In our last post we talked about Flow. In that post I shared my thoughts on the flow of life, and how things naturally flow in and out of our lives unless we block that flow. I had wanted to include a section in that post about friendships, but that though occurred to me earlier in the day I was bouncing the idea around in my head. When it came time to write, I completely forgot.
However, I think it ended up for the best, as the Flow post was very good as it was, and I think the flow of friendships deserves it’s own post.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of movies and TV shows about a group of friends that forms in childhood or high school and continues on well into midlife. There are probably some cases like that, but I think more often friends tend to drift apart after high school. There are many reasons for this. You may go to different colleges, some friends may go directly into the workforce, some may decide to travel, some get married, some have kids. Each person begins crafting their own life and often times that causes friends to drift apart.
You know what? That’s OKAY! Like so many other things in our life, friendships have a flow. Friends can flow in and flow out of your life. There is no reason to hold onto friendships that are no longer beneficial to you.
When I was in college I had some friends that weren’t beneficial to me, and I likely wasn’t beneficial to them. We all had much to learn and much growth to experience. I became competitive with some of my friends, and I didn’t like feeling the constant need to compete. They were the Joneses in my life, and since I didn’t like that feeling, I slowly exited the friendship. It wasn’t a formal agreement between us, it was more of a drifting apart.
I had another friend that was a constant joker and full of sarcasm. As I worked to improve and grow, he remained much the same. The interactions with him became toxic, and eventually I let him go. Letting go of this friendship was disappointing in a way, as he was my best friend for many years. It took me too long to recognize the toxic nature of the friendship, and I should have either addressed it or exited the friendship much sooner, but I didn’t.
I regret not acting sooner on letting these friendships go. Since that time I have come to understand the true nature of friendships. They must be mutually beneficial. I should feel good about the people in my life and they should feel good about me. There should be no feelings of competition, very little negativity, and they should interact will with your family and loved ones. You should truly enjoy the time you spend with your friends. If you don’t then you should move on.
Before you move on, take a little time to look inward. See not only what your friends did to cause you displeasure, but what you may have done as well. Perhaps you have outgrown your friends, or perhaps they have outgrown you. In either case, it’s time to move on.
By releasing some friendships you open yourself to new ones. Old friends can flow out and new friends can flow in. It’s important to evaluate your friendships from time to time to see if they are pleasurable and beneficial. If they aren’t let them flow out and let new ones flow in.
Have you experienced flow in friendships? Do you have any friends that you need to release into the flow so that new ones can flow in?