Friendship breakups aren’t easy. While many people think about the impact of a romantic break-up, a crumbling friendship is just as difficult to navigate. Knowing what you need to let go of and what you need to lean into will give you clarity beyond belief.

There may be many reasons for a split in your friendship. Whether you were anticipating the split or were left floored by the fall of what you imagined to be a rock-solid sisterhood, it’s important to process it all. With these questions, you’ll be able to take some time to turn inward and uncover how you’re truly feeling and how you want to move forward. Keep reading for key questions you should ask yourself during the healing process.

Have I spoken about how I feel with anyone?

It’s always a good idea to pause and assess how much of your feelings you’re keeping to yourself. It is also a great way to notice what you have felt comfortable or able to articulate to others and what is still hard to talk about.

What hurts most about this friendship breakup?

A simple question that should help you get to the heart of the separation. Was it the way the breakup happened? Was it the insensitivity? Or, was it something much more personal? Being able to observe and name what hurts most will help with your recovery.

Was this friendship break-up avoidable?

This question is more about the maintenance of the friendship and any others that you hold dearly. I.e., if there were several signs in the run-up that became patterns. Alternatively, it might’ve been completely unexpected and unavoidable which requires a different path for healing.

Was there an element of betrayal? If so, was there an attempt to make this right?

Opportunistic, dishonest, and bad-mouthing ‘friends’ are a headache. This question will help you figure out what your boundaries are with betrayal and how to move forward. It is also an invitation for you to right your wrongs.

How have I dealt with other breakups in the past?

Past breakups (romantic or friendships) may help you notice patterns in your healing journey. Notice the useful and less gentle ways that you tend to move through break-ups and adjust.

Who is my support system right now?

It’s always good to know who is ten toes down and able to support you in ways that feel loving during this tough time.

Was there space for me to fully explain my side of things?

It can be tough to go through a split without being truly heard. The good news is, whether you feel heard or not, you can give yourself closure.

Is it possible that this is a break rather than a breakup?

A pretty important part of all relationships is learning the phases and limits. Maybe this is actually a call for a little space? Consider how that makes you feel.

How did this friendship differ from my other friendships?

Was this friendship a reflection of your other friendships or was it outside of your typical bonding experience. How did that impact you?

How has this breakup changed me?

Yes, breakups have the ability to shatter you but they also lead to transformation. Take a look at the aftermath of this split, how have you emerged?

Do you need to forgive yourself for anything about this breakup?

Forgiveness sometimes gets left behind in discussions about splitting up. Forgiving isn’t always easy, but it can be the thing that shifts your perspective. Parting ways may bring about many emotions and sometimes, it’s worth taking a moment to address any unforgiveness towards yourself that you deserve release.

How will I navigate mutuals?

It’s one thing to break up with an old bestie but then dealing with mutuals also deserves some thought. Are any of your other friendships compromised? Do you need to communicate your need for distance/social boundaries with anyone?

How can I restore my peace?

Peace is a priority. List all the other useful resources and coping mechanisms that may assist your healing journey. Some examples include therapy, journaling, music therapy, meditation, and more.

What is the biggest take-away from this friendship breakup?

Finally, what has been the biggest observation since ending this friendship? Whether it’s the end of an era or just a necessary end to something brief, it is part of your story. Try to lean into any take-aways that can help you maintain and build lasting and healthy friendships in your future. Whatever your experience, the ending may open up new ways for you to view yourself and your chosen circle.

Hopefully these questions allow you to evaluate your friendship requirements with open-mindedness. Even better if you gain peace, appreciation and ultimately evolve your definitions of friendship.