Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

8 Steps to Closure When a Friendship Ends

friendship ending.jpegFriendships are like marriages. Some evolve into mutually supportive and life-giving bonds while others grow more and more unhealthy, or even toxic. When a friendship ends–abruptly or subtly; via e-mail, phone conversation, or personal confrontation; with words or silence–I believe it needs to be mourned and processed in the same way as a divorce or painful breakup.


Because, even if a split was inevitable or right, it still hurts, just as much or sometimes even more than breaking up with a beau. Here, then, are eight ways to make sure you get closure and peace, especially if there was no good-bye.

Click for the first step to closure when a friendship ends.

  • Jackie Hyde Bowman

    Do yourself a favor and move on, my girlfriend and her family looked for me for yeas, cause her and her husband etc. loved me and wanted to know how I was getting on etc, she found me that’s real friendship and real love, she didn’t give up on me, Thank God for a real friend.It’s not worth your time to think about a person, who was not a real friend in the first place, if it was real, you could communicate etc. but fake friendships are like passing ships.Do the same and move on.If you do ever see the person, crosss the street, why put yourself through it.

  • Richard

    having always been a person who tended to have a few close friends, there is one friendship that I am still trying to figure out. I became friend with her and her family over a number of years. And in the voice of today, we were always friends without benefits! But a few years ago, a lot of bad things started happening. most of them weren’t related, it was just life circumstances beating me and others. It was also a time when my mind slipped several gears and I was in full denial about it. We are never going to go back to where we were, there have been far too many changes but now and then I tempt fate and test the waters to see where the friendship might be.
    That has turned out be a source of trouble and misery. T., in a recent blog you spoke of how we aren’t who we think we are, and we aren’t who others think we; but that we are who we think others think we are. Like you I have been have a difficult time getting that into my think skull.
    Recently I did a little friendship water testing and oh my, did I ever get cut; and yes, it really, really hurt. Fortunately the few people I shared this experience with were able to remind me that at this moment there is a very great deal of chaos and grief in her life and it was simply very much the wrong time to approach her in the manner I did.
    Even though her answer was full of hyperbole, I still have to suspect that some of the negative impact would have been there regardless. I have taken a bunch of steps back and while I will test the waters now and then, it will be a much more careful approach.

  • Susan

    Wow. Talk about timely. Earlier this year one of my best friends cut me off with little more explanation than, “I’m busy.” She was pregnant with twins and truly in one of the happiest times in her life and I was absolutely crushed to be cut out. Losing this 15-year friendship sent me into a spiraling depressive state. I was devastated that something so “simple” could send me back into the dredges of my depression. I finally broke down and visited my therapist (who luckily knew this friend), and started the process of healing. It was only then that I realized that yes, it was ok to be hurt by this loss. It was like a death or divorce. Thankfully since then the healing process has been pretty easy, but getting there sucked. I learned that at the first (or second) touch of that despair I need to get help and know that it is ok to do so.

  • Bonnie Doss-Knight

    Talk about synchronicities! Having just read your beautiful thoughts for the first time, I know we are already kindreds!
    One of my books is entitled “Beyond Blue” and through writing, I address many of the same issues as you.
    I’ll look forward to reading your future messages.
    Blessings to you and your work.

  • Lori

    This is a tough topic and one that I’ve wrestled with—the whole idea of the changing nature of friendships. I’m such a friendship person, but life is filled with such change naturally that inevitably people do come and go in your life, whether they are toxic or not. And you do have to grieve the loss—or the change. And then look too see who God brings around the corner next. One of my friends said that it’s estimated that friendships change every seven years. She found that on Yahoo. Your true lifetime friends–if you have 2-5 of them you are a lucky person indeed.

  • On The Money

    The time does come when truth must be faced. There is nothing better or more gratifying than true friendship. It will last. That which fades away is not true friendship at all.

  • The Barking Unicorn, Denver, CO

    “Just think of the trees: they let the birds perch and fly, with no intention to call them when they come and no longing for their return when they fly away. If people’s hearts can be like the trees, they will not be off the Way.”

  • karen

    What about when it’s some of your family members and the “friendship” is over and the rest of the family gets into it? I’ve mounted, moved on and have insisted the other family members don’t pick sides, so to avoid conflict, if those 2 are around, I am just ignored, not invited, left out, etc. I get the whole toxic family dynamic, but how do you stop the pain of being the outcast?

  • Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    Friendship breakups can have so many emotions tied into it that many times one might not find himself in the right mind frame at the time of the breakup. People are under the influence of their emotions and it’s not until they ‘sober’ up and look back at the breakup in hindsight that they’re able to put logic to it. So these tips are very helpful in such an event.

  • Safely find a date for tonight with no risk

    I love the 8 steps

  • Bill Land

    My comment is a little off from your topic, but pertinent, I think.
    In the middle of last year, I lost my partner, lover and best friend . We had been married for 65 years. She had a stroke during the night, trie to get up in the morning, fell, hit her head on the night stand and suffered a massive brain hemorrage. This resulted in death 7 days later, no matter what the doctors and hospital tried. Following this, I was able to function normally until after her funeral. Following that, I went into a state of depression for about 2 months. Some in my family though me weird, or deranged and abandoned me completely. I do not condemn them as they did me. Ln fact I forgive them, for I believe that love and forgiveness go hand in hand. Without love there can be no forgiveness and without forgiveness there is no love.
    With the love and care of my grand daughter and her family, and the help of a dedicated therapist, I can say that I am now whole again and can function without the ones who chose to abandon me, yes even condemn me in my hours of need.

  • teshia hardmon

    im in a process of doing this but going through an rough time i hope this helps

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