Photo by Omar Lopez from Unsplash
When you meet your friend for the first time, there’s no way of knowing how you would get along with a stranger. It starts from knowing absolutely nothing about the person to knowing everything about him/her sometimes even more than she knows himself/herself. You slowly build that connection with each other by talking about your similarities and discovering more about what interests both of you.
Along with your friendship, you had to go through awkward silences, silly assumptions, and even huge misunderstandings. As days turned into years, you never thought this person would become one of the most important people in your life who deserve a special spot in your heart. When you were young, your innocence and openness to meet different kinds of people overshadowed the need to be critical of your friends. It was a child-like personality to be more tolerant to differences so it was easier for you to establish friendships. You didn’t bother to dig deeper about their history or their goals; to you, it is not important.
You think a simple pinky promise that neither of you will leave the other is enough to maintain a strong foundation of your friendship. This is a mistake our younger versions of ourselves have done, but we don’t have to beat ourselves about it. Our innocence has led us to face the reality of life the hard way, but at least we have experienced it first-hand.
IT’S NORMAL TO LOSE FRIENDS
It’s normal to lose friends because not all of them are meant to be in your life. As you get older, your huge group of friends will disperse and what you’ll be left with are those who have a purpose in your life. After all, they’re still there for a reason — either for a blessing or a lesson. Either way, your friendship with them is still part of the journey, so you should enjoy the time you get to be with them for now.
When you were in high school, you thought the set of friends you have now are the same faces who will appear on your wedding day or another important event in your life. Not quite. Only a few high school friendships prosper in your twenties, and when you have that kind of friendship, consider yourself lucky. By the time you enter your thirties, you’ve probably already abandoned those types of friends who are there to lead you astray from your values and priorities. Recognizing which people to abandon and which to cherish is a manifestation of your personal growth.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU DON’T LOSE FRIENDS?
If you don’t lose friends, it’s a huge possibility that you’re naïve of the destructive treatment and relationship you have with each of your friends. You’re either ignoring the problems you have and hiding them behind the guise of friendship goals when you post a picture on social media. Having many friends doesn’t necessarily mean you have a healthy relationship with them which reflects how good of a friend you are.
This would mean you’re a people-pleaser who would do anything to gain the approval and validation of your friends. This means that the whole time you’ve been with your “friends,” you haven’t been fully and utterly yourself. They haven’t seen the true version of yourself and you haven’t seen how they would react to who you truly are.
WHY IS IT GOOD TO LOSE FRIENDS?
Losing friends can be a gift, a blessing in disguise. The sad truth many people tend to overlook is they consider having a friend like a trophy or a prize to win in the social hierarchy. When you have lots of friends, people mistakenly view it as a success in socialization. In their eyes, the more friends a person has, the more likable he/she is. They assume you are automatically an awesome friend and suddenly being a part of your circle is an accomplishment in their teenage life.
When you lose friends, think of it as a way of decluttering the mess in your life and clearing out for more important things. There will always be certain circumstances beyond our control that separate us from our friends, whether it be distance, time, or lifestyle changes. The sooner you accept this reality as part of personal growth, the sooner you stop tolerating people who don’t do you any good for the sake of having a friend.
7 REASONS LOSING YOUR FRIENDS IS BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH:
YOU LET GO OF TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS
The concerning part of losing friends while you’re young is it will likely matter the most at that age. In high school, having as many friends speaks about your reputation and you don’t want to be in the middle of the pyramid at that time of your life. However, what most people don’t know is losing friends in your youth also has its perks. When you lose friends, there is a high possibility you’ve lost toxic friendships as well.
The friends who bring out the worst in you are no longer in your life, which means that you are not anymore directly vulnerable to their negativity and reasoning when it comes to manipulating other people for themselves. Come to think of it, losing them is a necessary loss to improve your attitude towards other people and life in general.
YOU HAVE MORE TIME AND OPPORTUNITY TO WORK ON YOURSELF
Having lots of friends can also be an obstacle that’s standing in the way of you finding your life’s purpose. Too many friends can be distracting because their opinions and advice rub off on you so quickly that often leave you feeling lost. The more time you spend with friends who don’t align with your priorities and ambitions, the less time you’re going to be focused on what truly matters to you.
When you lose friends, you can say goodbye to Friday night parties you don’t personally enjoy but used to attend because that’s where all your friends want to go. You won’t have to feel guilty when you miss out on meet-ups with their friends you don’t personally vibe with because you don’t have to make them like you anymore. Not only will you become more productive and serious about fulfilling your responsibilities, but you will also be wiser in spending your time and resources.
YOU WILL MOVE FORWARD, NOT STUCK IN THE PAST
Those who have a large circle of friends may not want to admit it but your friends can be a reason you’re not moving forward in life. In your early twenties, friends can make you feel like you owe them for having a great time. Subconsciously, your brain tricks you into thinking their presence is what gives you a memorable experience but this isn’t necessarily the case. With the wrong set of friends, you can be led astray and alone where you don’t feel like you belonged.
They may be there with you, physically present, reassuring you through words that they will be there for you, but it doesn’t mean they really are. Some friends deprive you of moving forward because choosing different paths is like the mortal sin of any toxic friend group. They discourage you to use your wings by improving your skills because they don’t want to be left behind. These are the same people who are likely to talk bad about you when you’re already more successful than them.
YOU CAN BUILD GENUINE FRIENDSHIPS
When you have fewer friends, you’re leaving room for people who truly connect with you. Superficial friendships cause your mind to be crowded with all the opinions of all your other friends which cloud your judgment on particular life issues. When you learn to cut them off, you won’t be too preoccupied meeting every demand and expectation of your friends. As a result, you can put more time and effort into strengthening meaningful connections with those you value. You will learn whom to give more attention and time among the many who will just take you for granted.
YOU WILL SEE LIFE IN A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
When you lose friends, the clearer it is to see and walk through life. When you’re surrounded by people who show ugliness in life, you’re likely to live life influenced by that pattern of behavior. The crucial formation of your mindset is molded by the friends you’re with, and this mentality will gradually latch on to your habits and lifestyle. If this goes on, it will be much harder to control and go through the choices you make responsibly. When people teach you that lying is good, you will spend the rest of your life not knowing what truth is.
YOU CAN HEAL FROM THE PAIN CAUSED BY THE FRIENDSHIP
Like any other social relationship, friendships will always involve fights and disagreements. With fewer friends, not only will you be involved in fewer fights, but you will also be able to heal from the wounds of the past. You will stop going back to the same people who hurt you and see you as less of a person. You will be able to turn over a new leaf and find healing in a new direction. Sometimes losing friends is necessary to get over a long-standing problem because no matter what we do, we can’t change people for what they are. If they are no longer forging healthy relationships with you, it’s better to stay away from them than try to fix someone who’s better off far away.
YOU GET TO KNOW YOURSELF ON A DEEPER LEVEL
With fewer friends, you pave the way for you to reflect on your personal decisions. You start thinking about what you want in life and assessing what treatment you’ve been receiving and whether you deserve that or not. If you think you no longer understand the life choices of your friends or the people they’re hanging out with, never hesitate to separate yourself from them. By losing friends, you figure out which of them are loyal to you since day one and which deserve your loyalty back.
Losing friends is a part of life. Never think of it as a loss if you haven’t seen the big picture. It may not seem good to see a friend slowly drifting away from your life at the moment but it will work out in the end. When you get older, you will find yourself constantly assessing your relationships with other people, may it be with your friends, family, co-workers, and other people you associate with. Evaluating your relationships is a sign that you’re maturing and you’re walking on the road to mastering self-awareness.
The questions you ask yourself are a reflection of the experiences you’ve gone through. The more painful encounters you face, the more honest you’re going to be with yourself. When you find yourself questioning what others have done to you and what you have done to them, this is a sign that you’re slowly learning from your experiences. Recognize loyalty but don’t limit yourself to the people you’ve met in high school or college. Remember to keep in your heart those who have stood by you regardless of the circumstances and put their interests above friends whom you’ve just met and not truly know.
“We all lose friends… we lose them in death, to distance, and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart, and when the time is right, you can pick up the friendship right where you left off. Even the lost find their way home, when you leave the light on.”Amy Marie Walz