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July 14, 2020

When Growing Apart from a Friend means Growing Closer to Ourselves.

Ever heard the song “You Can’t Break Me” by V. Bozeman?

It’s great when you have a friend who gets you.

You don’t need to break down everything you say for them to understand—they are rare, precious people.

I say this from personal experience.

We were close, I think. I had met her after a gap of a few years. It was a new feeling; perhaps even exciting.

We were close, but suddenly after about a year of incomparable interaction, things dramatically changed. She expected me to act in a certain way—maybe a little critical and condescending about everyone who has a good chance in life.

I never understood this need to talk about others.

I always took it upon myself to stay in the present moment, and chose not to speak when I didn’t have anything to say.

I never liked making my life a subject for anyone and likewise for others. Similarly, I would show a complete disinterest when she tried to talk about others, people who didn’t really matter to either of us.

Months later, I looked in the mirror at myself and spoke out loud, “I’m pissed at you.”

It wasn’t a comment that was directed at myself, rather at that close friend of mine.

She’s the person whom I had started to resent a few weeks prior, but instead of bringing it up at the time, I remained silent, distant, and passive.

So there I was, alone at home, practicing the words I wanted to utter on several occasions over several calls, uncertain if I’d ever have the courage to say them.

I always struggle with finding the right way to let the people I care about know that I’m upset, disappointed, or simply pissed off.

I felt a huge burden on myself. Initially, I couldn’t quite put a finger on what was really going wrong. Nevertheless, I tried to make it up with listening, making more phone calls, sending appreciation messages on many occasions, and keeping in touch whenever I felt a dip in the connection.

But I felt it was all wrong. It wasn’t working for me like I would have liked it to.

After a while, it was awful to realise they didn’t care if I would be hurt, and that perhaps, they found fault in me for not living up to their expectation(s).

I understand that we all have our lists of perfect qualities. Mine simply didn’t match up to hers. She had other requirements and clearly, I didn’t have all of them.

I spent months on my own, and day by day I got over it with the help of some rational self-talk.

Sometimes we find ourselves at a crossroad with people with whom we were excited to form bonds, then we end up wondering why they’re still in our phone contacts or friends list on social media.

Sure enough, it can be painful, but it’s alright to shrug your shoulders and say, “We had a beautiful connection once, and I’m grateful for it. Now we’re just in different places.”

Drifting apart doesn’t necessarily mean you have to formally sever ties, but it’s okay to find yourself less invested in a friendship that used to be an exciting part of your world—if not your entire one.

It doesn’t make us or them a bad person—it’s only about coming to terms with the knowledge that, sometimes, our full original selves simply don’t match with old friends anymore.

~

 

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