Sometimes in the span of a relationship you discover that the picture in your mind of your relationship with a friend differs from the picture in theirs. Sometimes the disparity between the two is exceptionally large and even heartbreaking. Sometimes you find that the person you have been pouring time and love and energy into did not care as much about you or your relationship as you had hoped, and maybe didn’t really care all that much about you at all. This hurts. My advice is as follows.
First, cry. Now, maybe you are not a crier, so perhaps you need to find some other outlet for letting your emotions out – like punching a pillow, or painting, or dancing, or blowing something up. (If you are lucky enough to have a job where you can do that safely and legally.) I am a crier though, so this is my go to reaction for many emotions. Heartbroken – cry, overwhelmed – cry, overjoyed – cry, angry – cry…you get the picture. Crying is the way my body lets those emotions out. So, wether you have a good cry or fire a couple of rounds off at a shooting range, the point is that emotional release is helpful to the healing process.
If you are a crier, hopefully there is someone who is there to cry with you or ‘dry your tears’ as it were. Not only for emotional support, but also to remind you that even though this specific person does not value your friendship the way you had thought and hoped they would, you can be reminded that there are people who do value you. I think it is crucial during a time like this that you work quickly to remember that this person’s opinion of you is not the end all be all or even necessarily true. The way they value you and your friendship says much more about them and their perception of you than it does about you and your worth as a person or friend.
Not everyone is going to love you the way you would like them to and some people might even just flat out not like you. That’s ok. It stings and can be hard to come to terms with, but it’s ok. With all the personalities in the world, there are bound to be ones that are just not very compatible. So, reach out to a good friend you know you can lean on to be comforted and reminded that you are valued and loved and that they think you are the bee’s knees. Not only to help you remember you are valuable but also to help keep from spiraling into a ‘nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess l’ll go eat worms’ pity party.
This support will help you be able to dive into my recommended next step – praying for the person who hurt you. Now, me being me and believing what I do, I believe that prayer would be more powerful than positive thoughts and energy, but for anyone who does not pray, I do think that wishing the person well and thinking positive things toward them would be helpful. This is something I have always heard growing up, but have had a hard time manifesting in my life until lately. It definitely goes against human nature, and my desires on top of that, but it is really remarkable. It’s hard to stay mad at someone whose wellbeing you are wishing and asking for.
At first it might be a ‘fake it til you make it’ kind of situation, but the longer you do it, I have seen for myself, the more real the desire comes and the more the anger and hurt is released. And I am no saint, so please don’t think I am trying to paint myself as some Mother Theresa selflessly and calmly asking God for good things for people who have hurt me. It is often through tears, and some anger, maybe even a little resentment and having to give myself a good kick in the pants and all I can manage to muster is ‘Bless so and so’. But it is worth it. And I believe that even if I never find out how it affected the other individual, it will benefit both parties involved.
So this is all great, but comes the good part. For me, the really good part. The beautiful thing about this whole situation is the law of conservation of energy. This law states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed or transferred from one form to another. The amazing thing about this situation of losing a relationship you thought was real is that all the love and energy you have inside you that you had been pouring into this individual didn’t go anywhere. It didn’t disappear when your friendship did, it is now just building up inside you, creating a stockpile of relational potential energy that is just waiting for a new target to move towards in order to become kinetic again. Your love and relational energy isn’t lost or wasted, it just needs to find itself a new conduit.
The death of this friendship could be the birth of a new one and you may get to use this time and energy and love to create a new connection with an amazing person that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. Or maybe there is a person within your circle who needs a little more care right now than you had been pouring into them before and they could benefit from the extra time and attention you are now free to give them. Maybe the money you spent on lunch or gifts in the halted relationship could be used to sponsor a child in another country, or the time used in it could be redirected to volunteering at a homeless shelter, pouring that love onto an entire new group of people.
There are literally billions of people in the world, and I would assume thousands wherever it is you call home, that you can love. The end of a relationship with one person is really an opportunity to go out and find someone else around you who will get as much benefit out of the love and care and energy you pour out on them as you do. Though rejection is likely to leave a scar and some pain in its wake, that pain can help you grow, enabling you to love the people around you even better than you did before. This way, when life happens to the people you love and they experience pain similar to that which you have experienced , you will know how best to love and support them through it. Otherwise, what is pain for? ❤️