Friends For Life? Perhaps Not

“The path of social advancement is, and must be, strewn with broken friendships.”

H.G. Wells

As your maturity levels up and you start taking on your own path in life, you will lose a couple of friends in the process. It is normal to feel a whole range of emotions shortly after calling off the friendship. Over time, you will learn to soothe yourself by learning that you made that fateful decision because that person will never understand and support what you see and do. I have lost a couple of friends while I was studying abroad. A few years later, I have been able to look back and unearth some insights that have changed my views on the topic of friendship. As I see it currently, it can be valuable to cut ties with a friend for these reasons:

1. Saying goodbye to a friendship puts us back into reality.

We want to believe that we do not just have power over ourselves but also everything around us. No matter how much time and effort we put in, some things are not meant to last for eternity, and our relationships are no exception. What is more, these friendships can come to an end suddenly and in unexpected ways. Instantaneous events of this kind remind us that our connections are fragile and constantly subject to change. It is essential to express our gratitude to those who choose to have us in their circles and wave goodbye to those who decide to expel us from their friends list. Once you get over it, you may also learn just how your relationship with your negative-minded friend has poisoned your mind.

As we grow up, we learn more about ourselves in terms of what we want and how we perceive the world around us. Unfortunately, that means a certain number of individuals within and outside your network would not concur with who you are turning out to be. Not many people realise that there are benefits of having differences with your friends. It enables you to view different walks of life, expand your horizons, experience new things and teaches you a thing or two about tolerating each other’s imperfections.

However, when those differences take your happiness away or prevent you from becoming the person you want to be, the relationship no longer serves you well. Recently, I came across a quote that said, “A ship is designed to take you places. So if your companionship, friendship, partnership or relationship isn’t taking you anywhere, then it’s best to abandon ship.” I could not agree more with it.

2. Someone is evolving, for better or worse.

You would want to have friends that are supportive of your growth, no matter how rough the journey to personal advancement can be. Most of our close friends are those who we know since high school. You may see it differently, but I certainly do not wish to believe that I am the same person today as I was when I was thirteen. As we evolve with time, so do our interests and wants, for better or worse. Consequently, we toss out the things that no longer fit our needs. Knowing when to break it off with a friend who no longer is a “friend” to you is an overlooked life skill and requires courage.

If the friendship crumbles because you failed to hold your end of the deal, it offers you a chance to examine your own mental and emotional processes. Every relationship that falls apart should give you valuable lessons that you can use to make sure future relationships last longer.

3. Shifts your views of other friendships.

After losing a couple of friends overseas, my appreciation for my close friends in my home country grew stronger. After some time, I learned who was really having my back and that friendships are optional. Whether we choose to reply to their text messages, share a meme, or retreat to a holiday resort together, we actively choose to preserve our connections with those who bring value to our lives. Remember, we only have one shot at life. With that in mind, chasing a friend who is unwilling to view you as a priority is a waste of your precious time and energy. Instead, use your time and energy to maintain friendships with those who loves and supports you for who you are. Ensure that you give them the same treatment in return.

Final 2¢: All good things must come to an end.

If you have yet to lose a single friend, view yourself as a fortunate soul for now. Do not be stunned if it happens at some point in your future. It is naïve to think that friendships grow stronger with time. However, time does not equal success. The people in your life today are meant to be with you now, but that does not equate to anything for the future. Whatever unfolds, know that saying goodbye to friendships is a common occurrence when you are developing yourself. View the companionships you lost as a set of life experiences, take something educational out of it and then sweep it aside.

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