I’ve come to realize we tend to lose friends one of two ways. The first group are the ones we simply lose touch with. There are no tangible explanations for the absence of these friends other than the growing pains of adulthood. They simply vanish like bobby pins and you never understand why they are missing. It’s all nonsensical and saddening and it’s something I’ve come to experience as well. Sometimes I feel this is the worst way to lose someone, when there is no reason for their departure. They just “outgrow” you or so they claim. What does it even mean to “outgrow” someone?
Shouldn’t we grow together if anything? Why is that if one person’s interests evolve, they must suddenly abandon those that don’t share them? Why can’t they instead attempt to teach and share their new experiences with their old friends? Or perhaps are they too cowardly to try, because it’s easier to just let go and post juvenile posts on social media about letting people go as being some mark of adulthood?
The second group are the ones we lose due to intent. There is a reason, an explicit explanation for their absence. We lose these friends commonly to some fight or argument. The origins of such a disagreement are irrelevant. The significant point is that words were said, feelings were hurt and a group of friends once so close now become strangers. You might read these words and believe this is the worst way to lose friends, unlike the previous example I wrote. Yet, I would argue otherwise because when we lose friends over petty (as I perceive them to be) arguments, we have the option to rectify the situation, a chance to amend severed ties. The central question then becomes, how do we know which friendships are worth saving?
Perhaps this test is applicable to both situations, whether you’ve lost a friend for no reason or due to some fight. Whatever your situation may be, ask yourself the following questions. How do you feel now that you’ve lost your friend? Do you feel as if something is missing? Is there an unsettling feeling in your stomach? Do you perhaps feel guilty even? If your answer is yes to any of these questions or if your feelings are synonymous to that of being upset or somewhat anxious, then you have in front of you a clear sign of what you must do. These are the emotions that deem your friend(s) as someone worthy of keeping and if you feel even the slightest inclination, you must resurrect that friendship or at least try to anyway.
But if you feel unfathomed by their departure or even relieved, then you owe that lost friend nothing. They are not worthy of any attempts to renew what once was. You just compartmentalize the good memories you had with them and note the lessons you learned from knowing them, and then simply discard them from your mind. You move on because life is too short for negative energy. Life is too precious to waste time on people who hurt us to the point where we feel no loss at their absence.