Innerspace Counselling

March 2015, Hayley Mayer

Going from ‘Bff’s’ to ‘someone that you used to know” is one of the many painful things that a person can encounter. When I hear the one side of the story from girls who describe the demise of their friendship, with their once best friend – sister of the heart, to no contact, their pain is palpable. Some explained their friendship as growing apart because of their different interests.  However, the most hurtful loss of friendship stems from the result of unresolved conflict.  Regardless of how a friendship is lost, whether it is personal confrontation or loud words of silence, it hurts and results in the loss of a person you thought would be in your life forever. This requires a grieving process and tender loving care in order to heal your heart. Below are ways that could you help you get closure and peace. 

Take time to grieve over your loss
There is no time limit on how long this would take. It depends on the individual and how dramatically the friendship ended. Acceptance is the first step to rebuilding.  Avoid the “if only”game. Sit with the Pain. The only way past the pain is to go through the pain.  Allow yourself to feel the hurt. Try to use the pain to motivate growth, otherwise the pain will become an excuse to remain bitter and angry. 

Become aware of how you are dealing with the loss
Are you withdrawing or are you avoiding the pain by keeping yourself extremely busy? People can hibernate as to not allow others to see their hurt. Diverting attention to busyness only delays the healing process.

Find ways to let go
When we let go we grow. Try to understand that “it just is”, not good, nor bad, but “just is”.  When we let go of the story we have a way of accepting things just as they are. Perhaps, forgive. Forgiveness does not mean condoning the perpetrator, however by forgiving someone who has wronged you, you free yourself from hateful thoughts. Write a good-bye letter. No one needs to read it, however it can be very therapeutic.

Acknowledge your feelings
Acknowledge your feelings, such as love, anger and bitterness.  Do not try to shut them out or be ashamed of them.  They are there for a purpose.  If you do not acknowledge your emotions they will become like a child being ignored and turn into maladjusted emotion.  By acknowledging them, you will find a gift in them.  Every emotion is there for a reason.  Try to understand the reason and you will invest emotionally in your own personal growth. Be Vulnerable – It is easy to be scared of rejection however, vulnerability accelerates bonding.  Allow people in and you may find a precious gift in friendship.

Hope these tips help and remember you can never control other people but you can control the way you react to them. Move forward in strength and wisdom.

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