When friends abandon you: What to do next?

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In this blog we will discuss what you can do when your friends abandon you. 

Family Counseling
Family Counseling

When friends abandon you: What to do next?

Here are a few things that you can do if your friends have abandoned you:

Talk To Them About It

The best thing you can do about this situation is to talk to them about it. Don’t confront them and avoid accusing them of anything and everything. 

The best thing you can do is to assertively talk about how you have been feeling in this friendship, and that you would appreciate some clarity as to what this friendship means to either of you. 

If this friend of yours is really a friend who cares about you, it is likely that they too will share their side of the story and the confusion for both sides will clear up.

Apologise if needed

Usually when friends abandon you, they might do it because they have been hurt by your behaviour. 

Such drastic measures are not often taken for petty reasons and while it might not be easy to accept your mistakes in the midst of the hurt you feel, taking time to understand the reason why and apologising if needed is important. 

Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling

This means that you be kind to yourself when you are dealing with your feelings or lack of any feeling, thoughts etc as a result of the abandonment. 

Whatever the feeling is- be it anger, sadness, shame, anxiety, grief whatever it is allow yourself to feel them even if it is difficult to do so. At times one might choose to directly deal with these difficult feelings and thoughts while for some they might deal with it by not dealing with it. 

Hwoever, we advise you to work through these feelings by feeling them wholly without judging yourself for it. 

Seek Out a Therapist

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

When friends abandon you, you have to understand that estrangement within the friend group is a very complex issue and it can oftentimes be a traumatic experience. 

This is why it is important that you reach out to someone- usually a professional- for help if you need it. It is advisable that you seek out professional help to process the difficult emotions and the aftermath of the experience. 

There are therapists who specialise in this particular situation aim to provide unbiased support, psycho-education regarding estrangement, and also provide you with coping tools.

While you might be in shock and feel that this experience does not affect you or you feel like it is “good riddance” on your part, we still advise you to seek out professional support to work out any feelings- even if it is anger, shock, or denial about what has happened. 

Find a Support Group

When it comes to estrangement for friends, not everyone understands exactly what you are going through and how hard it is to find one’s rooting after your family abandons you. 

What you can do in this case is to seek out group support with a group of people who know exactly what you are feeling simply because they have also gone through something similar. 

Within a support group you can experience emotional support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other. 

By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey. 

Be Patient With Your Process

It is important that during this time, you are patient and kind to yourself as you go through the motions. 

This means that you be kind to yourself when you are dealing with your feelings or lack of any feeling, thoughts etc as a result of the abandonment. 

At times one might choose to directly deal with these difficult feelings and thoughts while for some they might deal with it by not dealing with it. 

In any case, it is important that you allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling while remembering to be non-judgemental to yourself about how you are processing this entire situation.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

If you have been abandoned by your friends and have found that the people around you do not understand nor are they willing to understand, one choice that you do have is to seek support from other people. 

It is challenging to accept that the people you love the most do not understand your condition but that does not mean that you remain lacking in support. 

You can also choose to seek out group support for people- friends and supporters who are able to be present with you during this difficult time. 

Focus on self-care

While it might be hard to take care of yourself- you might find it hard to eat, wash, wake up, and do other basic things. 

It is okay to allow yourself to let yourself go for a few days but making the effort to stick to routine and structure in your day to day life can help you move forward. 

Taking care of your physical needs is very important as it is a way to care for yourself. Taking care of your emotional needs is also important and you can work towards emotional self care after taking care of your physical needs first. 

You can choose to make new changes that help you feel better or healthier like going to the gym, changing your diet to a more healthy one, going for wants. Sometimes change in routines can also be your way of caring for yourself. 

Make new friends.

One part of moving forward after such a negative experience is to make new friends, who say you can’t. 

You can change your own social life and choose to make friends with people who are accepting of you for who you are and those who understand what friendships mean.

Making new friends can be hard especially after experiencing something like abandonment, however, you have to understand that you are worthy of good friends and worthy of being loved. 

Set boundaries

If in case, your friend and you have reconciled but you are still hurting, what you can do is to set new boundaries that allow equality in the friendship and make it more two sided. 

When you set boundaries with them, make sure you clearly tell them what you will and will not do in the name of friendships. For example, you will come driving half way into town to see them but not across the whole state or you will pick up their calls but not after seven pm. 

Make sure that all of these boundaries are not to lock them out, but rather to give yourself your own space, your own life back and that this has nothing to do with them. 

A friend who understands this will mostly agree and understand , however, if they become defensive and aggressive- we have a toxic friend rather than a friendship that is one sided. 

Cut them off

In the case that your friends have abandoned you for no particular reason other than to hurt you, cut them off. While no one wants to lose a friend, it is better to protect yourself first rather than to appease everyone. 

You have to understand your own value as a human being and that if they can abandon you, you can also change and define your own boundaries by cutting them off. 

While some mean things might be said and some feelings hurt, you will have to decide whether you put yourself first- your dignity, your space, your rights, and your own feelings or you put someone else first- someone who does not seem to really care about you. 

Why do friends abandon you?

There are plenty of reasons why friends abandon you. Some of them could include:

  • They are not your true friends and they are only there during the good times. These kinds of friendships are called “fair weather friendships” and when things get rough they tend to let go because they see no use of having you in the group any more. Such friendships are better off broken. 
  • They are emotionally occupied with their own struggles and are unable to be present in the relationship that they share with you. This could be why they seemingly abandon you. 
  • They have been hurt by your behaviour which you might have done unknowingly so they choose to leave you as a way to protect themselves. 
  • They are not meant to be a part of your life because time has caused you to drift apart due to personal responsibilities and other things that they have going on in their lives. 

Conclusion

In this blog we have discussed what you can do when your friends abandon you. 

FAQ related to When friends abandon you

What do you do when your friends abandon you?

The best thing you can do when friends abandon you is to seek support from people you are present in your life as well as try to talk with these friends to find out exactly why they are behaving this way.

Usually when friends abandon you, they might do it because they have been hurt by your behaviour.  Such drastic measures are not often taken for petty reasons and while it might not be easy to accept your mistakes in the midst of the hurt you feel, taking time to understand the reason why and apologising if needed is important. 

 When should you give up on your friends?

When the people you call friends are causing you harm- physically and emotionally to the point that it is interfering with your health, your life, your safety, and causing you intense stress- it is time to take a step back and create some distance between you and them. 

Why does abandonment hurt so much?

When someone you trust abandons you, you have to understand that estrangement within these important relationships is a very complex issue and it can oftentimes be a traumatic experience. The reason why it hurts so much is because of the ultimate betrayal from the people that you trusted the most.

Is it okay to abandon friends?

Yes, When the people you call friends are causing you harm- physically and emotionally- it is okay to create some space between you and them or even walk away from them to give yourself time and space to process your feelings and gain clarity.

References

Ashley Benoit. 8 Things You Should Do When Your Friend Group Abandons You. Teen Vogue. Retrieved on 4th April 2022. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/friendship-breakup-advice

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