Five Lessons Learned After a Failed Friendship

Story by Colleen Dluzynski

We’ve all heard that relationships come and go, but friends are there forever. So when a close friendship falls apart, it can leave us wondering why.

The truth many of us come to realize is that like many other things that fall under the umbrella of “growing up,” losing friends we thought would always be by our sides is one of them.

The best thing I have done through broken friendships is to learn from my past and discover what makes a true friend. It was through removing negative people from my life that I was given some valuable lessons in return.

1. Not everyone you become friends with will be there forever
Whether it was a silly argument or a big falling out, some people are meant to put a mark on your life for a short time and then go a different direction. Instead of wracking your brain about what you did wrong, realize that life takes us in many different directions and appreciate the positive times you had with this person.

2. If a friend caused more stress than good, they probably didn’t have your best interest at heart
The word “friend” by definition is someone who helps and supports. If you find a friend putting pressure on you and making you not feel good, the best thing to do is trust your gut. True friends will lift you up, help you realize your own strengths and encourage you to succeed.

3. Like everything else in life, balance is key – even with friendships
College is a time to try new things, meet new people and grow as an individual. If you are hanging out with new people, existing friends shouldn’t be jealous or irritated because you don’t owe anyone a certain amount of time. Priority number one during this time is yourself and discovering the world from a youthful perspective, so make time for your friends, but pencil in time for yourself and what you want to do.

4. No friendship is perfect, but strive for maturity within them
We live in a culture where much of our interaction with our friends occurs over social media. Within an instant, everyone can see what someone says to you, so friend feuds should not be handled with the whole world as a witness. If an issue occurs, mature friends will text you, call you or better yet, see you face to face to keep it private and work it out. Real friends will care about the health of your relationship enough to bridge any gaps, not leave you guessing if their latest tweet was directed at you.

5. True friends will love you for you – no matter what
You should never feel like you have to change, compromise or justify your life choices because someone who is supposed to have your back doesn’t approve. Unless the situation is clearly harmful to you mentally or physically, friends should not micromanage your decisions. We are young – we will make mistakes, but true friends will pick you back up and chalk it up to a learning experience, because that’s what friends are for.