Parting ways with people in your life can be catastrophic. Sometimes it is with a romantic partner, sometimes an employer, but most often it happens with friends. We’ve all gone through this and felt the pain of a deteriorating friendship, but what’s important is learning to pick ourselves up and continue on. Many times all you need for a mature break are a few Friendship Breakup ground rules.
No name calling!
I cannot stress this enough. Just because a person is no longer in your life it is not okay to insult him behind his back. The more negativity you spread, the worse it will be–for you. Calling someone a derogatory name brings you down. The people around you will see you as being petty and they will remember you sunk so low.
Keep the secrets
I know that this may seem like an odd thing to emphasize but it is vitally important. When you are in any relationship, sensitive information will be passed your way. Just because the intimacy between you has ended, the confidentiality has not. There may be instances where you were keeping a secret out of a sense of obligation, not because you thought it was the right thing to do. Please remember that this person once trusted you and your betrayal is unconscionable. It isn’t always possible to maintain the vault of secrecy but telling tales out of spite is just plain wrong.
Stick to the facts
The people around you are going to know that you have undergone a friendship termination. Most of the time, venting happens. It is natural and it is understandable. However, elaborating or just plain exaggerating is big fat no-no. Getting into a game of he said, she said produces no winners. What if’s do not change the facts. So coulda, woulda, shoulda all you want but stick to the truth.
It is hard enough to lose a friend but don’t make things worse. Be nice. I’ve found that many people lose their ability to act with grace when they go through The Friendship Breakup. Take the high road on this one. Don’t try to cut them down; don’t try to make them feel small. Arguing will get you nowhere and accusations to cause guilt don’t work. Acting with tact will allow you to walk away with your head held high.
Stand your ground
In the midst of a disagreement, we all become tempted to make concessions. Compromise or admissions seem inevitable but I discourage you from doing either. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and demanding to be treated well. If something bothers you, say so. Don’t allow another person to violate your self-respect. We all know what we want and what we need to get back from the people in our lives, if you aren’t getting that then speak up. Be firm but be polite.
I do not believe in burning bridges we may need or want to cross again later. Just because a person is leaving your life now, does not mean that they won’t enter it again and under better circumstances. Wish them luck and spread some good karma around. You were friends for a reason! You loved them and, whether you admit it or not, you are going to miss that person. Letting go can be hard but take a deep breath, you’ll get through the pain. Your former friend is hurting too and there is no sense in trying to purposefully inflict more on either of you. Taking that step back and viewing the situation logically will be difficult. Being reasonable when you want to be irrational is going to be challenging but recognizing your own culpability in whatever issues or problems occurred will help you heal. It will also help prevent you from making those same mistakes again.
Picture source: His Sweet Heart