Friendship is a tricky subject that not many of us address often. Maybe it should be something that becomes a lot more accepted, without the feeling of guilt or fear of loneliness creeping in.
Partners come and go, but friends are forever right? What about the friendships that don’t last forever? Does it make us bad friends for not making enough effort to keep them alive? Or is this just a part of life that should become a lot more accepted, something that is inevitable as we grow and change?
Friendship is a tricky subject that not many of us address often. Maybe it should be something that becomes a lot more accepted, without the feeling of guilt or fear of loneliness creeping in. Let’s break it down and examine this subject a bit deeper shall we…
It’s not a straightforward answer. There are a lot of reasons why friendships come and go. Most of the time, there is some sort of break in the foundations of the friendship. Or perhaps the foundations of the friendship were crumbling and unstable from the get-go. A lot of factors come into play here: your personality traits, the type of people you find yourself migrating towards, whether you have a big friendship group or a large and expansive network of friends – the list goes on.
But the truth is, whether it is you or those you are friends with finding the time has come to move away from particular friends, we are all on very different paths. Sometimes, those paths lead to changes that make it impossible to remain in contact with those that we have always known to be around us.
Sometimes, the reason for breakups isn’t clear. It may just have come to your realisation that something does not feel right. Or perhaps you felt this a while ago but it’s only just coming to your attention now, or you’ve been struggling to come to terms with how to actually act on this newfound feeling. At the end of the day, you have got to listen to your own head and heart. When you know it’s not right, if it’s not making you feel good when you’re together or when you think about your friendship, you need to listen to that feeling and trust your instincts. Sometimes it’s the best solution in the long run, despite how painful it may be.
When we experience these friendship breakups and feelings that certain friendships just aren’t right for us, does that mean it’s our fault or is it their fault? Or both?!
The best way to look at this is thinking about the wider journey we are on through life. As deep and cliché as it may sound, we are all leading different paths and along those paths, we are going to have many, many different stops where new people will come and go. Of course, there will be those friends that remain along our paths right from the very beginning to the very end but there will also be many friends, that do have to change paths and the bond and connection shared between you both, may eventually halt too.
However, where this all does sound extremely sad and you may be thinking, well why don’t we just dig our claws in and keep hold of those friendships we want to save, sometimes it’s the best thing for it just to let go. We need to make sure we are spending time with people that are on the same wavelength we are. Who understand our motivations and our ambitions and support us through them. Who challenge us and inspire us. Surround ourselves with the people who are doing the most for you, and at that very moment of your life. Keep on connecting with new people and finding those people who are going to lift you up, not hold you back.
To do this, we need to accept that it really is okay to drift away from those friends that have been there since the cradle. They were there for you and you were there for them. But as we grow and change, we have different needs and our goals change too. This means we have different causes for people to be there. Embrace it and know that it is completely okay! Everything happens for a reason even if it is painful at the time.
Many of us may downplay friendship breakups, not wanting to overdramatise it in comparison to the breakdown of a romantic relationship. But these friendships’ carry a lot of emotional weight and it hurts when someone you always knew was there, is no longer a part of your life. The most important thing to do is let yourself feel and don’t try and downplay anything or coop it up. After any relationship breakup, friendship or romantic, give yourself time for that all-important self-care and recuperation. Let yourself heal and take it as a learning process, a time to consider the kind of person you really want to migrate towards in your life. Who is going to be the one to pick you up, motivate you and inspire you to the next level on your own path?
And remember, just because a friendship is now in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to erase it from your memory completely. Let the positive aspects live on. Most of the time, those past friendships will certainly have still left you with some important learnings to take forward with you. Embrace it.
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