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Friendship Breakups Hurt Too: 15 Lessons I Learned After My Friendship Departures

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Friendship breakups hurt just as much if not more than a relationship breakup. Throughout my fair share of friendships, I have been dumped and I have been the one to do the dumping, and let me tell you NONE of those are easy.


I HATED the "Oh, that's nothing friends come and go" line. Because how invalidating?! LOL!


I’ve always been more into friendships than I was into relationships. Sometimes I took them way too seriously, or held people to an expectation that they couldn't fulfill. I failed at some, and some have failed me. Through friendship, my true character was tested. I did some things I was not proud of and I’ve been hurt by people who I loved way too much and would do anything for.


In this article I want to share with you the lessons I've learned from friendship breakups, how I got more clear with the true meaning of it, and what I learned about myself a long the way.


1. IF YOU NO LONGER FEEL CONNECTED TO THE FRIEND LEAVE!

STOP trying to "wait and see!" I am so guilty of this! If I have a bad feeling about a friend I kept saying to myself "I'll weigh it out" or "I'm overthinking this!" LORD does this affect you in the long run. TRUST YOUR GUT! I had a bad habit of decorating people's character with my imagination. Chileee by the time you face reality, you will be scarred.


I had a bad habit of holding onto dead weight, I held onto people out of sympathy, fear, love, and obligation. I didn't take how much I was suffering into consideration. Losing a connection with a friend doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes people just grow apart but other times the connection failed because of a deeper issue like jealousy, a bad argument, minimal effort etc.

2. DON'T TAKE FRIENDSHIPS TOOO SERIOUSLY

I am a lover and I have no shame in that, but I have to learn how to pour into the right people. But there was also this part of me that overanalyzed every single thing a friend did or said. Most of the time, when I did have anxiety towards a friend it was because something was off. There were also times where I was being a bit irrational.


3. BEING TOO NICE CAN ATTRACT DISINGENUOUS BONDS

How can I expect people to respect me when I reinforced their bad behavior? How can I expect people to treat me the way I wanted to if I'm not speaking up? How can I expect people to take me seriously if I'm ignoring red flags and trusting them more than I trust myself? How can I expect people to know how I truly feel if I'm living inauthentically, or conforming into what everyone wants me to be?


When you are too nice you are rarely operating from a genuine place. This is why you become a disingenuous relationship magnet LOL!

4. HAVE DIFFERENT FRIENDS FOR DIFFERENT REASONS

My mom taught me this one. We often fail in friendships because we hold EVERY friend to the same standard or expectation. For example, you may have a friend who likes to party but is terrible at venting. You don't have to cut this friend off because of that, but don't make this your best friend either. Then you may have your friend who you can do everything with and that most likely is your best friend.


5. YOU CAN'T BE FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE WHO ENVIES YOU

Ever noticed that friend who doesn't clap for you when you win? Or that friend who takes pleasure in your setbacks? Or that friend who acts happy for you, but you can tell that they're not? Or that friend who is always trying to make it seem like they are so much better than you, or even excludes you?


I have dealt with a lot of envious souls in my life and let me tell you, it's not fun because these were people that I truly loved and supported. If you are a person who is very boastful and egotistical this doesn't apply to you. LOL! If you are very humble and open in your relationships this point does. You can tell when someone is envious of you because it's all in their vibes and sometimes, they treat you like they hate you.


Let me just say there is nothing wrong with feeling any negative emotion because we are human, but watch how you move! From what I've seen from people, envy is hard to hide. Instead of people working on their insecurities they take it out on you. This can result in you blaming yourself for their inappropriate behavior.


It's very rare that a person will come out and say that they are envious of you, and it might even scare you to ask them. It is just a very awful and uncomfortable experience, which is why I advise you to let them go.



6. YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A HUGE FALL OUT TO STOP BEING FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE

Most people look at the bodacious acts in a friend and then decide to cut them off. Let's not forget about the subtle signs like:

  • Throwing disrespectful shade on social media

  • Little jealous comments like "you have this and I don't" or "if it wasn't for me you wouldn't have.." constantly

  • When they don't congratulate you for your achievements (this is a very big one for me)

  • They dismiss your feelings

  • Makes everything about them

  • It's hard for you to talk to them

  • They show off in front of others

  • They gossip way too much

  • They blame everyone else for their problems


7. Watch What A Friend Says In A Argument

I am not a believer in the whole "I didn't mean it I was angry" line. I believe when you are angry you're saying EXACTLY what you mean or feel inside, just in an aggressive way.



8. You Never Truly Know People

I've had friends for 3, 5, 10 years and lord did I think I knew them because of the longevity. Truth be told, some of us don't even know ourselves. Don't go into friendships too paranoid, but always remember that there is always another side to people. LOL!


9. Not Having Any Friends Is TERRIBLE

Look the whole "I don't have any friends" phrase is noxious. Now if you just cut off a lot of toxic friends, you're exempt. I'm talking about the people who intentionally isolate themselves because they fear connecting with people (guilty), or people who don't want to take responsibility for their bad behavior.


We are all deserving of quality friendships, and we all have things we have to work on but the key is acknowledging that and taking accountability.


10. YOUR FRIENDS PROBLEMS ARE NOT YOURS

To an extent. I used to get very protective over my friends and their problems, sometimes in a judgemental way. I didn't see the problem with this because I knew I was just looking out for them. I knew my intention was to stop them from making the same mistakes, but I have been told a few times that I can be a bit too concerned.


There's a fine line between empathizing with your friend or getting angry with them, and trying to tell them what to do with their life.


Yes this still applies if your friend is coming to you about the same problem over and over. If you don't want to hear it tell them, if you do, listen with compassion. Remember, you can be raw without being judgmental.


Now if your friend is speaking nonsense, don’t EVER hesitate to speak up. There are some people who can't handle the truth, and if YOU can handle the truth and speak the truth, cut these people out of your life.



11. OUR FRIENDSHIPS/RELATIONSHIPS REFLECT OUR BELIEFS ABOUT OURSELVES

Do you believe that you are worthy of respect? Do you love yourself? Do you believe in yourself? Do you walk away from situations that don't serve you?


Shoutout to my girl Iyanla for this one! Iyanla Vanzant taught me that our beliefs create our experiences. Most of us would think that our experiences create our beliefs but that is not the case!


I'm not saying that it's your fault that your friendships/relationships failed, but each person in our life, reveals our core beliefs. I kept feeling unappreciated, taken advantage of, and mislead in friendships. Guess what? The beliefs I had about myself were very negative! I didn't feel like I was worthy of love and respect. So guess what? I wasn't getting it!


12. BEWARE OF PEOPLE WHO TRY TO GET SUPER CLOSE TO YOU SUPER EARLY

I'm not talking about the "natural click" here. I am referring to those people who try to hang out with you after 3 days of knowing you. OR they tell you their whole life story the first time you guys meet.

13. BE PRESENT IN YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR FRIENDS

I have been at fault for this and people have done this to me. It is very rude to spend time with someone and be on your phone 24/7, or not give them your undivided attention.


We may not be up for interaction all the time and that is okay. If this is the case, let your friend know otherwise, stop wasting their time.


Sometimes we just want to be in someone's presence and that's okay too. Silence is golden just make sure the other person feels the same way. LOL!


14. JUST BECAUSE YOUR FRIEND IS CONFIDENT IN THE FRIENDSHIP DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO BE

Have you ever confronted a friend about some things that were bothering you in the friendship and they felt completely different? For example, you might feel like your friendship has run its course, or your friendship lost its intimacy, or you're constantly questioning the friendship, or your friend is distancing from you. When you bring it to their attention, they make you feel crazy or you may feel guilty for your feelings because they don't feel the same way. Sometimes we can get a little irrational and overthink but if you've been feeling some dis-ease for a while, that is not ok.


Most of my pain came from knowing something was off, and letting it carry on longer than it should have. It's painful letting go of people and we may not want to believe what's being shown to us, but we have to for the sake of our sanity. A lot of the times when your friend feels like everything is ok and you don't, it's because you're playing your role correctly and they're not.


15. A PERSON THAT GOSSIPS ABOUT EVERYBODY IS A FRIEND TO NOBODY

Don't take this the wrong way but what makes you so special? I'm not saying that you are not but when it comes to people who gossip about everybody, NOBODY is exempt.



What are some lessons or challenges that you have learned in your friendship departures?






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Delena Nelson
Delena Nelson
02. Nov. 2022

*"How can I expect people to take me seriously if I'm ignoring red flags and trusting them more than I trust myself?" is a poignant question that resonates with me. As I reflect on past relationships I can see certain instances where I trusted the other person over my own understanding and intuition...there were consequences each time. In my experience, when a person (family, friend, or partner) truly feels like a safe space, it can be easy to place more trust in them than myself if I'm not careful. Being present with myself, paying attention to how I feel at all times is important. Our feelings are signals for us to pay attention to, so that we may act accordingly.

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