Drifting Apart...

I've spoken time and time again about cutting toxic friends out of my life, and now I'm the biggest advocate for this!  I think cutting off toxic friends is easier said than done but once I did it, I felt so much better!

I think it's much easier to cut off a friend when they've been so blatantly horrible, because the moment a 'friend' treats me poorly is the moment I start finding ways to cut them off.  I had horrible frenemies in years 10 and 11, and once I'd finished my GCSEs I stopped talking to them and hanging out with them.  Eventually - after a very long period of time - I got myself some courage and cut them off completely, deleting their contact details and blocking them on social media.  I did that in the heat of the moment and it seems harsh, but they completely deserved that because they were so horrible to me and they treated me very badly.  I don't know why I didn't do it sooner.  I should never have been friends with them in the first place, and I now know that I deserved better (and I could have made better friends) but at the time I was struggling with making friends, and I had very low confidence and self-esteem.  Plus, I've always had a bad 'habit' of attracting toxic friends.

But what about the friends you drift apart from?  Of course, I've drifted apart from toxic friends and I've deliberately kept my distance, but what about the friends who were not extremely toxic in the first place?

What about the friend you knew from school?  What about the friend you met on your course at college or university?  What about the friend you met through work?  What about the friend you met in the area you grew up in?  What about the flatmates/housemates you became friends with?

What about the good friends you drift apart from?  What happens then?  What do you do?  Is it bad to drift apart from the people you were once good friends with?

I have had these questions in my head, so for a while I have been going through a personal dilemma, because I have drifted apart from the people I was once friends with.  This did not happen intentionally.  Well, not at first.  At first I felt so guilty, but now I feel as though that this was a naturally course of events.

I had a group of friends I met before we started year 8.  We became friends at the age of 12, but out of all of them, I'm only in contact with a couple of girls from the group, and out of those two girls, I see one of the girls once in a while, we are still very good friends and we talk to each other so often on WhatsApp.

As for my other friends, I've drifted apart from them for several reasons. My life changed, I changed, I moved away and I didn't make staying in contact with them a priority, and when I look back, I realise that some of those girls were not my true friends anyway.  When I was having issues at school they were less than sympathetic, and they blamed me for my problems even though I wasn't the cause of my problems.  I went through a lot of bad stuff at school but none of those things were my fault, yet some of my friends were less than supportive.  We were all young then, but the fact that they were unsympathetic and unsupportive shows me that they were never my true friends, and that's why I'm not in touch anymore.

I had another friend from the same friendship group.  We'd known each other since we were twelve years old and even though she changed schools in year 8 (or year 9) we still stayed in touch and we would meet up once in a while, until last year.  I saw her twice in the summer, and that was the last time I saw her.  Since then I've decided to cease contact, because I didn't like her behaviour at all.  She's my age, but she hadn't really grown up at all, whereas I had matured.  She was still childish and I just couldn't tolerate it anymore.  Whenever we would meet up she would burst out laughing in my face for no reason (even when I would discuss sensitive and upsetting issues), and she wouldn't make any effort to  maintain a two-way dialogue or interact with me face-to-face, instead preferring to stare into space and daydream.  She seemed disinterested, disengaged and bored, like she couldn't be bothered to make an effort.  It was like she didn't want to meet up with me, like she'd rather be somewhere else.  Plus she would always turn up two-and-a-half hours late, so she was very disorganised, and disrespectful of my time.  Since then I've drifted apart from her.  I was angry and upset at first, because we had been friends for over 10 years, but now I don't have any regrets because I don't have time for childish and disrespectful friends, and it was clear that she had no interest in investing in the friendship anymore.  She was disinterested and distant, so I began to feel the same way.

When I drifted away from my secondary school 'friends' there was not a defining moment.  It just happened.  It was a natural process.  But I don't feel sad or devastated.  I feel as though it was meant to be.  If someone wants to be in your life then they will find a way to make sure of that (especially in this day and age of digital media and technology.)  Friendship is a two-way street - both people have to be willing to make the effort to keep it going otherwise it just won't work. I'm still friends with two people from secondary school and I like it that way. :)

Life is a journey.  That's just the way it is.  It's a process.  A friendship is not the exception to that.  I hate the assumption that the friends you make at school/college/university have to stay friends with you for life.  Friendships don't have to be like that!  No-one is obliged to stay friends forever with anyone!  We grow, we change, we mature, we learn, we go through processes and we progress.  Sometimes we change, finding ourselves incompatible with our friends.  Sometimes we outgrow friendships.  Sometimes we drift apart from our friends, and that's okay, but if a friendship is worth nurturing then those friends will be back.  If not, then it's time to move on.

Have you ever drifted apart from a friend?

1 comment

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