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6 Tips for Coping With a Friendship Breakup

If you’re dealing with a friendship breakup, consider the following coping tips.

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In my last article, I discussed the reasons why friendship breakups can be so difficult. A friendship breakup often results in grief that can be isolating, as you may feel that others cannot relate to what you’re going through.

If you once had a close friendship with someone and they are no longer in your life, you may struggle with accepting that the relationship is over.

A lot of people think a friendship breakup won’t happen to them until it does, and then they have limited resources for dealing with the fallout.

While there are many resources for coping with a romantic breakup, and most family or other friends have typically dealt with at least one breakup, there are not many resources focused on tips for specifically dealing with a friendship breakup.

If you’re having difficulty coping with a friendship breakup and you’re not sure where to start, consider the following tips:

1. Take time to properly grieve

If you’re dealing with a friendship breakup, you may feel tempted to move on quickly and distract yourself by focusing on other things, but it’s important that when you feel ready, you take the time to properly grieve the end of your friendship. Ignoring your grief does not make it go away, and doing so may contribute to you feeling stuck and unable to open up to new friendships over time.

2. Consider the reasons why the friendship ended

Perhaps the friendship had run its course and you both grew apart, or perhaps a betrayal occurred that prevented any hope of future reconciliation. Whatever the reason, consider whether there are lessons you can learn from this experience and apply to future friendships. It can also be helpful to take some time to consider your friendship dealbreakers or non-negotiables moving forward.

3. Consider ways that you can get support from others during this time

Because friendship breakups can often feel isolating, it’s important to focus on those in your life that you trust and can rely on for support during this time. Consider which relationships in your life help you feel like your most authentic self.

If this isn’t an option for you, consider engaging in therapy or a support group while you are processing your grief. Connecting with others who are experiencing a similar loss can reduce feelings of isolation, and working through your grief with a therapist can be a helpful source of consistent support during this time.

4. Focus on your self-care and practice self-compassion

Your relationship with yourself is one that will consistently be present no matter what happens with your other relationships.

When grieving a friendship breakup, you may feel tempted to blame yourself or notice an increase in self-critical thoughts. If you are noticing this is the case for you, reflect about what self-care activities can help you feel grounded while you are grieving the end of this friendship.

This might include activities such as seeking support from others, exploring hobbies that help you feel present, and/or journaling.

If you’re experiencing an increase in self-critical thoughts, consider engaging in a self-compassion exercise that can help shift your perspective by asking yourself how you would support a friend in a similar situation, and practice applying the same support to yourself.

5. Get clear about the qualities you are seeking in a friend

While friendship break-ups can be incredibly painful, they can also open up space for you to connect more deeply with friends who share similar values with you. Take some time to reflect about the qualities that are important to you in a friendship during this stage in your life.

6. Join an activity, club, or hobby that is likely to put you in contact with like-minded people

When you feel ready, consider new ways you can put yourself out there to meet new friends. Consider that you may not find a close friendship quickly and that research has shown that it can take over 200 hours of spending time with someone to form a close friendship. While the process can take time, it can be helpful to be open to different types of friendship along the way, as there may be friends you enjoy doing shared activities with, while there may be other friends you feel closer with and can have vulnerable conversations with.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute professional or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or another qualified health provider with questions regarding your condition or well-being.

To find a therapist, visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory.


Hall, J. A. (2019). How many hours does it take to make a friend? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(4), 1278-1296.

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