I have learnt so much about friendship over the years (well basically my life), but mostly since leaving high school. Now I’m not calling myself an expert on friendships, but I have had my fair share of ups and downs, not to mention living in a family (that really only consisted of myself and Mum) that is forced to move regularly every couple of years. This resulted in having to learn to make a whole new set of friends at a school quickly or find my only friend the pet fish. They’re not exactly the most social type of pet in case you weren’t aware. Here are some things you should keep in mind when you see your friendships beginning to change.
What ever the reason, people will eventually move and relocate. This might be to the next suburb, next school, next town, state… whatever. Through the move it is normally quickly established if your current friendships are life long or short lived.
I learnt this surprisingly when I started university. I had been living in the same city for 5 years (a personal best given my history) and had a well established set of friends. Once I moved to the next town an hour away I quickly discovered that a lot of my friendships dwindled and faded. It was such a shock to begin with but after a few months I made new friends and moved on. No pun intended.
New Personal Priorities Happen
Obviously as we get older things happen in our lives, such as new job or starting a degree. These start to become more important as priorities and other things take a bit of back seat such as the Sunday Session at the bar with your friends or shopping trips. This can cause people to move on from your friendship as they may also have a different set of priorities. It’s nothing personal, it’s just what happens when you grow up and change, which brings me onto the next topic.
People Change… Or Remain the Same
So taking off from new priorities occurring in our lives, through career progression or starting family, you soon begin to realise that your own personal values change. You may drink less, stay in more, work out, or just simply enjoy different things from what you used too. However some of your friends may not have changed, and still enjoying doing what they did at 18 even though they’re 28. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, I’m just saying that some people will change and others don’t, and friendships can be put under the pressure because of it.
People become Assholes
This could technically come under people change, but I felt it needed a category of it’s own.
Look. People can become assholes, and sometimes those people are your friends. This could be due to an increase in their self-esteem or confidence, which is fine. Hey, if I won the lotto tomorrow, I’m sure in some way I would become a bit of an asshole in some way, but sometimes people can just evolve into a complete and total asshole over nothing at all, or win the lotto and never try pulling their own head back in from the over inflated that has occurred as a side effect. If you can handle this kind of person as a friend, then good for you; but for the rest of you that just can’t stand them anymore, move on.
Sometimes though this can happen in the opposite direction. Those people that you once despised or stopped hanging around due to their unpopular behaviour can change and grow up. It happens! I promise. Just give the a chance, especially if it’s been years since you last saw them.
Some Friendships are Toxic
This one is a biggie and might be something I write a little more on in a separate post, but the main point I want to explain is that with time you should be able to determine which of your friendships is toxic. The friend may not even see themselves as a bad friend, but if you find yourself more agitated around them or unhappy after they’ve left, then it’s a pretty clear indicator that you may want to self reflect on the friendship.