In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, we’re back on the topic of friendship. Sometimes we believe that we’ve outgrown a friendship (or that they’ve outgrown us). I delve into the main causes (life stage, personal growth and the friendship stagnating), why this leads to us sometimes distancing ourselves, and why we have to be careful of assumptions and judgements.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • Our friendships can travel down various roads on our journey through life and, yes, hit some bumpy patches, but this doesn’t have to mean that we’ve outgrown the friendship. It’s possible that, for example, two people can be in a different phase for a while, reconnect and continue on. It’s the whole “live and let live” and allowing the friendship to evolve. My friendship spans three decades, various phases, and, yes, times when we weren’t in the same place, and yet the friendship has endured because we’re fundamentally friends.
  • The six P’s of life stage differences: partying, parenthood, partnering, prosperity, principles and personal crisis
  • “A lot of people seem to feel uncomfortable with the idea that their friend is ‘different’. News flash: All your friends are different because they’re not you!”

  • Distancing ourselves is something that many people wrestle with when it comes to outgrowing friendships. Sometimes we want to distance ourselves but are afraid of hurting feelings; sometimes we’re distancing ourselves and blaming our friends while failing to acknowledge that we’re projecting our feelings onto them. And sometimes we delay on distancing because we haven’t found replacements.
  • We are bound to outgrow any friendship that relies on us being stuck in a role. e.g. victim, rescuer, the one who always has to be down and out.
  • A friendship will lack depth and stop growing if there’s codependence, it’s toxic, or it’s quite simply stuck in the past.
  • If we try to distance ourselves with “hurting” the friend, we run the risk of behaving like that person who tries to come out smelling of roses after ending the relationship. When we focus on how we look, on wanting to be Mr(s) Nice Guy, we’re far more likely to be inconsiderate of the other person’s feelings because our motivations are skewed.

Links mentioned

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