Five Steps to Letting a Friendship Go
By: Martha Eleftheriou
It’s that point in time when you suddenly realize you just cannot do it anymore. The feeling like you have swallowed a pit and it’s just sitting there in your gut causing all sorts of discomfort. You’ve probably felt this moment coming for some time now, but you told yourself maybe the feeling or the nudge would go away. Maybe the other person would change. Maybe you would change. Maybe, miraculously, by the stroke of magic, the situation would improve or the person would effortlessly leave your life and you wouldn’t have to do “it.” The “it” I’m referring to is the breaking up with a friend. It’s the realization that for whatever reason, you cannot have this friendship in your life and that it’s time to let it go. Here are 5 steps to help you release any friendship that no longer serves you with love and grace.
Step 1: Tell Yourself The Truth
Telling yourself the truth is getting really clear about what has happened and why you are no longer resonating with this person. Have you changed? Have they changed? Has something happened that has led you to know this friendship is not for you? Regardless of what happened, be really honest with yourself. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings and own them. It is through the feeling and in the allowing of our feelings to be, that we can heal.
Step 2: Decide What Course of Action You Need to Take
Depending on the type of friendship you had, you need to decide how to do the breaking up. Are you going to gradually let the person slip away, call them less and less, and hope they will get the message and leave you alone? That may work. In some cases, it does. However, it other cases, especially if the person is unaware of how you are feeling, this option will not work. The most courageous and difficult thing to do is to face the person and tell them your truth. This does not need to be an argument of any kind, (although it may lead to that, and if it does, that’s okay) but it’s important to let the other person know what YOUR truth is and not blame them or make them wrong. It’s not about being right or wrong. It’s about learning who you are, including what or who resonates with you!
Step 3: Own Your Role in the Relationship to Learn the Lesson
On some level, you welcomed this friendship into your life. Ask yourself, why did you welcome this person into your life? What did you like about this friendship? What were you getting out of participating in the friendship? What did you not like? Chances are, you probably felt something was “off” or “wrong” from the beginning of the friendship and you chose to ignore your innate wisdom. Herein lies the growth- ask yourself why did you ignore your gut feeling? What propelled you to ignore the warning sign and move forward in this friendship? Admit your role in this friendship and how you attracted it on some level, and understand the valuable lesson you have learned.
Step 4: Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
Letting anyone go is a difficult and very emotional process. Regardless of how the relationship ends, you will need to forgive. Forgiveness is a process and it happens in layers over time. Commit to forgiving the person for what they did or didn’t do, knowingly or unknowingly. Even if they haven’t asked for forgiveness, forgive them anyway. Forgiveness is for you and your healing, and not for them. The next person to forgive is yourself. This may be even harder than forgiving the other person as we can be our own worst critics. Be very gentle with yourself, and tell yourself you did the best you could with what you knew. Now that you know better, you will do better.
Step 5: Practice Extreme Self-Love
No matter how you go about letting a friendship go, you will go through a whirlwind of emotions. One minute you may feel on top of the world like you can handle anything, and the next minute you may feel like the most horrible person on the planet. This is the time to love yourself even more and to fill yourself up from the inside. One of my favorite teachers for self-love is Louise Hay. I recommend listening to her self-love guided meditations daily until you feel better about your decision. In addition, choose gentle activities that nourish your soul and choose to be around people who support and uplift you.
It is never an easy decision or process to let someone go, but please know that along the journey of life, you are here to fulfill your soul’s purpose with love, grace and integrity to yourself. May you continue to honor and cherish the divine being you are!
Martha Eleftheriou is married and a mother to two beautiful daughters ages 8 and 1 years old. She is a transformational and spiritual Life Coach, a certified elementary school teacher (OCT), Reiki Master and Yoga Teacher (RYT). Aside from passionately working with people in helping them to uncover their dreams and purpose, she loves reading, writing fiction and non-fiction, as well as taking regular nature walks. On the inside, she is an eternal soul seeker. She loves to question, ask, learn, un-learn, re-learn and live her life as true to her core values of love, compassion, honesty, and service as best as she possibly can. She lives with her family in King City, Ontario, Canada.