Are You Really Growing Up If You Don’t Lose Friendships?

I’m not sure how many of you watch HelloKaty on YouTube (or maybe you read her blog), but she’s kinda awesome. She really steps out of the realm of what YouTubers are expected to be, and just gets real with her viewers. I completely wish there were more people who weren’t afraid to just sit down and talk to a camera about their life, no matter if people completely agree with what they’re saying or not.

Anyway, HelloKaty recently posted a new video called: Exposing my fake friends. Instantly, that title caught my interest and I had to click. Basically, what she said got me thinking about my own life. (I love when someone has the power to do that.)

Now, disclaimer, I know her video is specifically about fake friends, but I feel like it ties into a bigger story that we all go through.

Something a lot of us go through, especially in our late teens/early twenties, is that weird in-between with friendships. I’m sure it’s something that will continue for the rest of our lives, but I’m confident that it’s extra-insane during this time period.

When we really think about it, this is the time when we’re discovering who we are and what we stand for. I know that if I could meet who I was in high school, today, I’d probably be shocked by how much of a difference there is. Honestly, I’m not even sure I’d choose to be friends with that girl, given who I am now.

I’ve seen so many people go through this awkward transition (myself included) into adulthood. It leaves us completely different than we were a few years ago, and that, I’ve noticed, can make or break a friendship. Specifically, I think it’s important to talk about what happens when a friendship is destroyed because of this and what it all means.

It's important to talk about what happens when a friendship is destroyed. Click To Tweet

 

ARE YOU GROWING UP IF YOU DON’T LOSE FRIENDS?

Okay, okay, yeah: I know that was a completely bold statement to make as the title of this blog post, but I don’t necessarily think it was bad either.

Personally, I believe it’s inevitable that you’re going to grow and change, leaving behind the person you were for a better-than-you-were-2.0-version. In doing so, tons of what you grew up thinking, believing and even the ways you acted are going to fly out the window and never come back.

And you won’t want them to either. Growing up is kinda like shedding a skin; it’s necessary, plus it gives you room to become someone new and more beautiful.

Growing up is kinda like shedding a skin. And it's so necessary. Click To Tweet

Through all of that minor insanity, how can you honestly expect yourself to keep every single relationship you had? There’s going to come a point where you just don’t relate to someone anymore, and it’s not really beneficial for either of you to continue being friends.

And let’s be honest: you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s those friendships where you still hang out, but conversation runs dry after about five minutes because you don’t know what else to say. The two of you are just on completely different playing fields now. Those moments are awkward and, personally, leave me wishing and wanting something so much deeper.

While I’m sure it’s entirely possible to keep all the friends you’ve had no matter what, I’m also sure that’s super unlikely.

You grow out of old bands you used to like or the styles of clothes you used to wear, so why is it so weird when that happens with a friendship? Which brings me to my next point…

 

WE NEED TO DESTROY THE “LOST FRIENDSHIPS” STIGMA

We’ve already established that it’s natural and perfectly fine to lose a few friends while growing up. However…there’s still somewhat of a stigma around it.

How many times have you heard of two people not being friends anymore and one of them hates the other (or both), even though nothing really happened? Someone got offended that the friendship disappeared and blew up over it. Maybe it was even you who did it.

In the back of our minds, we can’t help but be upset when we lose someone that we used to be so close to. It’s something that I deal with, and the emotions come out so differently each time. There are instances where I’m so upset and confused that I get angry, while other times I’m just depressed about it.

We can't help but be upset when we lose someone that we used to be so close to. Click To Tweet

I will ask myself–although it’s wrong to— who gave them permission to stop being friends with me (usually without anything being said to me) and what I did to deserve that. And that’s how the fights and rumors grow like wildfire.

When we don’t know what our emotions mean or how to deal with them, how can we expect to get through something like this without unnecessarily burning a few bridges?

In reality, no one ever needs permission to end a friendship with someone else. You’re entitled to your opinions and have the freedom to choose who you want close to you. Nobody should ever need to apologize for that. That’s something I know I need to learn on both ends.

No one ever needs permission to end a friendship with someone else. Click To Tweet

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FRIENDSHIP ENDS

So, we’ve now established that people end friendships because one or both of them have grown out of it. Emotions follow. Ugly ones. Afterwards, acceptance needs to make itself known.

Whether you like it or not, some of your friendships will end just because you changed. It could be you who did the ending, or your friend, but either way you’ll go through some level of needing to accept it.

There’s a reason that things came to this point, and it’s so important to evaluate why. Odds are, you’re not going to realize at first that it’s just because someone changed. More than likely (as is what I do), you’re going to throw in other excuses to try and make sense of it all.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for us to accept we’ve grown out of something, but we need to start doing a better job of it. Life happens. There’s no reason to hate the other person, as much as you secretly wish you could.

I truly believe this only becomes easier with practice, but it’s still important to sit down and think it all through. Before you label the friendship ending as something done maliciously or out of jealousy, make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Plus, it’s only once we accept a situation that we can begin to move on from it. Otherwise, we let ourselves be sucked back into the same depression and endless cycle of confusion for too long. Sometimes things happen, and sometimes we just don’t know why.

 

WHEN THE DUST HAS SETTLED

After you’ve given yourself some time to (seriously) be sad about it and be alone with your thoughts, learn from it. Grow from it. Use it to empower yourself and push yourself forward.

This friendship ended because one or both of you is changing, so use this situation as another piece of experience to add to your tool belt. I promise it’s going to come in handy when you least expect it.

Whether we know it or not, we use tough experiences in so many other aspects of life. It’s when we start to look at bad times as learning experiences that we know we’re growing up.

Whether we know it or not, we use tough experiences in so many other aspects of life. Click To Tweet

And don’t worry: these things happen to everyone. I said this before and I’ll say it again: you inevitably will lose friends the older you get. But…the bright side? You’ll gain so many others in return.

 

Love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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