Growing apart from friends

  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Jan 21, 2010 6:22 PM GMT
    I have a friend who I love very much. We've known each other for 10 years. I think I'm growing apart from the relationship. I find myself to change how I behave after hanging out with them. They tend to be overly critical and negative about most of life. It makes me into a grumpy person who snaps and reacts badly.
    How do I sever ties? Or do I just ween myself off gradually. I like them but they have this odd effect on me. Which I don't like. I think I've just out grown them.
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    Jan 21, 2010 8:50 PM GMT
    Cutting them off is always an option, but unless they are crazy/insane/evil I don't see the need. Just take them for who they are and adjust accordingly. I have friends I like to hang out with and they are fun, but I know they are not the kind of people I lean on for certain things. Also, some of my friends have hearts of gold and brains of tapioca pudding. I'll always love them but I know I can't talk about current events or watch Jeopardy! with them.
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    Jan 21, 2010 8:57 PM GMT
    My approach would be to first try to turn the down-trodden discussions into an upbeat chat. Yeah, more easily said than done. If your friend persists in being a downer, I might then try to gently break your concern to them. If they value your friendship enough, they will try to change.

    If they are unable to be more positive, I would then only join them when it is best for you. This may be the beginning of the end. Sadly, friends do grow apart. Interests change, goals are different, work schedules make getting together tough. If this person wants to be a part of your life, they will do what is necessary to make it work.

    My best friend of 11 years ( 6th grade through our end of college ) became a mere memory. It took 2-3 years, but it happened. He found a new group of friends that had noooo similar interests of mine. He went his way, I went mine. Sad, yes. He basically became a different person. Change is good ( no political reference here ! ) but his direction was not one I preferred.

    Sorry if this does not help, but life goes on. You need to do that which is best for you. Don't allow others do steer you where you don't want to go.
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    Jan 21, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    10 years is a long time, I'd be hesitant to end the friendship without first bringing the issue up for some discussion. Sometimes people aren't aware of how dynamics have changed or priorities get shuffled. If you tell them how you feel and want things to be different, than at least you made the effort to save the friendship. If their reaction is hostile then at least they will understand why you don't call anymore.

    If one of my friends started to drift away I'd want to know why regardless of how much it might hurt my feelings. Maybe I'm not aware of my changed behavior or how my attitude is affecting others.
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    Jan 21, 2010 9:22 PM GMT
    10 years is a long time. I just had a long time friend I had to let go. I just found myself questioning the relationship too much after an encounter with him. I wasn't sure if it was me or if it was him, or if we had just grown apart too much and were taking each other for granted. I spent a lot of time reading about ending friendships. There are some good websites, I googled "toxic friendships". You may find things in there that make you toxic to your friend. It's a 2 way street, but, in the end most sites recommend talking about it for closure and taking a break. Don't wait until resentments build as you become more frustrated. You both may need to grow and reconnect again later. I left things open, but told him I was taking an indefinite break. You have to do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

    best wishes...
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Jan 21, 2010 9:24 PM GMT

    it happens. people change. some stay right where they are. but it's always good to remember the affect they've had on you and check in, every so often, to recount the way we were ...
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jan 21, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    I don't think you should sever ties with them if you truly love them, just don't put yourself in situations with them that affects you in that way or maybe talk to them about what is happening and how it's making you feel to try and resolve it.
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    Jan 22, 2010 2:26 AM GMT
    I've grown apart from a few friends, and sometimes it just has to happen. People become different; the bonds that tie us can be very fickle. (The engraving on my iPod reads "So just remember me when we used to be friends," from the Dandy Warhols song.)

    You could try being honest, but let's be serious, the truth is usually the worst option. In this case, I have no idea. I've had completely mutual and polite breakups with boyfriends, but never with friends. It's much worse.
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    Jan 22, 2010 5:34 AM GMT
    If the friendship is no longer gratifying to either one of you it will naturally fizzle out. There may not be a need for a discussion, it'll just slowly happen. If you get asked just tell the truth, and if it's a time worthy bond it will continue to survive.

    I don't plan on staying around my home much longer and have found most of my friendships ending. Someone noted, subconsciously I'm just shutting down for the next phase. Maybe you are too?icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 22, 2010 5:46 AM GMT
    Not everything needs a big discussion. Friendships like everything else have a timely end. Cherish what you have now or your past glorious moments with your friends. Gradually, you guys will stop calling each other, it will be the end of the affair.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jan 22, 2010 6:09 AM GMT
    It's a friend he loves though.
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    Jan 22, 2010 4:04 PM GMT
    sexyactionnick said(The engraving on my iPod reads "So just remember me when we used to be friends," from the Dandy Warhols song.)


    That's a great quote!
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Jan 22, 2010 4:18 PM GMT
    I've been through this, but I never let go of a friendship without first trying to work out the kinks and issues. As friends, confronting any issues shouldn't really be that hard at all.....a heart to heart talk should be relatively easy and it might clear the air.

    Most of the time it doesn't work, in my experience, but it has for one friendship, and we understand each other a lot better now. He was always saying hurtful things about me, and insulting me in a kidding sort of way. That is fine for the most part, but I would never give a rebuttal because I usually don't talk like that to friends or someone I care about. I didn't even realize it was happening so often until other friends pointed it out. Anyway, we had a talk about it, and so far both of us are trying harder to make a decent friendship better.

    Anyway, good luck with your friends. If you still care about them and they still care about you, it really shouldn't be a big issue to overcome.
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    Jan 22, 2010 4:43 PM GMT
    Maybe you could talk to them and let them know how you really feel. Sometimes you need to let go of friendships, but usually it just fizzes to nothing. You could always bring them down to an acquaintance level from the friendship level. You need to surround yourself with positive people that make you strive to be better in life and it sounds like they aren't that for you.
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    Jan 22, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    We're around the same age, and I've noticed I've had to do this with a couple of people in very recent years. There may not be a need to cut off ties, they may feel the disconnect too. I know that's the way it was in my case, and none of us had to say anything to each other. I know that we started off in a similar place, and moved in different directions, I also made some extreme changes that really put up a barrier it seems. Anywho, if someone's not healthy for us, then we've got to look out for ourselves.