Best Friends Forever isn’t just a term, it’s an emotion. Your "Best Friend Forever." Someone you know you can rely on. A sibling from a different parent. The one buddy with whom you spend the most time. Someone who will laugh with you, weep with you, and smile with you. They will stick up for you and listen while you rant about all of life's issues.
The love, comfort and freedom you feel around your best friend cannot be compared. They make you feel belonged to, best friends calm you down when you are furious, stand by you when you are jittery and celebrate with you when you are on cloud nine. To find someone who you can call your best friend is a blessing. But have you ever thought - “what if not forever?”, we all make promises to our best friends of being there forever, but life decides otherwise, life takes us elsewhere. Do you think Best Friends Forever is even possible or it's just the emotion? Psychologists have proven through research and field work, that not all friendships last a lifetime while some manage to too. This article will also shine light upon the psychology behind friendship and how to let go of friendships lovingly.
Psychology Behind Friendship
Friendship is the relationship we all need for growth. Friendships are vital to our social, psychological, and physical well-being since they may last for a long time. Strong friendships are essential to the emotional well-being of the majority of people. According to research, intimate friendships are connected with higher levels of pleasure, self-esteem, and a feeling of purpose. These relationships are even linked to bodily consequences like reduced blood pressure and a longer lifetime. Research behind the psychology of Friendship has also shown that Friends tend to reduce the effect of negative experiences in life and push you to do better , help you overcome your fears. (Adams et al. #)
Why can't we have the same friends forever?
The principle of Only Quality People (OQP) stands useful here. As we move ahead in life and enter new phases of life, we also grow as individuals and mature to become better versions of ourselves. During this time, as humans we do not feel the need to outgrow people because they’ve stopped adding value to our lives but because they become toxic for us. We outgrow certain relationships when the people from our OQP circle become toxic for us. The ex-OQP have now been tainted with some toxic baggage and past which is causing harm to you and them too.
It is necessary to review your friendships and to let go of the toxic ones. Letting go may seem tough but it is only beneficial in the long term. You may be investing ample amounts of energy and time in someone who isn’t deserving of that.
Remember the saying, "birds of a feather flock together." Whether you like it or not, you become a product of your surroundings. Accept responsibility for your life and let go of harmful relationships. You'll be surprised at how much more you get out of life once you start raising the bar and investing in great people - Only Quality people! You are deserving! The realization of when your friend is becoming toxic or harmful for you is crucial. Not all friends become toxic eventually but some may, and to notice is the greatest factor for yourself.
How To Lovingly Let Go Of Friendships
'Friends' - we always think they will be around indefinitely. Not all friendships, however, are designed to endure a lifetime. Almost everyone has experienced growing apart from a once-loved school buddy, only to discover that their views are diametrically opposed to yours. Friends coming and departing isn't limited to university; it's a cycle that may last our entire lives.
Once a friendship has lived its destiny, letting go with love is critical to ensuring that both sides depart with their dignity and pleasant memories intact. Most friendships will gradually drift apart over time, but if this isn't occurring, an open discussion is the next step. There is no one method to do this, but staying nice yet genuine about your feelings and providing instances of the behaviour that is causing you pain is the most equitable approach to part ways. If you don't want a permanent separation but need some time away, tell them how much time you need - weeks, months, or years.
Here are a few tips to let go of friends:
Initiate a Heartfelt Conversation: It's essential to communicate your feelings openly. Be brave and start the dialogue. It might be challenging, but it's crucial for closure. Express your feelings honestly, but with kindness, ensuring you articulate your thoughts without causing unnecessary hurt. If you feel going the DIY way is not helping you, go for an online individual counseling session.
Focus on Your Feelings: When discussing the situation, use "I" statements to avoid blaming the other person. For example, say, "I feel hurt when..." instead of "You always...". This approach keeps the conversation focused on your feelings and prevents it from becoming an argument.
Respect Their Response: Understand that they may not react as you expect or hope. They have their feelings and perspectives, which might be different from yours. Respect their feelings and reactions, and try to empathize with their point of view.
Give Yourself Time: Parting ways with a friend can be emotionally challenging. It's okay to feel sad and grieve the loss of a friendship. Allow yourself time to process your emotions and heal.
Stay Positive: Despite the pain of parting, remember the good times you shared. Cherish those memories and learn from the experiences. Not all endings are bad; they often lead to new beginnings. Stay optimistic about the future.
Letting go of a best friend may seem overwhelming at the moment, but remember the 'best friends forever' meaning. It's about understanding and supporting each other, even when paths diverge. If you find yourself needing someone to talk to during this time, EduPsych's individual online counseling session can prove to be of great help.