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Mourning a Friendship

May 10th, 2020


“We don’t lose friends, we just learn who our real ones are.” - Anonymous

A man looking out onto the coast in the rain while holding an umbrella over his dog

Different Kinds of Friendships

Everyone in their life needs others that they can depend on and be social with. The closeness that we experience with others will wax and wane in our lives. There may be times that we are surrounded by many friends, and there may be times where we feel that we are alone. Generally, though, as humans we try to go through life with others in our lives to be there for us and to enjoy our existence on this planet together.

Our friendships can be extremely serious or can be trivial, at times. Some friendships will mean more to us than others, and some friendships will last longer than others. We may have friends that we have been close with our entire lives, while we may also have individuals that used to be our friends who are not any longer.

Sometimes, people come in and out of our lives over time. These individuals may be close with us at some points in our lives and at others we may not talk with them at all. It is interesting how are relationships change overtime.

What is a Friendship?

Sounds like a silly question….however it is important to understand what friends and friendships are. Humans are meant to be social creatures. We communicate with one another both with spoken words and language, but also with our non-verbal language. Interaction between us is crucial for our sanity and overall well-being.

However, interaction is just a bare minimum for what a human needs in their life. Ideally, people need to have some relationships that go deeper than the superficial, where one can express themselves and share more intimate elements of their life. Friends are people who are there for you when you are in need, and someone that you would be there for when they are in need. There is a reciprocal give and take in a friendship. A true friendship is not one sided but is balanced with both parties genuinely caring about the other and wanting the best for the other individual.

The Benefits of Friendships

There are so many benefits to having a friend or having multiple friendships. One benefit of a friendship is the comradery. Being able to share the ups and downs of life is important to feeling fulfilled in one’s life. Having friendships also enables one to share and seek support from others in tough times. It can be damaging to one’s physical and mental health to keep things contained inside, especially if those things are stressors or sources of sadness and anxiety.

Instead, expressing one’s emotions is helpful and cathartic and can often allow one to heal from any tough times or trauma that may have been experienced. Just as it is beneficial to share the sorrows and tough times in life, it is extremely beneficial to share the triumphs and fun times in life as well. Experiencing fun by oneself can be enjoyable, but it is almost always better to enjoy a good time with another person.

Loss of a Friendship Due to Disagreement

Because we are such social creatures and it is so important to have friendships, it can be very difficult to lose a friend. This can be compounded because of losing all the benefits of having that friend, say, if that friend was a person that we went to when we needed help or counsel. If possible, it may be beneficial to try and salvage the relationship if possible.

If the individual is a true friend and you both care about one another, and the relationship is ending because of a disagreement, it may be a good idea to try and work through the issue to rescue the relationship. Often times, this is easier said than done. It could be helpful to get a mediator, another party that is impartial (or as close to impartial as possible) to help solve any disputes.

Loss of Friendship Due to Distance

It could be the loss of a friendship is due to something other than a friendship, such as moving away from one another. In today’s society, this is often less of a problem than in years past. The invention of the internet, and social media more specifically, has allowed people to stay in contact in ways that they were not able to in days prior.

A lonely woman looking out a window while sitting on the couch

Furthermore, the phone has allowed people to still communicate instantaneously in ways that were not possible before. Now, people can text one another without taking breaks away from their day to communicate with one another. Video chatting allows people to look at one another in live time while communicating, often making it feel as though the other person is actually in the room with you. All of this technology allows people to stay closer in ways that were not possible in the years prior.

Find Support When You Lose A Friendship

If you lose a friend and cannot recover or preserve the relationship, it is important to reach out to other friends for support. Losing a friend can be difficult and can elicit a lot of feelings and emotions. It is important to express these emotions instead of bottling them up inside. Appreciate the relationships that you have moving forward as you take time to mourn the loss of your friendship.

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