"Best friends forever" you might have promised, but sometimes friendships end.

Two unhappy multiracial women in room

Whether your friend ghosted you or no longer talks to you after a fight, losing a friend is really tough.

You've shared so many memories together that a world without them seems nearly impossible to imagine. And with this loss, you may even feel alone.

While the pain may seem unbearable now, there is a path to healing.

Process Your Feelings

Working through your feelings is the first step to healing from loss, especially that of a friendship.

At any given time you may feel:

  • Anger

  • Frustration

  • Confusion

  • Sadness

  • Regret

But know that you may not experience all of these feelings in any particular order. Everyone reacts differently to loss.

A woman saying,

Don't feel ashamed of or run away from your feelings — own and accept them.

And if you're having trouble opening up, try journaling. In a journal, you don’t have to censor yourself and can freely express anything, from sadness to disappointment to rage.

Remove Reminders

Keeping personal items — like photos, gifts, or mementos from this person — can be painful reminders of your loss.

Remove these items and store them out of sight for now. BUT DON'T DESTROY THEM!

A woman storing items in her bedroom.

Tuck items into a box you can sort through later on. At that time, you may want to give or throw them away. Avoid making rash decisions based ojn emotion.

Don't forget to clean up your social media, too.

Consider hiding or archiving photos of your former friend if you think you might become friends again.

If the friendship cannot be repaired, it might be best to delete your former friend from all of your social media accounts and phone.

A woman deleting someone from her phone.

Consider how much you want to hide traces of the friendship from your life so you can heal and/or move on faster.

Quiz

You've just deleted your friend from social media because they ghosted you. Then, suddenly, they send an angry text to your phone. How should you respond?

Tell them you don't want to tal

Ignore their text and don't respond

Apologize and re-friend them online

Send them an equally angry text

Turn To Others For Support

Losing your close friend can make you feel like you're all alone, but don't grieve the loss by yourself!

Find emotional support from other loved ones.

Spending time with family or other friends can help you feel less alone in your distress.

And don't feel like you always have to talk with them. Sometimes you just need their comforting presence.

If you don't have anyone close to you to lean on, find a counselor or therapist to walk through the grieving process with you. These trained professionals have experience in handling situations involving loss or grief.

From above crop African American male in casual clothes sitting on comfy couch and answering professional female consultant questions in modern psychotherapy office

Take Care Of Yourself

Loss can shock and derail your life, leaving you depressed and inactive. But...

Sleep Tight GIF by memecandy

Make sure you're resting and caring for yourself.

Aim to keep a normal routine to have some control over your grief and improve your mood.

  • Eat something throughout the day. Aim for nutrient-rich food, whether cooked or take-out.

  • Sleep 7-9 hours either at night or nap during the day.

  • Exercise indoors or outside to release endorphins, which helps boost mood.

  • Relax by doing a hobby that brings you joy like reading, making art, or playing music.

Use the time to maintain your wellbeing so that you can later enter new friendships happy and confident.

Quiz

What's another way to maintain your well-being?

Drinking alcohol

Eating junk food regularly

Scrolling through social media aimlessly

Volunteer in your community

Take Action

Healing from the loss of a friendship takes time and looks different for everyone. Make sure you're giving yourself patience and grace as you work through your grief.

A woman saying,

The pain may feel unbearable now, but with time, you'll come out happier, healthier, and stronger by using these strategies:

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This Byte has been authored by

JS

Jennifer Stone

Instructional Designer