Friends are an invaluable accessory to life. I've had some great ones and lost some great ones. If you're anything like me, friends mean more to me than family. Friends are hand selected people that you chose to be apart of your life. Family is simply people that you share a consanguinity with by default that you're taught to consistently find a way to remain in each other's lives despite circumstances. - #CPD
The family thing has never completely settled in my psyche. Friends, however, have been truly valuable in my development and I've come to learn a lot about the experience of friendship. I find it important that choosing your friends is an essential skill to learn (so many fail at this). Meaning, understand that the people you associate yourself with make or break who you are. Develop the muscle of assessing what qualities you want to surround yourself with and recognizing them in others. Think about how many times you've developed an opinion about someone simply by the people you see they are associated with. You're not exempt from this assessment. Choosing friends is another post. This one is handling losing them.
Friends are seasonal. Let me explain what I mean by that. When we fall in friendship with someone, it feels great! You've finally found someone that you can connect with, that has like interest and you can trust to infinity. Like love, sometimes there are factors that you can't control and unfortunately as people grow, sometimes their compatibility is stretched and those two people no longer work well together. The friend that you met first day on the job at age 21 may not be suitable when you're a VP at age 39. Life experiences change our perspectives, tastes, priorities and interests. Yours have changed. Theirs have changed. You can't always expect that every person in your life is going to find in every phase of your life. Here are some points to keep in mind as you navigate friendship and lose some that you love on the way.
1. Immerse yourself in the experience of your friendships and appreciate each fun moment that you have. Don't second guess how long they'll be there, question their loyalty or hold back your sincerity or love in fear of getting hurt. Enjoy the season.
2. Your season with your friend can be very short or very long. If it's genuine, then it's worth it.
3. You're only bettering as you get older. More experience means wiser, tougher and more soulful. If your friend isn't compatible with the latest version of YOU, so be it. Your friend isn't wrong (no matter what happened). Your friend is being THEM. If YOU don't like the current version of THEM, so be it. Except that those pieces no longer fit and be open to recieveing a new piece that fit in your puzzle for the next season.
4. Don't be afraid of losing people, be afraid of losing yourself by trying please everyone and fit into their life. You come first.
5. Your desire that things were different, your wanting things to be the same is what is creating the struggle and that consequental hurt that you experience from losing a friend. Once you decide to come to terms and accept that it is over and that you being the best version of yourself is good enough, you'll find that losing your friend is not as big a lose as you think. Even if you did something wrong to cause the friendship to end, that demonstration is simply evidence that your compatibility has expired. You'll be fine.
I tell friends all the time to rely on this simple piece of wisdom. You're always going to do what's necessary to take care of yourself. That means that you're going to be fine despite the circumstances. No, that doesn't mean that you're not going to hurt. That means that you should give yourself fully to any friendship that you decide to enter into and not feel the need to hold on to some of you to help you recover when it comes to an end. What I know for sure is that whether you hold on to some of your pride/ego to protect yourself from hurt or not will NOT stop hurt from happening. You may as well allow yourself to fully reap the joys of friendship and jump all the way in. When it's over, be grateful for the time you had and look forward to a new friend to meet the new YOU.