What is the best way to handle the end of a friendship?

Friendships are one of the most important relationships a person can have over the course of a lifetime.

It is also one of the most fascinating, as it combines the platonic emotion, and love found from a familial relationship with the exclusivity of a romantic relationship.

The duality found within a friendship has been integrated into works of poetry, narratives, and a myriad of other prose.

With the gravity attributed to this unique relationship, it is fair to ask: how does one handle the end of a friendship? Well, before answering this question, one must understand the psychological significance of a friendship and the emotionally injurious effects it can have on a person when such a relationship is terminated.

Humanity is marked by its capacity to ask intense philosophical questions such as “why do we exist?” “what is the meaning of life?” and a plethora of other questions.

With this in mind, it is easy for a person to become engulfed in these questions and to perceive himself as a small, insignificant speckle against a massive universe. When given an idle moment to think, people tend to consider this existential crisis and a feeling of loneliness can quickly present itself.

When it comes to the melancholic feelings that come from humanity’s inquisitive nature, friendship can easily be seen as a panacea for this lonely mindset.

Saul Levine, writing from Psychology Today says it even better: “People without friends often experience the vulnerability of loneliness, that poignant state which many of us have felt at some point.”

With that being said, it can be easily argued that the opposite also holds true. People who do have friendships are less likely to experience loneliness.

When a fundamental relationship is terminated, the effects are often negative though the extremity of the effects is dependent on the length and quality of the friendship.

If a person has shared a great deal of information and experiences with a friend for an extensive period of time, the individuals may find their lives void of this person, as they meant a lot to them.

On the other hand, if the friendship is mostly superficial and short in its longevity, the effects of the loss may be minor or null in significance.

In order to cope with either scenario, it is important to evaluate the pros and cons related to the friendship.

Were you truly happy with your friendship, and was the relationship satisfying?

Many times friendships are toxic, as one party may find that the friendship is beginning to take a toll on their mental health and overall well-being. It is also important to evaluate the lessons you have learned after losing the friendship.

For instance, if the friendship was negative for any particular reason, evaluate that reason and move forward with that wisdom in mind and pursue beneficial friendships that lack those negative attributes.

It is also important to know that friendships, like any non-familial relationship, will come and go.

As human beings we are subject to psychological, social, physical, and emotional growth and likewise, our friendships will do the same, and termination or small shifts often follow.

So enjoy the moment, and when it’s gone, don’t linger on it but draw from the experience and continue onto the amazing journey called life.