Having old friends can be complicated.
The truth of the matter is that you may have friends who you’ve known for a long time, who don’t seem to fit your life as well as they used to.
Sometimes, we outgrow old friends.
Sometimes we drift apart from them.
Sometimes, things happen and the relationships get weird after a time.
But how do you know when it’s time to walk away?
How do you know when it may be time to hang up the gloves on those old friendships that were once the most important relationships in your life?
This can be a really complicated question.
Sometimes, staying in older relationships can hold us back.
This is especially true if we’ve done a lot of work to improve ourselves in certain ways, and we notice that our friends have remained ‘stuck’ in their old habits and ways.
Of course, this often has nothing to do with whether you still love them or not.
And it really goes without saying that if you have friends who you were once close with, you probably still feel a certain kind of love toward them.
But there’s also a question to be asked about whether spending time around those people is good for you anymore.
And the complicated answer is that it depends.
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to try to ascertain whether or not your older friends are still good for you and your life.
And of course, there’s also a question to be asked about how you influenced their lives as well.
Sometimes, when we learn that we’ve moved far enough in a different direction that things are getting a little awkward, the kindest thing to do is to step aside and allow our friends to go ahead and continue their lives without us.
Sometimes it’s not the friends who are holding up the progress, but us instead.
In such cases, it’s really important to evaluate ourselves and to ask whether or not we’re truly growing enough in life.
At any rate, here are a few questions you might ask yourself to help you gauge whether or not some of your older friends should still remain in your life.
- Does this person’s presence make me a better person?
- Does my presence in their life make them a better person?
- Do we accomplish worthwhile things together that make the world (and our lives) better?
- When the two of us spend time together, is it an overall positive experience?
- Do you ever get done hanging out with your friends and think to yourself, “Wow, that was so taxing! Now I need to rest?”
- After hanging out with your friends, do you tend to be in a better mood and feel better about things? Or did you leave feeling a bit more negative?
Here’s the thing. If you can answer these questions with a positive affirmation, odds are good that your friends are still important in your life—and that keeping them in it to some degree may be a really beneficial thing for both of you.
But if your answers to these questions (and subsequently, your interactions with your friends) more often come out on the negative side of things—well, then there’s probably at least some reason to believe that it’s possible that you and your older friends are outgrowing each other.
And to be honest, while that might be a sad thing to think about at first, there’s really no harm in it.
It’s a natural part of life to grow, get better, adapt, and to move on from things that used to matter a great deal to us.
It doesn’t mean that those friends are bad people, or that you don’t care about them.
Sometimes it’s really just about how we change, and how we move through life.