Remember the best
What to do: visualize and, if necessary, write down the best thing that happened to you with the participation of this person.
In a moment of discord and with wounded feelings, the first thing that comes to mind is to concentrate on claims, mutual grievances and personal accounts, which in any, especially long-term relationship, accumulate over the years. And at the moment of parting, I want, of course, to blurt out everything that has boiled. The impulse is understandable, but often leading to the fact that it will be very difficult to restore the connection with a person, and it will take years to regret what was said (or at least the form of what was said).
Of course, thoughts of a glorious past will not replace the hardships of goodbye, but they will help to let your friend go on the right note. In every friendship there is a first meeting and a beginning - it doesn't matter if you were wary of each other or immediately felt sympathy. The first evening, when you had a heart-to-heart talk, is remembered as a first date. Chances are, your shared history included parties and holidays, gifts and travel. And cases of unconditional support, when, by calling or writing to a friend, you received exactly the reaction you expected. Perhaps these moments are still vivid memories: gifts, photographs, videos, postcards.
You don't need to create a virtual gravestone for your friendship, but collecting all the best associated with one person, you need to return to it in time - even if now it seems that this time will never come. In any case, you will always have time to throw away gifts and erase photos, and a folder on a computer with the name of a close friend can become an important part of your personal history.
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What to do: Remember the conflicts that have arisen and admit that you, too, may be wrong.
Apologizing and accepting responsibility for shared disagreements is very difficult in the heat of an argument. But when parting with friends, admitting mistakes is not only an important step towards the next relationship, but also a gesture of gratitude (see paragraph above). Even if the situation now seems straightforward, and your friend looks guilty around, you made a joint contribution to your relationship dynamics.
It is not at all necessary to draw out unnatural apologies from oneself and instantly dot the "i's" - a quiet parting with friends also takes time, and for inner comfort it is sometimes enough to do independent work. Even as good friends, we cannot always do our best. Think about any stumbling blocks in your relationship. Have you criticized each other's work and choices? Offended at the lack of initiative? Didn't accept each other's partners? Did you forget to congratulate, call back? Didn't come at an important moment? Fighting out of fatigue, not because the other person offended you? Gently recall these episodes and explain them to yourself without defending yourself or attacking yourself or your friend.
There is no need to artificially complete the trend and see in every conflict a harbinger of a future separation. Just think about what you would have done differently, what actions in the past haunt you. If you have the strength, apologize, and if not, just remember and do not repeat the actions you will regret with other loved ones.
Support in change
What to do: Find kind words for your friend's new beginnings (even if you disapprove of them).
Giving freedom is perhaps the most difficult thing in any relationship, because for many of us, the loss of control is associated with the weakening of deep relationships. "Love - let go" is easier said than done, especially when you understand the hardships you now face. Then you lived in the neighboring streets, and now your friend is moving to another country. Then you spent every weekend together, and now all the attention of a friend is on his work or his child. Then you worked together - and now it takes an hour and a half to get to each other to see each other. And many of these changes hint that distance will be followed by imminent parting.
First, this is not always the case: many friendships stand the test of time and the hardships of long distances. Secondly, even if you have no plans to maintain the relationship further, this does not mean that your friend does not need kind words or wishes of good luck right now. Deciding to change is a big step, and many people subconsciously expect approval or at least support from a close circle. Yes, having babies will change the rhythms of your friends, and it won't be so easy for you to drag them out on a spontaneous walk. Yes, moving to another country or city will make your meetings very rare. Yes, the choice of another person is not in your favor, as if it erases what you lived together. But these are the traps of our selfishness. Your friend has already made a decision, and the best thing you can do for him is to take his place and imagine why he is going to take a new path:more often than not, it has nothing to do with you directly.
A friend may want to build a relationship with someone you disapprove of for their own happiness, not to annoy you. He will need a job in which he sees new meaning. Or another social circle that will support his lifestyle. It is not at all necessary to officially speak out with your friends the reasons for their choice and your separation: just think about why at this moment such circumstances and actions are important for your friend, and whether there are facts in his biography that clearly explain this.
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Define a new social circle
What to do: Think about the friends you want to make and the acquaintances you want to get close to.
Parting with loved ones often makes us unable to think critically: closing an important chapter in our life, we tend to dramatize that we will never meet other equally interesting people and such relationships with us will not be repeated. Of course, exactly the same will not be repeated. But others will begin as soon as we are ready for this. Unlike romantic relationships, rapprochements, acquaintances and new friendships are not surrounded by so many expectations, drama and categorical judgments - we can combine friends and acquaintances in any number convenient for us, not necessarily immediately separating them into a group of beloved friends.
First, think about what activities you need company for. Walking with your child, playing sports, watching movies, traveling, taking some courses? Think, is it possible to find a company among your acquaintances or are all these people easily searched for in the very places where you have long wanted to go: in the sports section, in the park, at a city festival, on a trip? Look around you at the people you like and want to bond with for a long time, and have the courage to invite at least five people for coffee. It will be even easier if you work or live nearby. Think about what qualities you lack the most in the environment and with whom of your old acquaintances you want to reconnect. Of course, from time to time we part with some friends, but how and when to make new acquaintances with whom we are interested depends only on us. But this will require unusual efforts - new friends rarely appear by themselves.
Don't turn the page
What to do: leave a chance in words and deeds to restore a friendly connection.
Very often, when parting, there is a great temptation - to burn bridges, to start ignoring each other, to have that very final conversation, after which everything will become clear. But the property of most relationships and most people is that they change, and even completed relationships can remind of themselves, cause nostalgia, acquire a different meaning over time.
Once you did not understand what your best friend did, but now you are faced with her experience and adopted a different point of view. Today's friends notice the same flaws in you that your categorical best friend once emphasized (and you quarreled). Friends who had left to live in another city decided to return. A close friend divorced a person you could not stand, and now starts life from scratch. An old friend wrote a letter of apology. Many relationships break or end, but often have a great chance of recovery. It will be all the more prudent to part in such a status so that one can return to the innuendo of the past and good memories. Most likely, even with the fear of “stepping into the same water twice,” your relationship will be at least a little different - you and your friend will come to them with the experience of living separately and gained distance.
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