Ride or die, BFF’s, friends for life? Oh, the pressures of modern friendship.
Friends are undoubtedly the people who’ve seen you at your worst, your best, and probably everything in between – but sometimes, they aren’t forever. Not because they’re toxic or you’ve had an argument but simply because that friendship isn’t made to last.
Glamourised by movies and TV shows, childhood best friends growing up together is as familiar as it comes. But as you get older, it can sometimes feel like a pressure cooker. You don’t want to leave them behind, you don’t feel like you’ve got a bond as strong as other people, you drift apart. While many see this as a negative thing, it’s actually completely normal not to be friends with the same people for your whole life. Don’t get me wrong, best friends are great and finding them can change your life. However, sometimes friendships are built because of a specific place: you’re friends because you work together every day but when you don’t work together there’s maybe no need to be friends. This doesn’t mean you’ve used them or been used; it’s sometimes just how it works.
Hanging on to old friendships that aren’t giving you what you need could lead to a slump in self-growth or growing resentment towards them. Remembering that you’re on your own path and following your own timeline is vital to avoid falling into someone else’s. Letting go of friendships to naturally progress will give you much more clarity than growing to blame them for the direction you’ve gone in life. As you stay in a place that isn’t benefiting or pushing you to move forward in life, you may get held back from other opportunities life has to offer. Meaning that you grow to resent your friends for not allowing you to move forward – when, in reality, you need to take this step.
MD. Ansar Ali, a relationship and mindset coach, described this as taking the best part of each interaction you have in life and using it to grow, rather than holding on to the individual themselves. Leaving a hometown or familiar place can come with leaving old friendships and creating new ones, with Ali saying: “it builds confidence and forces you to realign with yourself and come out of your comfort zone…many people get comfortable and don’t challenge anything by expanding, the key is taking pearls of wisdom and growth from each friend.”
Sometimes you need to question whether there are situations that aren’t giving you complete happiness and satisfaction. Why not build your confidence and go outside of your comfort zone and your familiarities? If you don’t challenge things, the chances are you’ll fall into a routine and be stuck in the same place. Having more friends actually makes you a better friend, as you understand more about different people and how to interact with them.
Kathy Baerg, a photographer, described her journey in realising that not all friends are forever while building her own business: “I missed the good times and memories of an old friendship but ending it was the best decision for me and my business.” While cutting off all ties isn’t necessary, sometimes in order to progress you have to evaluate whether the friendships give you what you need from it.
Whether you have a constant stream of texts back and forth or talk once a month, friendships come in different forms. From ‘active now’ pop-ups to being ‘left on opened’, it’s easy to overthink it but sometimes, people are just busy. Evaluate the friendships you have and what kind of friends they are, you don’t need to talk everyday to prove you’re close.
While I’m definitely not saying drop all your friends and flee the country, perhaps branch out a little. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat a little, you’ll maybe even thank me for it.
Words by Kenzi Devine
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