Besties No More
What to Do When You No Longer Want to Be Friends with Your Bestie
I used to have a best friend. We met in my freshman year of college. We weren't the closest immediately, but come second semester, we were thick as thieves. We had the same sarcastic and self-deprecating sense of humor. We had the same lazy, no-care style. We even looked similar, with our brown hair and slightly over-weight bodies.
I had never been as close to anyone as I had been her. She was the sister I had always wanted. The person I could confide anything in. We made a pact that if we were unmarried by 40, we would get married for tax benefits, because we were such a good match it just made sense.
That all changed junior year.
If you have a best friend you don't want to be friends with anymore, here is my advice:
- Don't drag them along. This will hurt both you and them. If you think you should stay friends with them for the sake of your feelings, you are just dragging out the inevitable. Trust me, it does not work, and it causes more pain in the end.
- Don't diminish the pain they caused you. When you are dealing with someone who used to be your best friend, it can be easy to not want to hurt their feelings. While I agree you shouldn't purposefully hurt their feelings, you also shouldn't hide your pain to make them feel better. That will just hurt you, and that isn't fair to yourself.
- Don't ignore them. I should know. I ignored my ex-bestie for a long time. I pretended nothing had happened. Then one night, they messaged me, and I felt helpless. I knew I should reply to them and acknowledge the pain we had caused each other, but I also wanted to just pretend it never happened. I made the decision to respond and has it all out, and I am so glad we did. If I had ignored it, the issues our friendship had caused would have followed me for the rest of my life. It is worth it to hash it all out and deal with the anger, pain, and sadness if it will give you a sense of closure (if you feel you won't get a sense of closure, ignore this step. There is no need to put yourself through the stress and pain of talking to them if it is only going to upset you further).
- Remember that it is okay to hurt. Losing a friend is hard, but especially a best friend. This is the person you connected to on some cosmic level. You were one and the same, yin and yang, peanut butter and jelly. Not having that anymore isn't easy for anyone, even if there is a lot of hurt behind the situation. Allow yourself to wallow, to cry, to listen to some cheesy music. And don't forget to come out stronger.
- Recognize that you've made mistakes yourself. In most situations, you've also done wrong. Recognize it, own it, admit it. You will never move past this situation if you insist that you are completely blameless, an innocent victim. No one is an innocent victim. We all make mistakes that hurt our friends, and these mistakes almost certainly factor into whatever you are dealing with. You won't be able to move on unless you admit you messed up too.
As I said, losing a friend isn't easy. But you will come out stronger.