Posts Tagged ‘pain management’

When A Friendship Ends

friendship brokenArticle Contributed by Amy Sargent

Have you ever had a friend tell you they can’t be your friend anymore?

Business partnerships, romantic relationships, and casual acquaintances come and go, and cause upset when they end, but we seem to attach a little more expectations of longevity to the relationships we call friendship. A friend is a person we know in depth, with whom we hold a special bond of mutual affection, (usually exclusive of sexual or family relations). They’re our companion. Our confidant. One we can trust, rely upon, who will stand by us no matter what. But there are times when a friendship, for various reasons, can’t withstand the sands of time. And it hurts.

When friendships come to a close, whether temporarily due to extenuating circumstances or permanently because of unhealthy habits, the pain you feel can trigger a number of reactions:

  • Sadness.   You’ve suddenly lost someone dear to you. This can cause intense sorrowful feelings of emptiness.
  • Revenge.  I know, it’s immature, and equally hurtful, but we’ve all been there.  She has the gall to hurt me?  I’ll just send a snippy little text back…
  • Anger.  You invested a lot of your time, energy and heart into this friend.  And they think they can just walk away?  Now I’m mad…
  • Global negativity. It’s that feeling that this one event is indicative of your overall well-being and breeds thoughts of “here we go again” and  “see, nothing ever works out for me”.
  • Knee-jerk desperation. You’re immediately hit with a vast, empty hole that the friend once filled, and it does not feel good.  Fine, I’ll just replace them with someone new…”Next?!”

Which do you tend to choose?

While each of these emotions are valid, wallowing in any one too long will only retard your healing. And a word of warning: take care to be mindful of your actions while feeling these powerful emotions. Before you act — stop and ask, “Will this help or hurt the situation in the long run?” While full of passion, actions based on emotion alone, without the wisdom of reason, can cause even more damage to both parties.

Resiliency, or grit, is that ability to bounce back after setbacks. Some of us have it, and some of us don’t, especially when we’re faced with something tough, like the loss of a friend, or other setbacks and failures. But it is a competency of emotional intelligence that can be learned and developed. Here are some quick tips that may be of help when faced with a painful loss:

  1. Take care of yourself. We can’t be resilient when we’re lacking sleep, are malnourished, not exercising, or overly-stressed.
  2. Challenge negative ‘self-talk’. Ask yourself, “Is there any evidence to back up this self-doubt I’m feeling?” Probably not.
  3. See disappointments as temporary, short-term and isolated. What just happened is specific to this particular circumstance, and most likely not applicable to your life as a whole.
  4. Seek support from those in your life who care about you. Lean into your other friends and family and don’t try to go it alone.
  5. Do something that brings you rest and renewal. Can you get away for a few days to your favorite place? Go dancing? Take a long nap? Think about what brings you joy, and treat yourself to that luxury if possible.
  6. Learn from others. It always helps to see what others are going through, and discover how they worked through their own disappointments. Outward thinking puts the situation into perspective and gets our mind off ourselves.

“Your choice:  victim or victor.”  — Author unknown

We all know someone who is experiencing pain from loss, whether it be a friendship, death of a loved one, loss of a job, or just general disappointment with life. If you’d like to learn more about resiliency, both how to develop more of it and instill it in others, consider an online class designed for leaders, coaches, and individuals. Click here for more details:  How to Develop Resiliency & Instill Grit