Growing up and outgrowing friends in your 20s doesn’t get easier with time, but with some positivity and grace, you can get through it.
Few periods in your life are as turbulent as the journey through your 20s.
Shedding the safety of youth, you adjust to making money, juggling deadlines, cooperating with co-workers, and satisfying your boss.
You trim the fat in your life, you pick up interests you never expected, and your identity fluctuates.
When the person you are deep down changes, it can only mean change for your relationship with your friends.
Some friends are with you through thick and thin, what with the partying, traveling, swapping stories, and recovering from breakups.
But as you mature you can find yourself outgrowing your friends.
It might not feel comfortable telling them everything on your mind. Things they say might come across harsher or more unpleasant than before.
It’s so much harder to plan around your schedule and get the gang all together in one place.
And that’s stuff you’ll get used to; there’s no need to panic.
Change is the only constant, and you need to let yourself outgrow some friendships while always nurturing the ones that work.
How To Handle Outgrowing Friends In Your 20s
Have A Good Cry
A friendship breakup is just as (if not sometimes more!) impactful as a romantic breakup.
Allow yourself the time to grieve the end of the chapter but don’t beat yourself up about outgrowing your old friends.
It is the most natural thing and we all have been there.
So, put on your favorite movie, order some food, have a good cry, and allow yourself some me-time.
Mourning the end of a relationship is the first step in moving past outgrowing your friends.
Careers Are Demanding
When you and your friends embrace new professional opportunities, you will need to make lifestyle changes to adjust to the demands of work.
Careers are known to put an unwanted strain on friendships, but know that there’s little you can do to make things work.
Friendship is a two-way street and if you feel you’re constantly at the receiving end of missed calls and broken promises, it’s time to dilute yourself with other important things in life.
You’re more likely to put up with bad friends throughout high school and college, with drama that’s just another part of growing up.
If you want to get ahead in your 20s, you ditch the toxicity. There’s nothing wrong with that.
In your 20’s chances are you’ll outgrow your friends because you no longer spend the same amount of time you used to spend with them before you held down your first job.
Your life will change, and to keep up with that change, friendships, or the bond you share with your friends, needs to change.
Before you make assumptions, confide in friends you cherish, talk about your fears of outgrowing them and be open to a constructive argument.
If you’ve outgrown your friends because of your lifestyle, you can enjoy your own company before you start making new friends.
It’s completely possible and doable.
Understand Priorities Change
There was a time when you could talk to your friends for hours about who you hooked up with and what kind of person you wanted to marry.
As you get older you might filter yourself more, and you most definitely won’t be running over to your friend’s house whenever you feel heartache.
But in your 20s’ you fall in love and suddenly you have less time for anyone else. It happens and it’s natural for people to prioritize spending time with their partner over their friends.
If your friends value you this change in priorities would probably not mean much (within reason!), but if they don’t you’ll start outgrowing each other.
If this is happening to you, and if you fear losing a good friend, you’ll need to openly communicate with them.
Be honest about your feelings and set your boundaries and if you still feel like you’re drifting apart, it’s okay to let go.
Focus on other things in life and if you’re in a serious relationship start planning for your future and divert your mind from matters that only bring pain and betrayal.
I will say however, you don’t want to get lost in a romantic relationship.
A huge pet-peeve are those friends that leave when they’re dating someone and come back when they’re single.
Friendship is a two-way street and both need to make an effort.
Make sure your friends are genuine and not just there for convenience (i.e. I have nothing else to do)
You might feel you’re slowly outgrowing a friendship if you don’t seek the person out and really get a sense of how they’re doing.
It is possible that friendships can end because neither person admits they’re worried about it ending and is willing to have an open conversation.
With your friends, you’ve got to be frank about your insecurities.
If you genuinely miss someone, send them a message saying you want to spend time together.
Ask yourself why you aren’t seeing certain people that often. Is it because you have little in common now?
Or is it just because you feel more awkward, rushed, and indecisive? You don’t want life’s chaos making the decisions for you.
Plant your feet down and be honest with yourself about the changes you’re going through. Know that your good friends wouldn’t want you to give up on them.
If you really value someone, remember the good they’ve brought to your life and reciprocate it.
If someone you once considered your friend wastes time, refuses to mature, or makes you feel seriously uncomfortable, put less emphasis on them.
Some people don’t step up to adult life that well, and nobody’s got time for it.
You owe it to yourself to stay enthusiastic about your friends even as you navigate the complexities of adult life.
Despite the bad rap it gets, social media can be verybeneficial in this.
Something as simple as liking a post is similar to a pat on the back, reminding your friends you’re paying attention.
With all the things you see online, you have a window into their lives that softens the blow of not being around them.
In keeping track of things like this you can be supportive of the changes you all go through.
You could see someone wearing something or going somewhere you didn’t think they would. Someone might take up a new hobby or get a new job that surprises you.
Changes can make you uneasy at first, but just be open about the changes you’re experiencing as well.
Get excited about birthdays, celebrate milestones, above all let your friends know you care.
If there are people who never show interest in you anymore, don’t sweat it.
You can certainly make new friends who’ll better compliment the person you’ve grown into.
Understand Life Changes You
It’s normal that the passage of years alters the sort of person you are.
It’s best not to be scared of that, but it could mean that some of your friends are difficult to relate to now. You have to decide what that means.
They may not have done anything wrong, so you could put emphasis on reminding yourself what you like about them.
Never think if you tolerated someone’s actions before that you still have to now.
When you were young you could easily indulge in bad behavior with your friends like gossiping behind people’s backs or being late for important occasions.
If you have a friend who’s still like that, it’s possible you could push them in the right direction.
But you have to put your foot down and make it clear what you’re all about.
You can’t make excuses for your friend the way you would in days of youth.
Stay grown up and don’t look back.
Make New Friends
If you and your old friends are no longer on the same wavelength, the best thing you can do is find new friendships that enrich your life.
Find people you can relate to more and have more in common with.
Outgrowing friendships is a lot like a breakup. They hurt, but at some point you have to get back out there.
Fill your life with compassionate, loving people who genuinely love and support you! The ones that want the best for you and are truly happy to see you succeed.
In General, losing friends in your twenties doesn’t get easier than losing them in your teens or thirties.
There are unfortunately a lot of growing pains when it comes to #Adulting and some of them are acknowledging that you aren’t the same person you were 5 or 10 years ago.
It’s unrealistic to think you will be the same when you’re 28 that you were at 18 (same for your friends) and you’ll naturally grow with some people and away from others.
Keep a positive mindset, there are so many incredible people in this world you have yet to meet!
Some of them will make just as (if nor more) amazing friends than the ones you outgrew.
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