How To Deal With The End Of A Toxic Friendship
You’ve finally done it: after years of feeling berated and bad about yourself, constantly walking on eggshells afraid of what she’ll say, you’ve cut your toxic friend out of your life. Everyone’s been so supportive of your decision, knowing how much it will benefit your emotions and ability to live your life the way you want to. But instead of feeling happy and free, you’re plagued by feelings of guilt and loneliness. All you want to do is call her up and let her back into your life.
You’re not alone. It’s completely normal, after the end of a toxic friendship, to grieve the loss of your friend. After all, you’ve spent so much time together, even shared milestones together. It’s a heartbreaking time in your life — but you have to remember that this is what’s healthiest for you, and will make you happiest in the long-run.
By providing you with these tips, we hope we can make the process of letting go a little easier, so that before you know it you’ll be building a happier, healthier life for yourself.
Give yourself permission and time to grieve
If you find yourself scrolling through old Instagram pictures of you and your friend, bursting suddenly into tears in unexpected places, you might think something’s wrong with you. After all, you ended the friendship. But it’s important that you give yourself permission and time to grieve — it’s a natural part of the process of saying goodbye to someone who’s been such a big part of your life.
Write up a list of reasons why you ended the friendship
Especially now, it’s easy to allow your emotions to do the talking, and distract you away from the real, legitimate reasons why you chose to end your friendship in the first place. By writing a list, you’ll be able to remind yourself of the reasons you left in the first place. There’s no arguing with evidence, so you’ll feel stronger and more confident about your decision.
Focus on yourself
Now that there isn’t someone distracting you from your own happiness or putting you down every time you talk about your aspirations, this is the perfect time for you to focus on yourself. Indulge yourself — in healthy activities like going to the gym or going for walks, but in guilty pleasures, too, like taking yourself out to dinner or seeing your favorite movie over and over again. Treat yourself the way you know you deserve to be treated!
Build a support system
It’s easy to get lonely after losing a friend, even if this friend often made you feel alone. Therefore, it’s important to build a new support system so you don’t have to go through this experience alone. Whether it’s your friends who are worth keeping, your family, or a therapist, reaching out will help you during this hard time. Remember that there’s always someone who wants to listen to you and support you.
Disconnect from your toxic friend on social media
Simply cutting off all communication from your toxic friend isn’t enough — if you’re still Facebook or Instagram stalking, or watching their Snapchat stories, then you haven’t truly let go. If you really want to move on, the best thing you can do is block and unfriend them. Staying friends on social media perpetuates the toxicity of your friendship, as if you’re still friends, so make a clean break now.
Process your feelings
Whether you choose to write your feelings down, start taking an art class, or enroll in a meditation seminar, it’s important to find an outlet with which you can process your feelings. Once the crying spells and long hours in bed have passed, it’s a good idea to find a way to fully feel and understand your feelings. If you’re not sure how to process your emotions, whether you’re feeling too numb or confused, make sure to read this article on how to make sense of them.
Don’t hold onto bitterness
Because you ended this friendship after having been treated badly by your friend, you might have some feelings of resentment and bitterness. But keeping a grudge is bad for you, emotionally and physically, and it’s a subconscious way of not letting go. In the very beginning, sure, you can write angry letters you don’t send or rant to friends — but eventually, you have to let go and move on with your life.
Learn from your toxic friendship
Even a toxic friendship teaches you something — any experience with any human being does. Once you’ve spent some time processing your emotions and letting go, it’s time to think a bit about what you can learn from your friendship. It’s especially important to learn ways to avoid getting into a new toxic friendship.
With this list, you’ll be well on your way to getting over the end of your toxic friendship. It’s easier said than done, of course, but remember that you’re not alone, and that lots of people go through this same emotionally trying process you’re going through right now. And lots of these people have found a way forward to a happier, more satisfying life full of good friends.
Have you ever been in a toxic friendship before? How did you get over ending it? Do you have any advice for anyone going through the struggle right now?