What Do I Do When I Grow Away From a Friendship?

From Elaina: Throughout life, what we need from our friends can change. We have friendships that were formed in a specific circumstance like when we were single or at a specific job. When we move on from the circumstance, we may notice that we don’t have as much in common with that friend. That’s okay! Here are some tools to use to either incorporate the friend into your new life or allow the friendship to end itself.

First of all, we get to decide who we want in our lives. We create our own tribe. It can be made up of family, old friends, and new friends. It’s natural that our friendships ebb and flow in life. So, do you still want to continue this friendship? Do you want this person in your tribe, even if their role has changed? What can this friendship provide you with? Sometimes it can be a link to who you once were, a continuity in your life. Or maybe you’ve changed and grown a lot and this person allows you to practice who you want to be. Maybe you used to gossip and this friend wants to continue that, but you don’t. The friendship can give you the chance to practice redirecting that energy. If you want to keep the friendship for whatever reason, you might need to readjust your expectations. It’s okay to have different friends for different needs. You may have some friends that are great for talking through deep thoughts and others who you call on for a night out on the town. It’s unrealistic to think that any one person can always fill every need. Decide if you want this person in your life and what role they can fill. It might be as simple as they’ve been a constant so long, that they are like family. Communicate what you need to the people in your life and then see if they can respond in a way you value.

Sometimes, we decide that as much as we have loved our friend in the past, they don’t fit our lives now. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We can choose to keep the person in our life in a lesser role. Or we may choose to let the friendship naturally run its course and fade away. There’s also the rare case when a person is harming our way of life and we need to cut them off. Hopefully, you won’t have too many of those! Our needs in life change as we grow. We need to keep our tribe filled with those people that will support us.

Elaina’s Joy of the Week: A few years ago, I decided to switch to soft things for my body. I bought soft sheets and bamboo towels. I also bought these super soft socks that feel like my feet are getting a hug every day!


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