I have lost many friends in the past in both ugly, and happy ways.
Although I don’t consider myself a Friendship Guru (Like Olivia Rodrigo, I currently only have two real friends), I *think* because of my experience in losing friends, I’m qualified to tell you how to deal with it. Now, although you may say losing a friend isn’t like losing a husband, or a family member, it still does hurt. Especially if that person was a friend with who you shared all your secrets, hopes and dreams.
During quarantine, many of the TikToks on my fyp told me that they currently have zero friends. Some studies are even suggesting that stress from the pandemic can destroy relationships with friends. In fact, a recent study suggested that “…our professional and personal networks have shrunk by close to 16% — or by more than 200 people.”
Furthermore, as we get older, we tend to normally lose a lot of friends due to stress, arguments, and other issues. According to one study, people tend to decrease their friend pool around the age of 25, with the average 25-year-old woman contacting about 17.5 people, and the average 25-year-old man contacting about 19 people. This is because, as we get older, we often tend to prioritize the type of people we want around us.
So, yes, it’s perfectly normal to lose friends, especially during this pandemic. But, what do we do afterwards to deal with it? Luckily for you, I know a lot about this topic. Here are three tips you can use to deal with the loss of friends.
- Do self-care!
While this is often said so many times, self-care will help you improve your mental health. Although you may be down, try to take some time for yourself by doing just your regular routine! This will help because it will give you a sense of accomplishment, and it’s also a stress-reliever. Moreover, try to do some fun activities (e.g painting your nails, reading a book, dying your hair) to relax.
- Avoid rumination
Rumination is a psychological term where you constantly deeply consider the same either happy or dark thoughts. If you constantly keep on going over your relationship (especially if you’re having dark thoughts), you’re never going to grow because those thoughts will “… prolong or intensify depression as well as impair your ability to think and process emotions.” You can avoid rumination by distracting yourself, doing mediation, and trying therapy.
- Talk to someone
This could be anyone (another friend, your guidance counsellor, your therapist, and your parents). Though, if your ex-friend is in the same friend group as you, try to talk to someone who’s outside of this friend group (this is because, your friend group may try to gaslight you). All in all, by seeking support, you can find an outside perspective on the whole loss or just plain relief.
So, to every who has gone through a friendship breakup, hopefully, these tips can help you deal with such a loss.