There's nothing that hurts more than betrayal, because betrayal doesn't come from your enemies, it comes from your loved ones.
A best-friend is someone you can be yourself around. It's someone you can trust with your secrets, and someone you can vent to when you need emotional support. It's someone who never fails to make you laugh or smile, and someone who doesn't judge you for who you are.
But just like a relationship, friendships have conflicts. Just like some relationships, friendships break up. The worst part about best friend break ups is no one seems to normalize grieving over a best friend. It's not normalized in today's society. It's normalized to cry over a relationship, but it isn't normalized to grieve a friendship. The worst part is seeing your ex-best friend moving on, just seeing them happy with a new friend. I'm here to tell you: It's OK to grieve. You deserve to be around people who care about you. This is how you can move on and grow from your broken friendship.
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1. Be Self-aware
It's easy to point out the other person's flaws, and claim that it wasn't your fault at all. The truth is, it takes two stones to kill a bird. You can't control what someone else does, but you can control what you do, and how you grow from the conflict.
I recommend journaling for ten minutes about what you need to work on. If it was a hundred percent the other person's fault, think about how you can recognize a bad friendship before conflict arises. What red flags did you ignore? If it was your fault, think about what you can do next time.
The only person we'll have forever is ourselves. Don't judge yourself. It's OK to be honest with yourself.
It's OK to make mistakes. Acknowledging your flaws is the first step. For example, if my friend "broke up" with me for insulting her relationship, the first thing I'd do is blame the other person. "She was in a bad relationship anyway." However, that's not the case. What I should've done was I should've talked to her about red flags in her partner, and be a supportive friend.
2. Apologize and talk
Apologize. Think about what you did wrong, and try not to talk about what you think the other person did. It should go like: "I'm sorry for saying/doing XYZ.
I should've been more XYZ. I want to use this to grow from XYZ." You should probably elaborate, but this is a good starting point. Even if you think what you did is irreparable, you should still leave things off on a good note. Acknowledging your flaws and communicating with them allows for personal growth, and it'll allow you to have stronger friendships in the future.
"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." - Benjamin Franklin
On the other hand, if you're about to break up with your best-friend, you should probably talk to them first. Don't try to pontificate. Say something along the lines of, "Hey, I just noticed this change of XYZ in you.
I just wanted to let you know, I am here for you if you want to talk." We get so caught up in our emotions that we forget about what someone might be going through. Let them know that you're there for them.
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Finally, if the conflict is solely due to your best-friend, you should still talk either way. When I say talk, I don't mean cuss them out or throw fists. You should be mature about it, and express your concerns and feelings about the conflict, especially if it isn't the first time something happened.
Put your foot down and be assertive, yet also polite. It should end up sounding like: "Hey, I just wanted to let you know what you said/did made me feel XYZ. This isn't the first time something like this has happened, so I wanted to talk to you about it."
After you take the time to acknowledge the conflict, and express your feelings to your best friend, it's time to be your own friend. In order to love yourself, you have to put yourself first. That doesn't mean being selfish.
It just means taking care of yourself when you need it the most. Do the things that you want to do. Try to imagine the perfect day, and recreate it. My self-love day would consist of eating an ice cream sandwich while catching up on Netflix, and then going to Barnes and Nobles to drink some Starbucks and catch up on the latest BookTok releases.
Find a place where you can be yourself, whether it be your room, the library, or the beach. Listen to a break-up album, and grieve. Don't judge yourself for grieving, because it's OK to cry.
This is someone you used to cherish, someone who made you laugh and smile every day, and someone who was always there for you. My recommendations for friendship break up albums are anything Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo.
If another friend wants to hang out during your self-love moment, just say no. Specifically, something along the lines of: "I'm sorry. I just really need some time for myself." If you have obligations like school, try to find a place you can go to during lunch.
I'd go to the library, and sometimes I'd go to a different teacher. It's a necessity to have a teacher or adult you can talk to at school about things like friendship conflicts. You don't have to report it, but you can talk about it. Please note, the counselor doesn't report things to your parents as long as you don't show signs of self-harm. The counselor is there for you, so take the opportunity.
"If you have the ability to love, love yourself first." - Charles Bukowski
Find someone you can talk to. It should be someone who doesn't know your ex-best friend. You don't want to add fuel to the fire.
Have one or two people you can talk to without holding back. If you can't find someone to talk to, do self-venting. My methods of self-venting involve playing tennis and scribbling on a piece of paper. The latter method seems silly, but it works. I recommend taking a piece of paper and writing down literally everything that comes to mind. Don't worry about anyone seeing it, because the best part about this exercise is you'll rip it up at the end. Let your thoughts run wild for five to ten minutes, and when you have nothing else to jot down, rip it up.
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You should find your personal cathartic, whether it be listening to music, or playing a sport, or playing an instrument. Try not to over-vent, since this may lead to negative thoughts, but take the time you need. I'd recommend having three to four venting sessions per week.
Other general Tips
Try to find other friends. There are tons of people out there. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
If you love writing, try a writing competition, or even writing for a magazine like this one. If you love to run, join your school's cross country team, or even try out the city marathon! Don't let this conflict shatter your self-worth.
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Take a break from everyone. Delete your social media for a week, and focus on yourself. Keep yourself busy with schoolwork, your hobbies, and self-love.
Remember - loving yourself is different for everyone. For me, it was eating ice cream while watching Netflix. For you, it could be going to the dog park while listening to Kali Uchis.
Use this as a learning opportunity. Humans aren't supposed to be perfect, and neither are you. Cut yourself some slack and realize that everything happens for a reason.
It's important to not get worked up about what the other person did to you. This will just flood your mind with negativity, and you'll end up worse than the person who wronged you.
Take the time you need. Some people take a week, while some take months, or even a year. It's different for everyone, and that's good.
If you don't heal now, it'll traumatize you and stay with you forever. Don't listen to anyone who says, "Stop being such a baby. It's just a friend." Your emotions deserve to be healed, so don't listen to any of that gobbledygook.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein
Whatever your situation is, a best-friend break-up sucks. Whether your friend is moving away, or there was a fight, every break-up needs healing. I know you feel like all is lost, but I'm here to tell you otherwise.
You may have made a mistake, but that doesn't mean you're a bad human; it just means you're human. Isn't it special how humans are able to form connections? We can literally form friend groups and we're able to bond with each other. It's these connections and friendships that make life worth living, so it's OK to grieve.