Friend breakups suck. Wait, hold on, let's rephrase: They suuuuuuuuuck. Nothing is worse than losing your best friend, whether it was during a massive fight or the result of a long, slow fade. No matter what happened, here's how to deal.
1. Acknowledge the suckiness.
You guys were amazingly close for a long time. You might have even felt like sisters. Moving on from that is going to hurt for a while, and it's OK to be sad about it. There's no point in pretending this isn't the worst. Some girls even describe the end of a close friendship as worse than a breakup.
2. But trust that there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Even if a happy future without your bestie sounds impossible right now, trust me, it can happen. You're going to have so many more incredible people in your life someday. The hard part is believing that will happen and powering through every single day until it does.
3. Resist the urge to fix the friendship right away.
It's possible that whatever issue came between you two will blow over soon and you'll be friends again. But in order to get to that point, you might need a little time and space before you're both ready to be friends again. Distance from whatever went down can help give you clarity—and re-evaluate if Friendship Round Two is something you even want.
4. Clue in your mutual friends.
It's worth being like, "Hey, Bea and I aren't really close right now." That way, they'll know not to ask both of you to hang out at the same time and can help you avoid awkward moments.
5. But don't drag your mutual friends into the fight.
While it might be tempting to unload your feelings and let them know what really went down between you and your former bestie, it's not worth it. Gossip has a nasty way of getting out, even if you trust your friends 300 percent. (Someone could always overhear you or accidentally send a screenshot of your mean text to the wrong person.) This is when you FaceTime your grade school best friend or your old neighbor who moved to the US and vent away. If you trash talk your ex-BFF to your shared group of friends, you put them in a really awkward position. You don't want to make them choose between the two of you.
6. Figure out a game plan.
There's a party this weekend that you're dying to go to, but you know she'll be there too. What do you do? All you need is one good friend by your side to survive. Make it through the night by leaning on that friend when you need to, but resist the urge to throw shade at your former friend. Starting drama just reflects badly on you. Instead, offer her a polite "hi" and keep moving.
7. Do whatever you can to make your shared classes less awkward.
Unless your seats are assigned, switch up where you sit so you don't have to spend an hour bumping elbows. If you get thrown together for a group project, the best way to cope is by being courteous (even if on the inside, you'd rather move to Siberia than spend time with her). Odds are good that if you don't turn the classroom into a war zone, she won't either.
8. Try hanging out with people from your shared friend group individually.
When you're in the same friend group, it can be especially hard to distance yourself from your ex-bestie without distancing yourself from the rest of the group. If hanging out all together feels awk, try hanging out in smaller groups or individually. Start with the other group member you're closest with. The one-on-one dynamic lets you cut through all the B.S. and just focus on what's important: you and your friend. Acknowledge what's going on up front ("I know things are so awk right now, but I'm not going to drag you into the middle of it"), then move on to whatever you guys normally do to have fun. You might wind up finding that the friend group isn't upset with you — they just feel awkward about the fall-out between you and your bestie and aren't sure how to deal.
9. Pay attention to your emotions.
During these one-on-one hangouts, take stock of how you're feeling. Are you happy to be there? You might come to find that you're outgrowing the friend group and want to pursue different friendships. That's a hard realization to swallow all at once, but leaving behind a situation that's not working anymore can ultimately be the most liberating feeling of all.
10. Talk it out.
A conversation (or two or three or 10) with your mom, sibling, or friend (as long as that friend isn't your ex-friend's other bestie) can lift a huge weight off your chest. If you feel like you can't open up to the people in your life about your friend breakup, or the sadness is deeper than what you can handle on your own, it's totally normal and healthy to turn to a school counselor or a therapist.
11. Expand your circle.
If you have all your friends in common with your ex-best friend, it might be hard at first to hang out all together. Consider broadening your social circle. It doesn't have to be a big awkward thing. You know that girl you always message when you forget to write down the history homework? Ask if she wants to grab ice cream together after school (and if things get awk, you can always fall back to complaining about how weird your history teacher is). This doesn't mean you have to say good-bye to your old friends, but when you're having a hard time, sometimes finding new trusted friends can help a lot.
12. Try something new.
Boredom breeds sadness. Train for a 5K, pick up an after-school job, volunteer, finally launch that beauty channel on YouTube, get a jump on scholarship applications. Staying busy will help you get through missing your former bestie and the drama surrounding your fight. And if you happen to meet your new bestie at spinning class, all the better.
13. Lay low on social media.
It's time to update your profile picture from the one you took together to a solo shot where you look amazing. While you're at it, don't torture yourself by constantly checking her Instas or watching all her snaps for a while. Unfollowing can seem super harsh, so trust your gut on this one: Is this a bump in the friendship, or are you two over for good? Would the absence of her posts in your feeds make a huge improvement in your mental health, or is the ensuing drama it might cause not worth it? Unfollowing her might be exactly the solution you need, but you should think twice before hitting that button. On that note, don't use social media to air your grievances or post pointed messages meant for her. You don't need to bring all your followers into your drama.
14. Consider whether your friendship is worth saving.
Is this a friendship you might one day want to salvage, once you've both had space from each other and time to get over the fight? Or is this friend toxic? Figure it out here.
15. Live your life.
You can't halt everything. You might have been planning to sit in rocking chairs, sipping lemonade with your bestie when you're 100 years old. It's sad to let those dreams go. But when you move on from a friendship that isn't working anymore, you're also giving yourself space to find a rock-solid, amazeballs friendship that's even better. Bring on those rocking chairs.