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Coping with Friendship Loss?

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  • #40911
    Gene
    Participant

    I didn’t know where else to put this topic under so I filed it under “Relationships” since that what friendships are essentially about. Recently, I have been going through waves of emotional and physical change in every aspect of my life. So naturally I started leaning on the friends whom I thought would make me feel better because I was venting all my emotions and not necessarily leaning on them for advice. That part will come later, I’m just in the grieving process, and it seems that I still am. There is this one friend I met three years ago when she began her first year of college and I was in my second year. We clicked instantly and we grew a lasting friendship over the next several years until April, things began to change swiftly. She has one of the personality where if she feels overwhelmed, she must retreat without any explanation. She has been shutting me off lately when I’ve been trying to communicate with her and trying to lean on her more for the emotional support. But nothing is giving. There are days where I feel sad because she is starting to drift apart from my emotional aspect of life, I don’t know if this means that I need to start packing her things up and letting her out of my life. After all the constant one-way communications and pressure, I feel like she no longer deserves a seat in my life and I need to move on. I’m at a crossroad, and my final semester is about to begin in less than a week, I’m afraid I won’t have time for her stuff and other neglect treatment I received from other friends. I’ve also come to realize that I may lean on codependency for emotional support, and that may end up harming me more.

    How do you guys cope with the looming possibility of friendship loss or trying to navigate rocky friendship? Is communication always the best? And does confrontation settle issues or does it salt the wound even more?

    #40915
    Danielle
    Participant

    Hi Gene!

    I’m like you a lot in that I turn to my friend to help me during rough times. It’s good to bounce ideas off other like minded people’s heads that usually help with whatever you’re going through.

    I too and feeling a little disconnected from a close friend .In my experience, confrontation towards someone you love really does more harm than good. The best way to figure out how you should approach the situation, I find, is to put myself in the other person’s shoes. Think: “how would I want to be told I am hurting someone, if I were?” More than likely, you’re not going to want someone to come at you, ready to fight.

    Try talking to your friend again. Maybe explain you don’t mean to overwhelm her, you just value her input and advice, and you feel comfortable with her. Let her know WHY you turn to her in hard times.

    If she doesn’t respond how you feel fit, then start to move on from the friendship. But the fact that you’re seeking advice on this, proves that it weighs heavily on your mind, because this person is important to you.

    I say give it one last shot, from a warm and non-confrontational place. 🙂

    Best of luck!

    Danielle

    #40916
    lucia
    Participant

    Hi Gene,

    I really like the advice that Danielle has given you. I would just like to add some input from my own experiences of friendships. I’ve had to part ways with a few friends within the past few months to few years. It is definitely difficult to make a choice to severe ties, but if you truly feel like it isn’t a healthy rather a toxic friendship, it’s a good time to re-examine that friendship.

    Some friends come and go, some last for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Other times you can take some time away from that friend and come back again. I’ve had a few friends were I have lost touch, but recently have caught up. We just pick up where we have left off. Sometimes you might have to lean on other friends during the difficult times, especially if your friend is having a hard time themselves. Remember, you got to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. So your friend might be needing that time to care for herself.

    Just come from a place of love and honesty. 🙂

    Lucia

    #40927
    Gene
    Participant

    Hi Danielle,

    I think you offered very interesting perspective. You’re very right to approach my friend with a peaceful and graceful attitude and to talk rationally about what has been going on. The truth is is that even my perspective could be totally wrong, and it could even be one sided. I don’t necessarily want to cut her out of my life just yet as I don’t think our journey is coming to an end anytime soon. People fight all the time and good things come of it: they take time to mature their relationship and understand one another. Maybe this rough patch between her and I is a sign that we should grow together as young adults, navigating and taking on the chaotic world.

    Thanks again for your input and it is greatly appreciated.

    Gene

    #40929
    Gene
    Participant

    Hi Lucia,

    I agree. Danielle offered some sound advice. But where I come from is that if these relationships begin to feel toxic and one-sided, then there should be discussions about our drifting apart and what we can do to repair it. Friends come and go, some stay and others leave, but it’s all part of our individual story. What we can take away from this is to learn how to grow our emotions and mental capacities.

    Maybe I will call later this week and ask her out for a cup of tea and take time to listen to her. Maybe it isn’t really about me but her.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Gene

    #40954
    Matt
    Participant

    Gene,

    I’m sorry for the difficulties you’ve been experiencing which have lead you to lean heavily of your friend. Perhaps consider seeing a therapist or counselor. Many universities have free or low cost services.

    Perhaps your friend doesn’t want to be leaned on right now. From your description, it seems like you dump on your friends quite a bit, and regard their dedication to the friendship as the willingness to be vented to. This is not healthy, and I like how you’ve been considering codependency patterns as a possible reason. Pia Mellody has some great books on the topic.

    I wish to be gentle and direct… friends aren’t toilets for us to dump our problems into. Some friendships will withstand that, and some will for quite awhile, but ultimately if it isn’t balanced or is used for stress relief, friendships can quickly erode. This is why coping with stress is important by ourselves, which is what therapy or Mellody’s books can help you establish.

    With warmth,
    Matt

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