How to Manage Change in Friendship Dynamics and Relationships

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Case study: You’re losing friends in the process of becoming less of a people pleaser. You have been working a [LOT] on setting boundaries this year. You’ve spent most of your life striving to make everyone else happy and ended up in the wrong career, relationships, etc.

Or maybe you’ve had different friend groups each year, so much so that people in your life [family] made a  comment referring to the different groups of friends you end up with every year. Now you’ve decided to “make over” your life and try to finally live for yourself. At first you felt very empowered, but later on you’ve started to hit a low point… you’ve ended lengthy years of being in  rounds of toxic relationships, quit a job that was making you miserable, and have distanced yourself from negative friendships… Now you’re left feeling kind of lost and lonely.

 


Welcome to adulthood where your friends are refined and you get only 2 or 1 left instead of 20.

People change. It sucks, it hurts, but they do. As we grow up, we move on from school and into adulthood. We finish our studies, leave home, and maybe even move to a new town or country. We’re not all together like we used to be. Our priorities change. We have more responsibilities pulling us in different directions. Our best friends start families of their own. And the cycle repeats.

It feels like the part of our journey where it gets a bit messy. And so, most of us want answers to these pressing questions:

How do you get through it? How do you make new friends who bring positivity to your life? How do you figure out what you want to do when you’re not used to being on your own?

First things first, don’t be too hard on yourself, the natural ebb and flow of friendships is out of your control. Take it as a journey of self-discovery, and over time, you will probably build more enduring connections.

You’ll realize as time goes on that you deserve better from your friendships as you lose them all out one by one. In the meantime, you can take a long vacation by youself, pursue things you’re passionate about. And as you do this, you’ll gravitate towards people in the same mindspace.

Read:  How to Know What Your Feelings Are Communicating If You Can't Stop Being Jealous of Your Friends

Right now things might be extremely tough, but life is both extremely long and extremely short at the same time. It’s so long you haven’t even met all the people who will love you, but so short that you must cherish the precious time you have with the people who truly matter.

Raising Your Awareness

Everyone goes through friend turnover in life, even the seemingly perfect, could inevitably lose friends along the way. Life is a journey, and people come and go.

But if you find that you’re losing friends frequently, you might start to wonder if you’re doing something wrong.

And if it seems like you’re losing friends no matter where you go or who you’re with, there might be something worth examining. Then maybe you’re unknowingly pushing people away.

It’s a common occurrence for there to be underlying reasons why friendships don’t work out. It is very possible to be losing out on the friends you complain you don’t have all the while acting out in ways that make it hard for people to help you.

In addition to that, no one likes to be told they’re at fault or reflect on how others perceive them. But if we want to build and maintain friendships successfully, we need to be aware of how we’re coming across to others.

Besides, you’ve probably had people in your life who’ve tried to point this out to you before. Hopefully, as you read through this post, you’ll start to recognize why you might be losing friends and figure out what steps to take next.

That being said, if you’re noticing a pattern, it might be worth taking a closer look at yourself and figuring out what could be causing you to lose friends.

 

01

When We Put So Much Pressure on Few Friendships

It’s tough when we expect all our emotional needs to be met by just a handful of friends, or sometimes even just one best friend. I’ve seen how heartbreaking it can be when someone close to us moves on with their life, like getting engaged, starting a relationship, or moving away. Instead of being happy for them, we feel like our world is falling apart because it changes our dynamic.

Read:  Here's Why Everyone Should Learn How to Quit

I’ve witnessed people spiral into isolation or hold onto anger towards friends who are moving forward, using it as an excuse for feeling stuck. How many times have we seen tears shed because a friend reached a milestone, like getting married or having kids, while we’re still in the same place?

But the truth is, no single friend can bear the weight of all our expectations. Holding onto resentment only poisons relationships and leaves us feeling bitter and alone.

We’re stronger when we have more connections in our lives. A healthier way to navigate friendships and life’s changes is when we spread our friendship and seek counsel from different sources, we’re less likely to feel resentful or angry when others move forward in their lives.

Instead of harboring resentment towards friends who are growing, let’s celebrate their milestones and seek out new connections to enrich our lives. Holding onto bitterness only leads to unnecessary drama and loneliness.

 one person cannot bear the weight of your emotional needs alone. Holding onto resentment only leads to more drama and heartache,  it will only drive a wedge between the family, and the  friends you care about because they now have more responsibility to focus on as life goes on.

 

02

Struggling With Change in Relationships

Life has its seasons, and so do our relationships. It’s natural for some friendships to fade or evolve over time. But when we resist accepting that people may drift away from our inner circle, we end up feeling frustrated and disappointed. Meanwhile, we overlook the genuine connections right in front of us.

In matters of the heart, holding onto past loves can prevent us from moving forward. The same goes for friendships. We miss out on new and meaningful connections because we’re fixated on those who no longer play the same role in our lives.

 

03

Have You Ever Considered What It’s Like to Be in a Relationship With You?

It’s sad, but sometimes it’s us who are the toxic ones in our relationships.

The word “toxic” in this context could mean they feel suffocated or uneasy around you, like being in a car with someone who’s smoking and the air feels heavy.

Read:  When You're Always The Strong One for Everyone But Yourself

We all carry an atmosphere with us wherever we go. The big question is, does your vibe make people feel good or do you end up losing friends because you’re not so great to be around?

When people feel suffocated, they can’t stick around for long, or worse, they might distance themselves completely.

To get a look into what I’m talking about here are some signs of being toxic:

When you can’t control your anger. Always being mad and easily offended is like being near a dangerous fire. It makes people feel scared and unsafe.

When you’re repeatedly negative. We all have bad days, but if you’re always complaining and seeing the worst in everything, being friends with you will feel like being stuck in a dark, gloomy place with no hope.

You’re always criticizing, and almost giving no words of encouragement. It’s good to help each other improve, but if someone’s only and always pointing out your flaws, it’s exhausting and makes you not want to be around them.

Can you say what it’s like for others to hang out with you? How do you spend your time together?

 

Closing Thoughts

We know that how we act affects others, just like how we feel affects the air around us. If we want to keep our friends and have good relationships, we need to pay attention to the vibes we give off.

Sometimes, it’s hard to see our own faults or change them. How do you stop being angry or negative when you’ve been that way for years?

I find that having people I trust and respect helps me see things clearly and make better choices. They can give me advice and support to deal with my problems.

People might have already tried to tell us about our bad habits. We just need to be brave enough to listen and make changes.

It’s also okay to do things that make you happy while connecting with others. Not to push people away or lose touch with yourself.

 

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