When you start becoming more aware of who you are and what you want in life, you often become more mindful of who you’re spending most of your time around and the kind of lifestyle that you’re living. As humans, we’re supposed to change, to learn, to grow, and to adapt—self-development is a crucial part of life. Without it, we become stagnant. So as we learn about ourselves and our lives, it’s inevitable that we’ll lose some connections along the way that no longer serve us.
It can be a strange sensation when you realize that the friendship you have with someone is growing apart, and even more so when you know that you most likely will never have the same connection as you once shared. Maintaining friendships as an adult can often be such a difficult task as our lives get so busy and full of other big commitments like our family, careers, relationships, and hobbies. We don’t always get a lot of spare time to ourselves, let alone to spend with our friends, which is why it’s so important to make sure you’re making time for the right people and cultivating happy, healthy relationships.
If you’re going through a period where you’re rediscovering who you are and what you want in your life, it’s often a challenge to find common ground amongst certain friends as your mindset starts to change. It can be tiresome trying to maintain the same relationship you once had when it’s clear that the connection has shifted so much, but purely out of habit and obligation you feel like you need to. Whether you have conflicting views and opinions now or you’ve got completely different hobbies and interests and lead separate lifestyles, we often feel the need to stay in a friendship due to the fact that we’ve known them for a long time and share a lot of memories together. Just because they’ve been in your life for a long time doesn’t mean you should be made to feel like you have to hold onto a friendship with someone out of nostalgia.
There will be some people in your life who will always remain the same and expect the ones around them to as well. Most people in your life will be encouraging, supportive, and approving of the choices you make, yet there will be a handful who disregard your thoughts and feelings, and more often than not, they’re in denial about their own. There will always be others out there that think differently to you and have opposing views on things—that’s just life. However, a friend would respect you enough not to limit, discourage, or belittle you for having a different mindset than their own.
It’s said that we’re the sum of the five people we spend most of our time around, which is why it’s imperative to foster honest and real connections, ones where you both understand, respect, and recognize the other and their lifestyle. You want to surround yourself with people who will help and support you on your way through life, not abandon you when things get hard. You want to surround yourself with people that will be there throughout all of the lows and the hard moments that life brings, and not just the fun, exciting, and extraordinary times. You want to surround yourself with people that will encourage you on your way to figuring out yourself and your life. Nothing will stop you from becoming who you want to be more than a toxic friend, so if you’re finding that the only thing that’s holding you back from your own personal growth is them, it’s time to let the connection go.
Don’t fear outgrowing friends along the way to self discovery, as it’s just a testament to your own personal growth and shows how much you value yourself and developing healthy relationships with others. As soon as you accept some people are meant to be a part of your life but are just not meant to stay, the sooner you can make way for new connections that are more aligned with who you are and who you are becoming.