WITH CHRISTINE HASSLER
Why some friendships end and how to make new ones
Like all relationships some friendships come with expiration dates. As we evolve, the people that surround us also change. Although this makes logical sense, growing apart from friends or ending a friendship that drains you isn’t easy on the emotional level. It can be confusing and often lonely.
I had several questions about how to handle challenging and changing friendships lately that I answer today’s vlog.
How do you know when a friendship has reached its expiration date?
A sign that a friendship has expired is when you no longer value the same things. For instance, if you place a high value on personal growth and positivity, being friends with someone who prefers to stay in his/her comfort zone, play the victim, or complain a lot, is probably not going to be someone you want to spend a lot of time around.
Another sign is if a friendship has become draining or even toxic. A client reached out to me this week regarding a friend that was making some unreasonable demands that was causing my client to feel disrespected and distant. As challenging as it is to be honest, we are not being good friends if we are pretending. (Read my blog “Are you too nice?” if you missed it last week!).
Staying in a friendship for just for the sake of longevity or loyalty is not worth it if inside yourself you are experiencing judgment and/or indifference. When you are not accepting a person or enjoying the relationship, that is obligation not a friendship.
How do you phase out a friendship?
Some friendships naturally phase out. There are some people who grow with us while there are others we grow apart from. This does not discount the value the relationship has provided or make either person right or wrong, better or worse. We all grow inwardly at different rates and in different ways and our outward lives shift in response. This is especially common with childhood or even college friendships where relationships are often cultivated based on age and proximity rather than common interests, values and priorities. Most of my closest friends today were not people in my life ten years ago because I have grown and changed so much over the last decade.
Other friendships that fall into the toxic or draining category may require a break-up talk. Rather than ignoring or lying to friends in order to spend less time with them, be direct. I understand you do not want to hurt someone you care about; however, the most courageous and honest way to approach this situation is to have a conversation (not confrontation). Begin by thanking them for their friendship and then lovingly share that you feel your priorities and values have changed.
Gracefully stepping away from a relationship that has become more about duty than authentic connection is a way to open the door for yourself and your friend to attract more life enhancing friendships in your lives.
How do you deal with the loneliness when there are fewer friends around?
First know it is totally NORMAL to go through transition periods in your social circle. Please do not think you are a loser or fear that you are going to be alone for the rest of your life just because you’ve embarked on a path of growth. You are not, I promise. In fact, as you become more and more of who you truly are, the more you will attract true soul friends for life.
Often this alone time is the Universe giving us an opportunity to become a better friend to ourselves. Let’s face it, most of us are not the best of friends to ourselves. If you talked to yourself like you talked to your friends, would you have any?? To attract and maintain healthy friendships, become a BFF to yourself first! (tweet this!)
How do you make new friends?
Continue to put yourself in environments where you are likely to meet like-minded people who share your values (like the One-day Soul Sweat Retreat I’m hosting in LA June 7th!!) Before going to into any group situation, set the intention to connect with someone there. Put a smile on your face, open your heart, and lovingly shush any commentary from your inner critic that makes you self-conscious.
And here’s a tip that worked for me: Directly ask people to be your friend! Remember how in Kindergarten when we liked someone we sweetly said, “I like you, will you be my friend?” I started doing this years ago when my friendships were shifting and everyone I asked that question to was flattered, said yes, and are part of my inner circle today.
Our friends are such an important part of our lives. We are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with most so choose wisely. One of my favorite quotes, “A friend is someone who knows the song of your soul and sings it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words.” Surround yourself with friends who you can be your full SOULFUL self with!!
I’d love to hear what you have learned about friendship and how you have created your soul family so head on over to the blog and leave a comment.
And a special shout out to all my soul friends who read this – I love you!
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