Here's why calling off a friendship can hurt as much as ending a romance. Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
Did you know that breaking up with a best friend could be as devastating as a divorce? It's true, say experts.
Women tend to share everything with their closest female friends, things they would never dream of discussing with their spouse or partners. So when the person who knows you inside out turns their back on you, it feels like a stab through the heart.
"Women's friendships can be very close and intense, so it can be as painful as breaking up with a partner when things go wrong," the Daily Mail quoted clinical psychologist Irene S Levine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving A Break Up With Your Best Friend, as saying.
"Women also tend to see their friendships as a measure of their worth, so when a relationship with a close friend breaks up, not only will you feel hurt by the rejection, but you are also likely to feel a failure for not being able to maintain that friendship," she added.
But, if at all, it happens with you, how you can cope with it?
"Give yourself time to think about the situation clearly before you get upset or angry with her," said expert Irene Levine.
"Ask yourself if you are upset because she has dumped you, and if this is a relationship really worth saving?"
Experts have also suggested that if you know you've done something wrong, you should apologise swiftly.
Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking you know or understand your friend's motives. You need to talk to find out what is going on.
"If you have begged and cajoled and she won't be moved, you need to respect the boundaries she has set and move on. It may have less to do with you than other things going on in her life," said Levine.
She added, "It will take time but remember, these kind of episodes happen to everybody."
"Try not to brood. Keep yourself busy and you are likely to find that some of your 'backseat' friends start to become more important in your life and fill the gaps."
Do you have a story to share, of a cherished friendship going kaput? Would you say that it was as painful as the break-up of a romantic relationship? Send in your experiences and opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: 'Losing a friend') and we'll publish the best entries right here on rediff.com