How to Stop “Obsessing” Over a Lost Friendship
Friendship breakups aren’t easy. But reflecting on how the loss of a friendship has affected you, prioritizing self-care, and speaking with those you trust may help you overcome the loss.
A friendship breakup hurts, sometimes more than a romantic relationship ending. You may have drifted apart from your friend, fallen out, or experienced a hurtful situation.
Many people constantly think about what went wrong or what they could have done differently. It’s natural to wonder about these things, but it sometimes becomes a frequent preoccupation with how much you miss your friend.
Reflecting on lost friendships is part of the healing process, but it becomes difficult to move forward if you “obsess” over it. Learning to stop overthinking about a friendship breakup can help you regain focus and look forward to the future with a new perspective.
How to move on after a friendship breakup
1. Practice mindfulness meditation
Meditating and practicing mindfulness can help quiet your mind and stop ruminating over the past.
If you can’t stop thinking about your lost friendship, consider using mindfulness meditation to refocus your thoughts. It can help you become aware of your senses, allowing you to notice the present and stop obsessive thoughts.
2. Talk with someone you trust
Licensed marriage and family therapist Angela Sitka, LMFT, suggests talking with someone you trust to help you stop overthinking about a lost friendship.
She explains that since people don’t always realize the void a friendship breakup can leave, it’s essential to “communicate your needs to others with an open invitation for your loved ones to step up and support you.”
Talking with a friend or family member can help you process what happened. You can vent to them and listen to their advice or feedback to help you feel better.
Consider talking with someone who isn’t a mutual friend of the person you’re talking about to avoid drama or unnecessary discomfort.
If you’re uncomfortable talking with someone in your life, a therapist can help. They’ll help you process the breakup and discover ways to move forward.
Sitka explains, “a skilled relationship therapist can help you find closure for yourself and also give you insights to consider with future friendships.”
3. Stop looking at things that remind you of them
Constantly looking at things that remind you of the person can make moving on harder. Consider boxing up gifts, photos, and anything else that prevents you from focusing on the present.
4. Prioritize self-care
Becca Smith, LPC’s chief clinical officer at Basepoint Academy, says it’s best to “stay positive and focus on yourself.” Focusing on caring for your physical and emotional needs can help you move forward. It’ll help you remember that you can thrive without that specific friendship.
When you focus on yourself, it can help you push the lost friend from your mind. It can help you build your self-esteem and see that you’ll be OK without that person. To prioritize self-care, you may consider the following:
- eating healthy foods
- getting enough sleep
- focusing on your interests and hobbies
5. Make new habits and memories
You might not have tried new things or stepped out of your comfort zone when you’re close to someone.
Without realizing it, friendships can hold you back as you become complacent. If that friendship ends, you can use it as an opportunity to create new habits and build new memories.
6. Shift your mindset about your mistakes
No one is perfect, including you, but that doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up over what went wrong. Dr. Fern Kazlow explains, “While taking responsibility for your part in the breakup is valuable, don’t create a story that gets you stuck or portrays you in a way that diminishes you.”
Shifting your mindset and viewing your mistakes as lessons instead of regret can help you move forward. The lessons can teach you how to behave in future friendships to prevent betrayal or drifting apart.
Shifting your mindset often requires forgiving yourself. If you blame yourself for what went wrong, you must learn to accept the experience because you can’t change what happened. You can use your mistakes as a learning opportunity to become a better friend in future situations.
7. Find a resolution when you can
Friendship breakups are hard because there’s not always a resolution. If the other person is willing, seek answers to what happened and why your relationship drifted.
It can help you find closure, apologize or express your feelings, and move forward.
8. Write about your feelings
Writing about your feelings can help you release the pain and confusion associated with them.
Consider writing everything you’re thinking, feeling, and doing. It may help you understand yourself and let go of the negativity.
9. Take a social media break
According to a small 2022 Australian study Trusted Source, excessive use of social media may lead to comparison, low self-esteem, and depression.
Consider taking a break from social media for about 1 to 4 weeks. It might be challenging, but avoiding social media can help you carve out time for activities you enjoy or focus on self-care.
You may also consider using your time away from social media to focus on your community or to help those in need. Oftentimes, helping others and spending time in our community can remind us that we’re not alone and provide a sense of connection.
A 2018 study by Trusted Source indicates that volunteering can improve your overall well-being. Depending on your interests, you may decide to volunteer by:
- working at a local food bank
- working in a community garden
- assisting with voter registration
- helping animals in shelters and rescues
- mentoring a child
If you aren’t ready to take time away from social media, you can temporarily mute their profile. This can reduce your chance of seeing future posts on their page.