From Our Teen Readers
June 18, 2015 4:43 pm

People always tell you to get rid of “toxic friends,” but we all know that it’s not that easy. If only it were. Even if you cut the toxic person out of your life, you still have to mourn the loss of an important friendship, because if it wasn’t an important friendship, that person wouldn’t be so hard to let go. What those advice-givers should really should be telling you is how to get over that unnerving feeling of loneliness after you do get rid of a bad friend.

Even though I’ve “been there, done that,” I’m still affected by friend breakups when they happen. It’s so weird to think that the people I once talked to everyday won’t be around anymore. And the truth is, despite knowing that they’re no good, ending a friendship, like any relationship, can be really, really hard. No one likes to lose a companion, and there’s no room for error, because going back on your word is AWKWARD.

As for afterward? You can’t just go ahead and make new friends all of a sudden (unless you’re a robot), and you definitely can’t stop thinking about if you’re ever going to survive the I’ll-just-be-a-turtle phase. But chances are, you’re making the right decision, so here are a few things to keep in mind while you nurse that broken heart of yours.

Know that it’s okay to feel this way.

I am not kidding when I tell you how important it is to know what you’re feeling is normal. After all, you spent so much time with this person, did so many things together — it’s no wonder that you’re feeling sad. Just remember that sometimes people suck: It’s not your fault they started ganging up on you. You’re taking a great first step toward better days — be proud!

Know that you made the right decision.

Sure, you’re going to wonder if breaking up was what you really wanted, but don’t let it get to you. It won’t make sense at first, but you’ll thank yourself later that you got away when you could. You deserve better. There’s no point in settling. Never. (Ever. Ever.)

Know when to stop responding.

If your ex-friend is the kind that continues to badger you about how you never listen to them and how both sides are at fault, they’re not worth your time. If this person really was your friend, they wouldn’t have driven you to the edge with their negativity in the first place.

Know that you can have fun.

Maybe your friend held you back from things you’ve always wanted to do, like, getting coffee from a new place or always talking about their problems while you were trying to do anything else (try getting between me and Harry Potter. I double dare you). Now that you’re free, you can do whatever you want, be wherever you want to be, and be with whoever you want to be with. It’s all for the greater good.

Know that you can relax.

If you’re somebody who didn’t like being dragged to awful social gatherings, congratulations! You can stay in and chill, and treat yo’self — music (Taylor Swift is your best friend), movies, the possibilities are endless. You don’t HAVE to do anything. There’s no one who’s gonna blow up your phone yelling at you for not being there. You are your own master.

Know that you’re not alone.

Parents can be a bit much and siblings can be annoying, but know that you have the option of reaching out to them and just hanging out with someone when you’re lonely. Even if it’s just eating a meal together because a dry chicken makes for great conversation, trust me. If you’ve got a pet, bonus! There are better things than giving your time to people who don’t deserve it.

Know that you can do this.

Just because a friend (or even a bunch of friends) didn’t fit you doesn’t mean you’re singled out for the whole universe to see. There are a lot of other people going through the same thing, and some of those people will be more than glad to have you as their friend. You just have to try. And even if things don’t turn out the way you’re hoping, get your feelings out by writing a song or sitting down and making a list like I did!

Adithi Tripathy is a blogger, but she’s really a Time Lord with the worldly wisdom of an uncoordinated house cat. She’s secretly going steady with Leonardo DiCaprio, but may exchange love for cheesecake. She tweets here.

(Image via.)

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