Most of us know the heart break of falling out of favour with friends, the torture of FOMO (Fear of missing out) and the awkwardness of picking yourself up and trying again at new friendships. Many of you continue to follow these people on social media, and feel sadness at the isolation you feel as a result of seeing their happy snaps as life goes on without you. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, honestly.
What I do know, is it is quite common to miss your friend, or your friendship, even if you don’t really regret letting it go. Why is this? You may spend months or even years agonizing over ending the friendship, then when you do end it, spend more weeks, months or years agonizing over that choice. Is it possible you regret letting your friendship go?
If the answer to that question is a hard yes, go ahead and try your best to reconcile. If however, like most of us, you are unsure about the answer to that question, you will probably find you actually miss the friendship, per say, more than you miss your friend in question. This is usually much more about ourselves than themselves.
Most friendships do have positive qualities, even if they didn’t outweigh the negative ones. Most friendships do have shared laughter, memories and represented some sort of validation or met a social need. If you are looking at the person on social media and feeling resentful that they don’t seem upset, that they don’t seem to care that they lost you, or that they seem to have swiftly moved on, I suggest you take a closer look.
For starters, most of us use social media as a highlight reel for our lives, capturing happy times that we would like to remember in the future. Many of us do not share the really awful heavy stuff, nor the mundane petty things. Some people use it to convince others, or perhaps even themselves, that they are living a much better life than they are, and many of the smiles you see on there were captured specifically for this purpose…. It doesn’t actually mean their life is the party it seems. The real question is why are you more concerned with what they are doing than what you are doing?
It is perfectly acceptable to miss the positive qualities of a person or the friendship you shared. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily want them back in your life, although it may mean you struggle to let them go entirely. Once you can accept that social media isn’t always what it seems, the next thing to consider is what did that friendship represent to you?
Did you lose the one person with whom you felt you could be entirely yourself without judgement? Was it your only friend? Did you lose a group of friends as a result of the disagreement? Did your friend, despite her faults, always make you feel special, needed or important? What was the reason you held onto the friendship for so long?
Once you can understand what positives the friendship brought into your life, you can identify some of your core needs! This is really important in moving forwards, because knowing what you want and need is the first step towards getting it!!! If you are the sort of person who likes to feel needed, perhaps search for voluntary positions in your community. Not only is it a great way to meet like minded folk and make friends, it also serves a very important purpose and you will be needed by the organization much more than any one individual. If you need to feel like you can be completely vulnerable with someone, you know you need to start practicing a little more emotional vulnerability in some other friendships to see who may be able to meet that need. Often the answer to that surprises you! If you would like to feel more social, included and like you also have weekends full of fun, then it is time to start making plans of your own with people.
If the problem seems to be that you don’t have many other friends you can turn to, check out my formula for making friends called Let’s be friends. While I am sure that your friend, and your friendship did at one time make you feel happy, it is a trap to believe that they are the answer or the only person who can meet your need or bring you happiness. Thinking that way is a trap, and it can actually stop you from moving forwards with your own life.
Yes it is normal and ok to miss the friendship and mourn your loss, but instead of placing your worth in their hands and judging it based on how much or little they miss you, place it in your own hands and know you’re worth the effort. If you know you are worth the effort it shouldn’t be too hard for you to make the effort for yourself. By all accounts it probably seems like they are? Stop looking them up though, and if you can’t do that, maybe it is time for a reconciliation after all?
Your Best Friend ForNever