It is that time of the year when we make New Year resolutions, and unfortunately, get cut off by friends. Talk about a typical friendship breakup.
Recently, multiple X users have shared their thoughts on friendship breakups, giving us a peek into how hurtful it can be to walk away from a friendship you never expected to be finite. Or worse still, to be the one who is walked out on.
Here are a few of these tweets:
What Exactly is a Friendship Breakup?
Have you ever experienced a bond with someone and you were so sure you both would be best friends forever? Perhaps somewhere and somehow, things got sour, and the friendship ended?
Or maybe you had a childhood friend who you believed would be your friend for life. Then you both wrote the UTME exams, you got into university, they didn’t, and you both tried to stay in touch, but it was tough. With time, they became distant, the calls and texts dimmed , and the friendship vanished somewhere between lectures and tests.
A friendship breakup is the end of a close relationship between friends, characterized by a mutual or one-sided decision to discontinue the bond due to conflicts, changes in circumstances, differing values, or other reasons. Hence, this leads to a separation and loss of connection between people who were previously considered friends.
10 Signs That Your Friend Is Trying To Break Up With You
Although it is a painful experience, knowing where you stand in people’s lives is important. This gives you clarity and sometimes the courage to self-reflect, accept reality, and seek new paths for yourself. So, here’s how to know if you’re among the people who got “cut-off:”
- They ignore you when you meet and ghost you on social media.
- They repeatedly forget important days like your birthday despite you going all out for them on theirs.
- They do not congratulate you on special occasions, even when you post about it.
- They always try to rationalize and give excuses for their bad behaviours towards you, justifying why they did what they did instead of genuinely apologizing.
- They express their doubts to you about whether your friendship should continue.
- They’re inconsiderate of your feelings when they speak to you or act towards you.
- They tend to put you down in public and make inappropriate remarks to make you look bad in front of other people.
- They never invite you to hangouts and occasions and often post pictures with their other friends.
- They’re no longer interested in what’s going on in your life and don’t share what’s going on in theirs.
- They’ve become less supportive and encouraging of your goals, dreams, and aspirations.
You can’t conclude from one or two occurrences. However, if you’ve experienced one or multiple of these signs over a considerable period, chances are your friend is about to or has already called it quits with you.
What To Do When You Suspect Your Friend Is Trying To Break Up With You
- Communicate: Resist the urge to bury the hatchet without first confirming your suspicions. Try to avoid being confrontational. Instead, express your observations as an open-ended question. For example, “Heyy, I noticed we haven’t talked much lately, and I wanted to check in on you. Is there anything on your mind that you would like to share with me?” Listen to them and follow up with more open-ended questions.
- Self-reflection: It’s crucial to preserve friendships you value, but your friendships should nourish you every time. Perhaps this is a good time to assess your feelings and expectations regarding your friendship honestly. Ask yourself if this is a relationship you are willing to fight for, especially considering the responses you got from communicating with them.
- Seek Closure: Like the X users whose posts I shared earlier, it’s obvious that there is no worse feeling than losing a friend whom you considered your “ride or die.” But if your friendship is indeed ending, you should accept the reality and seek closure. This way, you can acknowledge what has happened to you, the loss you’re experiencing because of it, and know the reasons behind it so you can process your emotions, learn from your experience, and move on.
How To Move On From A Friendship Breakup
Not all your friends are dispensable, but you cannot salvage all the relationships you hold dear. One friendship may have ended, but it certainly doesn’t mean the end of every meaningful relationship in your life.
Here are five ways to move on from a friendship heartbreak:
- Cut off contact with them: Some people may call you immature, but cutting off contact on social media is a great place to start. It gives you space to begin healing. Don’t check their newest photos on Instagram, don’t like their tweets, or check what they’ve been up to. The less access you have to them and them to you, the faster you can move on. When you’re in a better place, you can re-establish connections with them. But for now, stop communicating with them.
- Process your emotions: You can journal how you feel about your experience. Journalling gives your thoughts an outlet and a form of expression. This can help you relieve yourself of the hurt, feelings of betrayal or pain. You could also explore therapy or any other form of self-expression that works for you. Moving on takes time, which is normal because you’re readjusting from a familiar routine. Embrace the process.
- Strengthen Other Relationships: Now is the time to reconnect with old friends, spend more time with your family, meet new people, open yourself up to new experiences, and deepen existing relationships. These connections can give you the support and encouragement you need to feel loved and valued.
- Practice Self-Care: While self-reflecting and learning from this experience is necessary, feeling too negative about yourself is unhealthy in the long run. It can be damaging to your self-esteem, confidence, and mental health. Engage in activities and hobbies that promote your well-being and help you feel positive about yourself.
I have written extensively about what a friendship breakup is, how to handle it, and what to do to move on. But in every conflict, reconciliation is possible, and you should be open to it.
You do not have to expect and hope that it’ll happen. However, should this happen, I suggest you keep an open mind. The reason for this is that people make mistakes, but people also grow.
If your friend is genuinely sorry and would love to reconnect, be open to discussing with them. Psychology shows that relationships can come back stronger after overcoming conflict and challenges.
You do not necessarily have to open up completely to them or return to how things were. Instead, you should set boundaries in place and give your friendship time to rebuild trust. However, if reconciliation doesn’t happen, it’s still okay. Life moves on, and so must we.