Advice: ex best friends
At the start of the year I had a massive fight with my best friend. She was starting to become a really different person. I didn’t like how she was acting or treating people and I was losing respect for her. We have hardly said a word to each other since, but I because we’re often around each other I feel like we need to at least be able have a conversation without there being full on tension. I don’t know what to say to her anymore because she’s not the same person I was once friends with…. but I want it to stop being so awkward. What should I do?
Truds, 14, Gold Coast
Our psychologist says: Sometimes the nature of friendships change, as the people in them and the circumstances change. It seems the huge fight between you and your best friend at the beginning of the year, signalled the end of the close relationship you two once had. When you look at her now you see her as a ‘completely different person’. When you think about it, perhaps, despite the history you’ve had as besties, she’s no longer someone you feel you want to or are even capable of, having a positive, deeper level friendship with. Sometimes in life, part of moving forward is accepting that things have changed. Acknowledge the relationship between you and your ex-bestie is probably never going to be how it used to be. While there may be a distancing, it doesn’t mean you have to totally disconnect or disrespect. If ultimately you’d like to just be able to have conversations minus the tension, make an effort to smile, say ‘hi’ and have a brief ‘everyday’ chat when you see her. If you’re still cautious about where you stand, steer clear of becoming overly personal with her. Keep your interactions at a level which feels ‘emotionally safe’ for you. There’s likely to be some awkwardness initially as you two adjust to a more ‘surface level’ communication-status. Over time however, as you find your feet and get used to relating in a different, less intense way, hopefully the strain will lessen and you can find a more comfortable of just ‘being’ when your paths cross.
(image credit valery kenski)
Over to you:
Our psychologist has shared some of her ideas, but what do you think?
Have you got any suggestions for ‘Truds, 14’ that might help her deal with her ‘ex best friend’ situation? Have you ever experienced anything like this? How did you manage it?
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