A sweet friendship can freshen up your soul and a bitter one can dim it. As there is no rule book in friendship to tell us how to figure out things. We asked authors, researchers and therapists to help us in collecting knowledge to manage the hardships we all face in common relationships.
Friendships are important for our physical and mental health, but it do not always go as smooth as you want it to be. It is possible to experience some hurt from your companion and a major reason for heartbreaks is through breaking a promise. Maybe your friends canceled a plan at the last moment or she did not come to your party but keep in mind that no one is perfect and it’s okay if this stings you have to look on the other side of the story. “if you fantasize what a perfect friend will do in any friendship, you are going to get yourself disappointment”, says Dr. Fariha, PhD, friendship expert and sociologist. She gave example from her life “when my dad passed away, a very close friend of mine did not attend his funeral. So instead of being furious, I simply asked her why she did not come. I said, “your absence at my dad’s funeral surprised me”. It is completely ok, I just want to know why you couldn’t come”. So, she came to know her friend’s father had recently passed away too, and she could not manage to attend another funeral. “I would never have guessed what was going on, never in a million year”
It is okay and very common to face difficult times in a friendship when things go unbalanced. Maybe your friend is going through rough time and need extra support or maybe your best friend has more important things to discuss with you. So, it is important to tell what you want even if it stings the other person. “Try saying ‘I’m glad you are sharing with me what you are going through but I also want to tell you something, could you help me too?’ Or ‘now, I want you to share something with me about your life, I observed I’m always sharing about my life” says, Lee Jada, LMHC, professional counselor.
Losing a friend can be hard, mostly when you felt it will last forever or when your bond was so strong that you thought it will not break. Right after a day out, maybe your friend did not text back or left you on seen. If you overthink about being ghosted for a long time, you may start getting angry or resent your friend. “The simple rule about companionship which is crucial to remember is, it is optional” says, Dr. Davida. This rule is applied to both parties. You choose others and voce versa. You task is not to look down on yourself and think something must be wrong with you, just because some one did not choose you, it does not mean you will miss out to get along with new friends and making strong connections with your other friends. We understand, it hurts to be ghosted so give yourself some time to heal.
Getting Left Out
No one would love to feel left out. It might be the worst feeling when you open Instagram just to find out, your pals went on a weekend trip without you. William Kavinsky, LCSW, a therapist, says, “I support my clients to tell what they feel but also try not to jump to the conclusions”. Try to talk about it with a counsellor, or your close pal, definitely not the one who left you out. This will help in figuring out the other side of the story like what were the circumstances and also how you are going to respond.
Reschedule your Plans
With tight schedules and countless restrictions, rearranging plans with your best pals is very common. It might take weeks to plan a simple Friday night plan with your best friends. The key to solve this issue lies in communication. Kay, a counsellor, suggests saying, “I want to meet you this week, I understand we both are quite busy but how about we plan something together?” It might make you feel susceptible, she says, “but the result always compensates the risk.”
Use your Envy to Benefit You
Maybe your best friend just got married and you are still single and making weird faces to scare the kids. Maybe she/he is travelling around the world and you do not have money, struggling to pay your student loans. Even when you love your friends, you can get jealous of them. Before you face this problem, use your jealousy in your favor. “Sometimes envy shows our deepest desires”, says Dr. Davida. Use your envy to make you a better version of yourself and learn from your pal’s success, she says. She added that it is possible that your friend might get jealous of you, both way, Dr Davida says, “talking to yourself can help. Remind yourself what you already have and that you can overcome your jealousy since it is a temporary feeling because you can’t let it destroy your friendship.”
Breakup with Friend
Saying goodbye to a close friend can be one of the difficult type of goodbyes to deal with. Worst part of the story is you are not allowed to feel as sad as you are allowed to feel when you break up with your lover. “Imagine yourself asking your boss for a day off because you had a fight with your friend. It sounds weird, right. Now, think about if you ask for a day off after your divorce, your boss is going to say yes”, she explains. Breaking up with a friend can be as disturbing as breaking up with your lover and it is crucial to respect this pain. “Accept that friendship is beautiful and rewarding and its loss is noteworthy”
Holding onto Broken Friendship
If you are holding on to those friendships which can not be mended than you are missing out a lot, understand that sometimes you have to let go because if someone wants to stay with you, they will make efforts. Focus on developing new relationships that live up to your sweet memories. As you start making new friends, look for common ground like creativity and devoutness. “Common core beliefs are the best way to guess the durability of a friendship”, Dr. Laura says. Having a common belief will not only make your friendship last longer but it will also help you grow as a person.
Feels like you aren’t their First Choice
Keep in mind there are ups and downs in every relationship so before you start overthinking, analyze about all the circumstances, Dr. Davida says. “maybe your friend is going through other challenges such as work and lover problems which bother them, and they have cut off their selves from the outside world.” She says. “Go and find out what is happening in your friend’s life that is affecting your friendship. If your friend is not picking up your calls or hanging out with you because of you, talk about it and see it if is not too late to figure things out.”
When Life Happens
It is both, sad and bitter but you may grow apart from many of your close friends. For Example, some might get married and get stuck in the hustle and bustle of their new married life or maybe your “partying buddy” moves on from partying stage as they enter into the adulthood. Kay often observe clients fixing a friendship which is just breaking them as a person. She says that the friend who is going forward may feel discomfort and guilt as they leave their friends behind. The way to healthy friendship is to let you pals play roles in life. Do not hope too much from one friend. When you feel like you are ready to go for a wild weekend trip or to a party, ask your friend if they are up too.
Real Life Friends
Looking at your Instagram profile and the thick number of followers that you have got, you might be fooling yourself if you think you have hundreds of friends. Because when you want to go out for a movie or for coffee you will notice, no one is actually there. So, make real life friends since you can not depend on these virtual connections, Dr. Davida says. One way to make such friends is through joining any group in your neighborhood who you can meet regularly. Laura explains when she had a baby, she linked with women of her neighborhood who recently became mothers, so they used to meet regularly and talk about motherhood and it also helped her build new friendships. Laura writes, “if we could understand the benefits of real friends, I guess we will be more cautious in treating them”. So, pamper your friends and tell them how much you admire your pals. We hope this will help you build stronger connection with your friends.
We hope this article will make your bond stronger with your close friends!