6 Tips to Overcome a Broken Friendship

When we're faced with a broken friendship, it's an opportunity to think about what kind of bonds we want and how to take care of them. These tips will help you in the process.
6 Tips to Overcome a Broken Friendship
Maria Fatima Seppi Vinuales

Written and verified by the psychologist Maria Fatima Seppi Vinuales.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

People change, and with them, so do their relationships. Many times we think about the breakup of a couple, but we forget that friendship ties can also end. That’s why in this article we’ll take a look at some tips to overcome a broken friendship.

There are those who could accompany us in certain moments of our lives, but then something starts to cause friction. Of course, many emotions come together, since ending any relationship is painful.

What does a broken friendship mean?

A friendship is based on reciprocity and trust, on mutual support and interest. It’s a transcendental bond in people’s lives, because when it’s true, friends are the ones who support us, encourage us, and even allow us to unfold our potential.

Friendship brings well-being and contributes to our quality of life and health. So, although many believe that the worst breakup is the one with a partner, they may be wrong.

Ending a friendship is just as significant, since it’s not about the type of bond, but about how meaningful it is to us.

Why do friendships end?

Sometimes, friendships end because the aforementioned characteristics don’t predominate. On one side of the relationship, the person may feel like they’re giving their everything, while they’re only receiving egocentrism.

Sometimes, it also happens that the friendship becomes toxic, and your friend claims you, makes scenes, prevents you from having other friendships, or you begin to feel that you must hide a part of your life around them. Manipulation, guilt, and envy make the relationship unhealthy.

It also may happen that the relationship should have been cut before, but it was sustained. In this case, the bond was forced, despite the discomfort.

Often, it’s not that a friendship was broken, but may simply be a symptom of natural distancing. The frequency with which you see each other may be reduced and you may no longer agree on tastes or choices. Thus, the bond is extinguished. This does not imply that there’s a problem, but that perhaps you’re simply in different stages of life.

Amigas molestas entre sí.
Friends don’t always go through the same life stages, which can affect their friendship relationship.

We think you may be interested in reading this, too: 73 Questions to Get to Know Your Friends Better

Tips to overcome a broken friendship

Here are some recommendations to work on your emotions and overcome a broken friendship. Try to put them into practice.

1. If possible, talk to your friend

If there’s a problem, it’s a good idea that you can talk about it and explain how you feel. This way, both parties will have a chance to express themselves and it will be easier to understand what’s going on with the relationship.

The brain tends to be consistent because it doesn’t tolerate contradiction. So, when something that was one-way changes, it needs to make sense of it. And until it finds it, it doesn’t stop.

When we run out of answers, it’s hard to move on. Therefore, it’s much better to talk like two people who have loved each other very much.

2. Respect the other person

Sometimes, it’s not always possible to end a friendship with a conversation. In this sense, it’s very important to respect the other person’s decision not to talk.

Each person has his or her own processes and we’re not always ready to address certain issues. Perhaps, with time, some issues can be clarified. However, talking to someone who does not want to is in vain. After all, in this case, open listening and assertiveness will be absent.

3. Avoid holding grudges

We all make mistakes and hurt each other sometimes. We also all place a lot of expectations on others. Regardless of what has happened, try to hold on to your best shared memories.

4. Allow yourself to grieve

Leaving a friendship with someone means losing a loved one in your life. Why shouldn’t you feel sad? Take your time to grieve and don’t minimize the loss.

You can expect to go through different stages (denial, anger, and guilt). There will also be different emotions (irritation, sadness, frustration). However, only by being genuine with how you feel will you be better off in the future.

5. Work with your thoughts

Many times we get caught in the trap of our thoughts, which filter information through certain lenses. So, if your lens is one of drama and exaggeration, losing a friend may seem like the end of the world.

On the other hand, if you’re one of those people who hold others responsible for what happens to you, you will create resentment and won’t be able to learn from the relationship, blaming others for your discomfort. Try to recognize where you are thinking from and don’t believe everything you tell yourself.

Rencor por una amistad rota.
It’s very easy to create resentment after any breakup and think that the fault is always the other person’s.

6. Accept that people and relationships change

We’re not always the same, and where there was affinity, there may no longer be a connection. It’s important to stop idealizing and understand that experiences make us as people, so sometimes there are simply mismatches.

We think you may also enjoy reading this article: How to Help your Children Learn Who is a True Friend

Broken friendship is an opportunity to rethink bonds

Every relationship that comes to an end is an opportunity to learn about the bonds you want in your life and how to take care of them. Every crisis brings a new beginning that allows us to take stock of the positive and the negative.

Likewise, overcoming a broken friendship is a moment to rethink (where did I go wrong and where can I improve?), to understand who we are, and to understand how we are in our bonds. Above all, it’s the opportunity to determine who we want to be.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ramos Linares, Victoriano, & Inglés Saura, Cándido José, & Martínez González, Agustín Ernesto, & Piqueras Rodríguez, José Antonio (2010). Importancia de los amigos y los padres en la salud y el rendimiento escolar. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 8(1),111-138.[fecha de Consulta 13 de Abril de 2022]. ISSN: . Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=293121995006
  • Greco, Carolina. (2010). Las emociones positivas: su importancia en el marco de la promoción de la salud mental en la infancia. Liberabit16(1), 81-94. Recuperado em 13 de abril de 2022, de http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1729-48272010000100009&lng=pt&tlng=es.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.