For years, my middle school best friend and I thought we would be friends for life. We first met in prealgebra in sixth-grade. We instantly connected and bonded over the fact that we were two “outsiders” since everyone else in the class knew each other. Over the years, we bonded and quickly became inseparable. We always made jokes together that we would become bitter old ladies in wheelchairs throwing oranges at people. I can’t even remember how that inside joke started, but it was one of many!
However, my junior year of high school was rocky. My depression and anxiety reached its peak (thankfully, never to be that bad again). Needless to say, my relationships weren’t going great either. After I recovered from the emotional stress of that year, I started working at a movie theater part time. I instantly attached myself to my coworkers. As a result, my relationship with my best friend greatly suffered. I pushed her to the side and diminished her importance in my life. We grew distant and suddenly we started pushing each other out of our lives, yet not wanting things to change.Learn to move on from a failed friendship with these tips from Be Simply It! It doesn't have to be… Click To Tweet
Suddenly, we started college without speaking to one another in months. Just a year before, we never could have imagined that possibility! For the next few years after, I tried to reconnect and profusely apologized. I sent birthday cards and friend requests. But she didn’t want to connect with me. It was excruciating. We were so close at one point, but now it felt like I was the plague. I just couldn’t understand nor accept the fact that she didn’t want me in her life at all. At the very least, I wanted some closure to our friendship. We never “broke-up”; we just drifted apart.
However, as I lamented my stress to another long-time friend, she told me something that changed my outlook. She said that if someone who you were that close to could treat you so poorly, then maybe they weren’t the person you thought they were in the first place. For the first time, I realized that the failure of my friendship wasn’t all my fault. As I looked back, I realized that my former friend also made some questionable actions. Ultimately, we grew apart and it was just an end of an era for us.
When I felt like I wanted closure from her, I later realized that I truly wanted forgiveness. I was utterly ashamed of myself for how much I pushed her to the side when I started connecting to my new co-workers. I always (and still do) pride myself for being a steadfast friend, but I lost control of myself my senior year of high school (a combination of dying to graduate and being 17-years-old). Unfortunately, I would never directly receive her forgiveness. But instead, I realized that I had to forgive myself.Forgiveness from yourself is just as important as forgiveness from others. Click To Tweet
There will be many situations in life where you can’t directly receive the forgiveness of someone. This may be because the person refuses to see you, moves away, passes away, or many other possibilities. You’ll want closure and feel like the matter was left unfinished. However, more important than that person’s forgiveness, you must be able to forgive yourself. Even with that person’s forgiveness, you will only find peace and redemption when you give it to yourself.
Is there something that you’ve been holding onto for a bit too long? A failed friendship that you can’t let go of? Forgive yourself for what happened. It’s in the past and it’s time to move forward. You are a better person now than you were then. Let yourself move on and forgive yourself. I promise that you deserve it! 🙂
How do you move on from a failed friendship? Do you have friendships that have survived it all? What do you think the key to a lasting friendship is?