Losing friends is hard, and it definitely never gets easier. People stop being friends for all kinds of reasons: You outgrow each other, you have nothing in common, one of you is mean, someone is too selfish, a significant other gets in the way, and so on.
There are a million reasons why you may lose a best friend, but no matter what, it always hurts. This person was at one point someone who you shared your deepest secrets with, who saw you at your most vulnerable and also made you laugh the hardest.
Then one day, you’re not sure what happened. You can’t quite put your finger on it, or maybe you can, but it doesn’t feel the same. The quiet, comfortable silence you once appreciated is now awkward and filled with you trying to think of things to discuss.
People enter and exit our lives all the time. They serve their purpose and then they leave or they stay. If they stay it means we both have more to offer one and other. If one of us leaves, then we have nothing more to give.
So how do you know when your friendship has come to an end? There are a few warning signs:
1. They purposely try to put you down.
Have you ever had that friend that always has to one-up you? They can never just be happy for anything you accomplish. Even sadness becomes a contest for them. If you’re experiencing a bad breakup they will be sure to turn it around so the focus is on them. They will reassure you that their experience was much worse than this. Instead of comforting you, they compete with you.
2. Your victories are no longer their victories.
Your friends should be there and want to celebrate your moments of success with you. If you’re excited about a grade or a promotion and they dismiss you, this isn’t a good sign. If they aren’t interested in sharing your happiness with you, something deeper is going on. Friendship is founded on the idea of give and take. If they can’t support your highs, they certainly won’t support you at your lows.
3. They only care about themselves.
They may not have always been this way, but over time something changed. They became selfish and conceited. They make it clear that their wants and needs come first and foremost. They have no regard whatsoever for your safety. They will stay at the bar all night with some stranger and let you walk home alone at 2 AM simply because they didn’t feel like leaving.
Essentially, going out with them is now the same as going out alone. They ditch you immediately for the next best thing.
They will call you and expect you to listen to all of their problems, and you will. You genuinely will give them advice because you want to help relieve their distress. However, this will not be reciprocated. If you ever have a problem, they will also dismiss it as irrelevant and not worth their time. The only important problems to discuss are the ones that belong to them.
4. They can do no wrong.
They will never accept any kind of responsibility for themselves. Whenever they’ve screwed you over or hurt you, it is always conveniently someone else’s fault. The relationship between you remains at a standstill. There’s no room for the friendship to grow because this person cannot even acknowledge their own mistakes.
Just like a breakup, losing a best friend hurts. Even years later, funny things remind you of them and you’ll find yourself tempted to call or text them, but right before you do, you’ll stop yourself. You’ll remember you’re no longer on good terms or that you haven’t talked in so long that they may find it awkward, and that’s just life.
You lose and you gain, but don’t ever settle for less than you deserve.