gradually grew apart or because one of you hurt the other, you can begin to move on by keeping yourself preoccupied and getting to know new people.
If you need help getting over the loss of your best friend, find a new hobby that will distract you, such as writing or painting. Taking a class or volunteering in your community will help you keep yourself busy, and it will also give you the opportunity to meet new people. If you feel like you never got closure, try writing a letter to your friend with the things that you never got to say, then destroy the letter to symbolize that the past is gone.For tips on moving on and making new friends, keep reading!
Accepting the Outcome
Grieve the loss.Losing a best friend is painful. You’ll only make the whole process harder by denying your feelings. Acknowledge the disappointment and hurt you feel. Give yourself permission to grieve.
- Regularly tune in to how you’re feeling and express those feelings. If you need to cry, go for it. If you feel angry, find constructive ways to release that anger.
Get support.You won’t be able to get through this situation on your own. You’ll need to lean on people who care about you and understand the impact of the loss. Have a conversation with your parents, siblings, or another friend (unconnected to your bestie).
- Try to open up about how you’re feeling and ask them for support. This may translate to having someone to listen to you or having someone who helps take your mind off things for a while.
Perform a closure ritual.Writing about the loss can also help you move past it. Try journaling about the situation. Or pen a letter to your best friend, but don’t send it off. Use this as a way to get things off your chest, especially if you find it difficult to open up to other people in your life.
- When you are done, you might destroy the letter to symbolize it being in the past.
Return or store mementos.If you have a bunch of your ex-best friend’s things, pack them up and return them. Try boxing up any mementos or gifts, particularly if they bring up negative emotions. You might unpack them later, but for now, putting them away may help you move forward.
- If you’d like support, ask your mom, sibling, or an unbiased third party to help you get rid of or store mementos.
Dealing with Particular Situations
Take the high road if you have to see them regularly.If you will continue to see your old pal on a regular basis, try to be civil. Make a commitment to be the bigger person when the two of you make contact. Remind yourself that you once cared for this person a great deal (and probably still do). At least pay homage to that relationship by being cordial when you two interact.
- Having an ugly confrontation or badmouthing your ex-bestie won’t help you get over things. Even if there’s bad blood between you, stay cool and avoid trying to make your mutual friends pick a side.
- If your old pal tries to pull you into any drama, say, “I don’t want to fight with you” and walk away.
Try to stay in touch if they moved away.If you lost your best friend due to a move, you can still maintain the friendship from afar. Call them often, write letters, and commit to a standing weekly Skype call. Your friendship may be different now that you're apart, but you can still keep in touch.
Build a self-care routine.Make yourself a top priority after a friendship breakup. Don’t feel guilty about being a little selfish with your time and energy. Create a routine that lets you pour back into your own cup for a change.
- Upgrade your self-care by getting enough sleep, exercising, getting a massage, and watching your favorite movies.
Find a hobby.An ex-best friend can leave a giant hole in your everyday life. Use that newfound time to cultivate a passion. Think about things you once liked to do or always wanted to try and go do them. Hobbies can be virtually anything.
- Try writing, painting, dancing, or baking. You might also plan a camping trip with your family like you did when you were younger. Or get back involved with a community youth group.
Redecorate your living space.Sometimes, change can feel good. Tangible changes in your home environment can help your transition into a new chapter in your life. Recharge your life by repositioning your bedroom furniture, hanging new curtains, or putting up new posters.
Learn a new skill.Are you interested in a subject that you know nothing about? If so, sign up to take a class and learn something completely new to you. Trying something new on for size can be a great way to challenge yourself and preoccupy your thoughts.
- Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish or Italian. Or perhaps you want to become a master gardener. Whatever it is, find a class or read a book about the subject to start learning.
Volunteer.Community service can serve double-duty after a friendship breakup. It helps you use your time constructively, but it also presents an opportunity for you to meet new people. Consider what ways you would like to help out in your local community. By volunteering, you can connect with people who have the same interests as you.
- Volunteer opportunities vary based on your location. Talk to a teacher or community leader to inquire about different ways you can help out.
Making New Friends
Put yourself out there.When it comes to forming new friendships, you’ll have to stick your neck out. You can’t expect new friends to just fall into your lap; it’ll take effort. Join new clubs or organizations at your school. Choose a new place in your community where other people your age hang out.
- When you meet someone new, show your interest. Ask the person about themselves and try to find things the two of you have in common to build a connection. Don't focus on the subject of your estranged friend. Instead, just try to get to know the new person.
Be a better friend.In addition to choosing positive friends, you also want to be that friend to someone else. Reflect on some of the ways you could have been a better friend to your ex-bestie. As you form new friendships, try to develop better habits this time around.
- Good friends are excellent listeners, able to let their friends be themselves, and are there when their friends need them. Find ways in which you can start being a better friend.
Consider getting to know some of your current friends better.You may have never considered it, but there may be someone among your current friends who is best friend material. Spend more time with people you feel a connection with and see what unfolds.
- Maybe you have a regular study buddy that you don't know all that well. You might say to him after a study session, "Hey, man, I was thinking of grabbing a bite to eat. Would you like to join me?"
- Spending time with this person one-on-one outside your usual context may help you get to know them better.
Don’t attempt to replace your former bestie.You don’t have to rush off one week after the breakup and select a new best friend. The best friendships form over time, as mutual trust and respect develops. Don’t set out to replace your old friend. Instead, focus on forming good supportive relationships.
- When a potential new “best” friend presents themselves, you’ll know. Don’t allow just anyone to hold that title.
QuestionMy best friend died. We were so close and now I can't feel happy at all. What can I do to get over this?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerDeath at a young age is especially difficult--because it is not something we expect to happen. Talk over your memories of your best friend with other friends or family. Be patient with yourself, and don't expect to recover quickly. Grieving is like growing a scab over an open wound--it takes time.Thanks!
QuestionWhat to do when you have lost your best friend but it's all you fault?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerIf you are clear about your own role, it can be a good idea to convey that to you friend in some form--a card, email, or text. Be sure to honor if your friend has asked for a certain amount of time with no contact. Don't overload them. Above all, be patient and realize that you cannot control the outcome.Thanks!
QuestionMy friends and I decided to break it off (they were always rude to me anyway). But instead of being happy that I can move on to better friends, I am so disappointed in myself. Why?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLosing a friend is very painful and your heart just wants them back, no matter how bad or rude they were to you. Just stay strong; over time you will come to appreciate that you made the right decision.Thanks!
QuestionHow do you cope after losing your whole friend squad?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo something nice for yourself, this is a big dent to your confidence. But realize that if these friends cut you out, they weren't worth trying to keep as friends, since their hearts are so closed. When you feel ready again, look for new friends. Be social, talk with people you never thought you would talk to before. Form a new squad, and look at the positives of meeting new people, and finding people you can trust. You might also consider not belonging to a large group but just having a few, good quality friends instead.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do when I don't know what I did wrong, but she just started ignoring me and all the messages I send her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUnfortunately sometimes people use the silent treatment to break up a friendship because they have no idea how to pluck up the courage to talk. If she can't find it in herself to message you, then she's in the wrong. While it could be something you did, it's probable she's upset with herself too. Just let go, don't message her, delete her number and social media contact details, don't block her, just remove her from any form of contact. If she realizes she made a mistake, she may contact you, but don't message her as it may make the situation worse. It's now time to look for a new friend.Thanks!
QuestionHow should I respond if I see her again, and she says that she misses me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHear her out. Maybe she really does miss you and regrets what happened between you two. If you still don't want to be in contact, let her know that it can't continue. Apologize, but stand firm, and say that you can't stay friends.Thanks!
QuestionToday my best friend didn't come to school. She told me that she was ill and I trusted her. Then I saw her with a couple other friends on Snapchat in the mall with SQUAD written on the photo.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI'm not saying you should cut her off completely, but take a step back from her maybe. See how things turn out without her, and see how you feel during that period. You shouldn't be taken for granted like that. It's not fair on you. My best friend is like that, so I did that method and now we don't talk as much, we are still friends but not as close and that way no one gets hurt.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I see her in school or in public?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWave if eye contact occurs, and walk right past. Keep to your business, and leave her to hers.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I have done something wrong or bad, and I regret it, I try to make up with them, but they do not want to respond?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMany people do mistakes like that and regret it. If your friend doesn't want to come back to the friendship, make some new friends or try to forget about it. They probably just don't want it to go on.Thanks!
QuestionMy ex-best friend and I just had a fight and decided to not be friends anymore. However, we are partnered up for a project at school. How can I get through this project?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust talk with them and see if it would be possible to put the past behind you on this project - after all, you were mature enough to decide together not to be friends. If this is a home assignment, you can talk over text or email, which is significantly less awkward than in person.Thanks!
Sources and Citations
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of How to Get Over Losing a Best Friend was reviewed by on November 17, 2019.
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