Growing Out of a Friend

As women — young women — we find ourselves not always speaking our truth out of fear of conflict. The harsh reality of this is that, at one point, all of those truths are going to start pouring out without remorse. Sometimes, to avoid conflict, we continue something that is not actually bringing us joy anymore waiting until the day it maybe (?) is the same again. But part of you knows it isn’t, and you’re just delaying the inevitable.

As we go through our early 20’s, we find ourselves not being the same person and not thinking the same way we did years, months, or even days ago. We find ourselves still in school taking class, but learning about the responsibilities of adulthood like taxes, rent and stocks (still working on that one myself…). This uncomfortable limbo between our teenage years and being a young adult changes us, whether we want to admit it or not, and that change may not be linear with everyone we are surrounded by. Growing out of friends is as inevitable as breathing. It is natural, and usually a good thing, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

When you think of a friend, a good friend, you think of someone who is sweet, understanding, reliable and never makes you think twice about their loyalties. I recently caught myself holding onto something that only ever left me feeling judged and really, really small. That word, small, that is something no one who cares about you would ever want you to feel, and certainly not be the one to cause it. You need to have friends that are happy enough in themselves to not drag everyone else down with them. That is not to say dump your friend with depression. That is where communication comes in — and where it may be the breaking point.

If this person is someone who you would feel confident going to to check in on or express your feelings, then by all means. On the other hand, you will sometimes feel like this person is actually, not someone you consider empathetic or caring of how you feel, and that is a pretty clear indicator to skip the conversation and know your worth.

You deserve friends who make you feel supported and comfortable enough to express feeling. It is always difficult to navigate the proper way to go about irreconcilable differences with someone who was such a good friend at some point in your life, but temporary discomfort is better than endless self-doubt with a blowout argument. If you feel as though a friendship is no longer serving you, the best thing to do is move on. Nothing needs to be fought about, or made awkward. You just begin to distance yourself, and chances are if you have already gotten to this point, your “friend” may not even reach out to see if something is up, which should bring you some relief if they don’t, because then you will know for sure that you made the right decision. Of course, this is easier said than done, as is life. The absence of this person from your life will be sad at first and something you will most likely have to grieve alone, but relief and peace within your own inner turmoil will soon follow and you will wish you’d have put yourself first sooner.