Losing Friends: Why It Hurts, and Why It's Normal
By Genevieve Smith
The end of a friendship doesn’t get the pint-of-ice cream-and-Netflix-binge approval from society that a romantic breakup does. Yet, the end of an era of friendship can hurt so much more. Why is that? If you’ve gone through something recently, find solace in knowing that it makes perfect sense as to why the loss of a cherished friend can be a blow to your happiness. Let's look at some of the ways in which friends work their ways into our lives, and what can be missing when they're gone.
You Thought it Would Be Forever - Friendships, unlike romances, are entered into under the assumption that they will only grow over time. When the death knell swiftly rings, signaling you will no longer be calling each other and analyzing crazy weekends past together, it can feel jarring.
You Were Your Unfiltered Self - It’s around friends that you’re often most easily ready to let your guard down and be your weird, most marvelous self. Thus, it can be all the more shattering when they’ve chosen to leave your uniqueness behind, as it can leave one with many (possibly over-analyzing) questions to untie.
You Can Get Close So Quickly - Oftentimes, it’s easier to cover more ground and crash through boundaries rapidly on the path to friendship. You can experience hilarious, amazing and intense things with each other and get close fast. When the fruits of that buildup disappear, it is understandably saddening.
It’s Easy for Your Lives to Converge - When it comes to friends, we so seamlessly introduce them to family, loved ones and other friends. They become integrated into our lives without a thought, as we do theirs. This happens faster than it would in a romantic build-up, so it’s uncomfortable once they’re gone.
Your friends tend to know more about you than most, and in record time. Losing them can leave a gaping hole, and it’s not in the rulebook as to how to handle it. You can fight for the friendship, but if your ex-confidante wants to call it quits, know that you are a beautiful friend to those who love you, and learn what you can from the interaction. Time to make your own rulebook, and find the ways in which you can mourn and cherish the friend that was.
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