I'll happily admit that I have changed so much in the last 2 years of my life that I truly barely recognize myself anymore. I don't even like to eat the same things, much less be around the same people. It seems like literally everything about me has changed.
One of the obvious changes is my choice in friends. Many people have this strange idea that all friends must be "life" friends. That's not true. People are in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. It's truly not ours to judge which category someone should be in, and doing so often is what keeps us stuck in friendships...believing someone is a "lifer" when in fact they just may be a "seasonal" or "specific purpose" friend, confuses us. We must learn to recognize when we have grown out of our friends....
Here's some obvious ways to tell whether or not you have grown out of your friends.
1. All you do is sit around and discuss "old times" together. You have to be honest with yourself and realize that you're only sitting around discussing "old times" and "old you" things because they don't understand, or "get", the "new you".
Ex. You got married and had a baby, he's still living single and partying like a rockstar. The only bridge between you is sometimes the memories you've created.
Another more relevant example in my life is the fact that I used to be broken and lost and eventually I found myself and became successful in more ways than one...and all of those people I surrounded myself with when I was at my worst, no longer have anything at all in common with the new and improved me now.
I personally don't want to sit around and discuss old times with them because those old times are not something I'm necessarily proud of or happy to be rehashing.
When the conversation get's awkward after the initial reunion, and all you're doing is rehashing old times, and nothing more, then I think it's safe to say you've grown out of that person! Have your mini reunion and let it go....
2. You have nothing in common anymore. Let's be honest...you're sitting around discussing nothing but old times because there's really not much else to discuss. If you're sitting around staring into the abyss, realizing how awkward and uncomfortable it is to be around them...well, I think it's time to hang up the friendship hat.
It's okay to grow out of people. That's all part of life. Sometimes people grow with us, but the truth is that more often than not, they don't. More often than not, you grow apart and you just need to accept this when it happens. It's not bad, it's actually a good thing, and you should be happy for the memories made, and realize that their purpose in your life is over....and move on.
3. You're constantly finding yourself placating them. Do you know what that word means? Placating means you're pacifying or appeasing them in one way or another, for one reason or another. They're telling you about something you truly have no interest in, or think is just plain stupid, and you're telling them how incredible you think it is...when in actuality you think it's the dumbest dipshit idea you've ever heard.
However, you feel like you have to placate them because in your heart you know you're at the end of your friendship, and any wrong move could potentially be the final, devastating blow that ends it all.
If you feel like "any wrong move" could end your friendship, trust me, it's already over!
True friends are honest with one another and don't placate each other. Trust me when I tell you that I have a group of friends that love to tell it like it is, and hold nothing back on their honest feelings about things...and I love them all the more for it.
4. You're too embarrassed to bring them around your "new friends". I have had this issue before...the NEW me is so significantly different than the old me that my old friends no longer represent me. The apples never fall far from the trees. If you show me your top 5 closest friends, I can give you a pretty good idea of who you are as well! We all know this to be the truth...and if you have a friend that doesn't accurately represent who you are, then I can guarantee you the friendship is already over!
If you're too embarrassed to have them around, as you are aware that they no longer represent you or your life, then it's time to call it a day! Fun's over, moving on!
5. You don't make time for them. Friendships are some of our most important relationships in life. And like all relationships, they need to be nurtured to be sustained. If you refuse to make time for your friends, or would rather be doing anything BUT...it's time to be honest about where your friendships stands and just call a spade a spade.
I used to have old friends call me up and say "hey, let's go have a drink" and I would find myself making excuses as to why I had to do anything I could think of in order to "not be able to" hang out with them. "Sorry, I wish I could but it's dog washing day, and um...well, and then after that I have to paint my damn toe nails...and oh, I'm sorry, maybe next time".
I'm not sure where we had this idea that we must always keep people around in our lives forever. That's a simple, childish, immature way of looking at relationships. The truth is that, whether it's a marriage, friendship, working relationship or otherwise we often just grow out of people in life...and that is okay when it happens.
Don't fight it. Cherish the fact that you're growing up in life...and just continue to move forward.
One of the most detrimental things you can do is continue to have someone in your life that no longer belongs there...however, often times our emotions override our logic and we keep them around because we "know them". We find comfort not in their friendship but in the history of it. And that's not friendship!
What I have discovered in my life is that sometimes we grow out of people and they leave us...and sometimes they are gone forever, and sometimes they come back to us, and our paths cross again! Either way, there's a reason, a season or a lifetime category that all people belong in and the worst thing we can do is place someone in the wrong category!
It's not your job to keep someone in your life...if someone is meant to be there, they wouldn't be able to leave...and someone that CAN leave, should leave! Your life should be like a revolving door of people coming in and out of it...and it's not your place to judge the ones that are walking out...let them walk out. Besides, you only have so much room on the inside...chances are that if they're walking out, they're only creating more room for new people to walk in.
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