Before boys, friends were my first love. I fantasized about friendships like the ones in Sex in The City and Girlfriends. I knew they weren’t perfect, but our love would trump all evil and we were eternally joined by the hips and tits. Unfortunately, as most of you may have experienced at least once, life doesn’t often work that way. One day you suddenly find yourself trying to figure out how to heal a broken heart when the friendship that you thought would continue in the retirement home falls apart. You realize that you won’t be drinking soup together because you’re toothless, writing friendship poems or using a measuring tape to measure how far one another’s tits have sagged because it’s over.
Now, I know this is the era of being canceled and I too have canceled a mofo or two. However, canceling people doesn’t cancel the pain in your heart when someone that was your one and two breaks your heart. It also doesn’t mean that friendships don’t play a critical role in your life. To begin, we’ll look at why friendships are so important to us and what science says about them.
The Importance of Friendships
Now you know I love me some research and statistics so I had to see what the people who have dedicated their lives to being nosey and inquisitive AF (sorry, I like to abbreviate my profanity because science says smart people use vile words but the Jesus in me says it’s unlady like) have to say about the importance of friendship. Look at highlights of what I found below.
Friendship Becomes More Important as You Age
There’s this journal called Personal Relationships that recently did research on the importance of friendship using over 270,000 people in nearly 100 countries. They found that the older people get, the more important friends are to them. This probably explains why my moms is die hard trying to be my bestie right now. I guess old age is making her forget all those times that she told me that she wasn’t my friend. So why you trying to be my friend now Suzy?? Hope she’s not reading this. If so, just kidding, I love you girl.
Strong Friendships Are Good for Your Wellbeing
The same research also found that strong friendships had a stronger connection to wellbeing as you age than family connections do. This was often because people preferred spending time with friends as they could do leisurely things with them whereas sometimes family was a little too serious. In other words, you can go to the trap house or strip club with ya friends but your momma ain’t having none of it.
Absence of Social Connections Could Negatively Affect Health
Scientific literature on the value of friendship found that there’s a strong connection between social relations and how long you’re going to live. Relax, before you start sending all of your loved one’s special messages, this doesn’t mean that if you don’t have friends you’re going to die. It just means their studies found that loneliness led to worse outcomes than obesity. And that wasn’t a joke by the way.
Now that we’ve gotten a little research in, we’ll go into all the soppy and painful stuff regarding how to heal when friends break your heart.
1.) See If It Can be Salvaged
When looking at how to heal when friends break your heart, one of the first things you should think about is whether it can be salvaged. We all know that pride and forgiveness are two major things that get in the way when it comes to repairing friendships. However, I challenge you to take a pen and paper write down all of the good things that your friend has done for you. You can then turn the page and write down all of the intentional and unintentional ways that you may have hurt them.
If after this, you feel like the friendship is worth salvaging, see how you can reach out and talk about what went wrong in a healthy way. I have a few friendships that have broken that I haven’t been able to salvage because of my fear of rejection.
There was one that I did attempt to mend through gifts, a couple of sorrys, and a surprise visit but it was to no avail. I closed the chapter knowing that I tried and am proud of myself for being courageous.
2.)Accept That Not All Friendships Last Forever
The first friend to break my heart was my high school best friend. We spoke every blessed day to the point that we knew what each other’s breathing sounded like because most of our phone convos consisted of that. We cried together, talked trash together, enjoyed ratchet living together and wore gold teeth together. Then one day I had to move to London because I ran away from home and that was the last straw for my parents.
I thought we would continue being overseas besties and nothing would change. I emailed tirelessly only to find that she had moved on and she couldn’t understand why I was so hurt by it. That was the first time I began to realize that not all friendships last forever. In light of this, if truly you’re wondering how to heal, you’re going to have to accept that not all friendships last forever and not be bitter about it.
If you’ve tried to salvage it as mentioned above and you can’t seem to get on the same page, you may have to accept that the friendship has ended and it just wasn’t meant to last forever.
3.) Focus on The People That Love You
Many times, we spend too much of our lives focused on the people that don’t love us. We focus on the people that we begged to love us and the pain of that rejection. However, you should know that all of the love you have right now, inthis moment, is all of the love that you need.
Never underestimate the power of a single persons love and how it can help you heal. Try and stop focusing on the friends that broke your heart and focus on the ones capable of helping it heal. When you do remember friends that have broken your heart, remember that they once loved you, so focus on the good times. write a few friendship poems on days you’re feeling down as you may fidnit therapeutic.
When thinking about how to heal from the pain of friends breaking your heart, remember that the key to healing is accepting that you’ve loved and also lost. Even if you can only count your remaining friends on one hand, they are constant reminders that you are loved and quality is far more important than quantity.