When friends leave you: What to do?

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

We will also discuss some of the possible reasons why your friends tend to leave you behind. 

Family Counseling
Family Counseling

When friends leave you: What to do?

Here are some steps that you can take if your friends tend to leave you behind or leave you out:

  • Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling
  • Fact Check
  • Talk to them about it
  • Apologise if needed
  • Seek out a therapist
  • Find support
  • Be patient
  • Focus on self care
  • Set boundaries
  • Cut them off
  • Check yourself
  • Make new friends. 

When friends leave you, it can be a traumatic experience especially if you have been friends with them for so long and you think that the bond that you share with them is special and important to you. 

If you find that your friends leave you or have left you behind, here are somethings that you can do to cope with this situation:

Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling

Being left behind or left out by your friends suck and when this happens there are a lot of feelings that might bubble out. 

The first thing you can do for yourself is to 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. 

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

Fact check

Sometimes when you notice that your friends have not extended you an invite or have left you behind, it might not be planned. 

It is possible that they had an impromptu meeting and they did not get around to extending you an invite or it could be possible that these friends had something to work things out between themselves. 

If your friends leaving you behind or leaving you out is not a common occurrence, avoid jumping into conclusions and instead cross check how this situation has happened first- this you can do by talking to them about it. 

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 leave 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. 

Seek Out a Therapist

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

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.

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.

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. 

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 left 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 leave 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. 

Check yourself

While it is not something you might not want to hear, it is important to gain awareness as to what kind of friend you are- especially if you have been noticing that your friends leaving you is not a one time thing. 

If you have been noticing that most of your friends or every new friend that you make leave you, it could be a you thing because friendships are always two sided. 

There is no relationship where only one party is to blame when there are fallouts. It could be that your behaviour hurts other people without you meaning to or in some cases, it is possible that the signals you send out to others are not very welcoming. 

It is important for one to reflect on what one has done within the relationship to lead to this situation and what one can do to rectify the situation. 

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. 

Conclusion

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

We have also discussed some of the possible reasons why your friends tend to leave you behind. 

FAQ related to When friends leave you: What to do?

How do you know a friendship is over?

A friendship is over when you are no longer able to support them or feel supported by them. This usually occurs when you outgrow each other and are no longer able to connect emotionally with each other. 

Why are my friends leaving me?

There are many reasons why your friends would leave you- it could be them, it could be you and it could simply be the fact that life has allowed both of you to outgrow each other. 

How do you know a friend doesn’t care about you?

When a friend does not care about you, you will notice that they don’t really bother about you when they do not need you. Another sign is that they do not respect you or your boundaries and do not seem to be able to take no for an answer. 

A friend who doesn’t care about you can also be disrespectful to the people you love, and is never there when you need them.

References

Raypole. C. Feeling Left Out Sucks — Here’s How to Handle It. Healthline. Retrieved on 5th April 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/feeling-left-out

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