Ever wondered why we stick around with certain friends and why we drift away from others? Are you wondering why you’re losing a friend even if you’re trying hard to hold on to that friend? They say that friendship is unwavering, loyal and a bond that holds us together for life. But how true is that really?
The truth behind losing friends and drifting away
All of us have special memories with friends.
And they’re still a part of conversations now and then.
But whatever happened to those best friends with whom you shared so many happy times over the years?
You may remember most of their names, and you may be in touch with a handful of those old friends. But your relationship is nothing like it once was.
And however much you’d like to deny that you’ve drifted apart, you can’t hide the fact that your friendship with a good friend just isn’t like what it used to be before.
You may speak to your best friends now and then, but the connection ends there. All of us end friendships now and then, and we may never really understand the real reason why.
Why do you choose certain friends and avoid a few others?
You may assume that you choose your friends based on compatibility or their nature, but in reality, the reasons are far darker than you think.
Why friends really lose each other
Why do you think you’ve drifted away from a friend? Do you think your best friend started avoiding you for no reason at all?
The biggest reason why friends lose contact with each other, or avoid each other, is because they have nothing to gain from the other friend anymore!
It’s strange, but it’s the bitter truth. Friends lose each other because there’s no reason to keep in touch anymore. You may subconsciously feel like you’re having a better time with someone else, which may lead to you ignoring an older best friend because, quite simply, one of you don’t need the other person anymore.
Friends drift apart because they no longer have anything to talk about, no longer have anything to share, and one of you started believing you’re better than the other.
Choosing lovers and friends
All of us have our preferences when it comes to choosing a partner. Can’t the same rule apply to friends too? You stay close to the ones that matter and avoid or even ignore the ones that don’t matter anymore.
In friendship and in a relationship, we need someone who can support us, help us in times of need, and someone who is useful to us. Everything in the world is about mutual back scratching, why not friendships? If you feel like you’d look cooler or become more popular by hanging out with someone, you need to give that someone something else in return to share the same affection towards you.
People like spending time with similar minded people, or people we consider our equals with similar lifestyles or common interests. Really now, would you sit with someone and just blink at each other for an hour? Nope! You would talk about your work, or you’d talk about the problems you have with your respective partners.
Let’s say you’ve climbed the right corporate ladder and become a multimillionaire now. If you’ve cancelled your meeting with a few heads of organizations to hang out over a drink with a best friend you haven’t seen in a year, you think you’d be happy?
It’s awesome to meet your friend, even better if it’s a hot crush. But if you were to sit down and talk, you’d talk about your work and your lifestyle, and your friend may talk about life as a backpack traveler or life at the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. It would take both of you less than fifteen minutes to realize that there are better things to do than just sit down, waste each other’s time and talk about something either of you don’t understand.
Friendships revolve around interests and social status, and as hard as you may try, it’s easier to stay friends only when you’re both equals or share common interests.
When friendships suffer
When people start looking at things in a different way or set different priorities in life, friendships start to suffer.
Sometimes, in friendship, it’s all about who’s doing what and who’s doing better. If you’re out shopping with a friend and you get a scratch card and find out that you’ve won a trip to Hawaii, of course, you’d be delighted.
But don’t expect your friend to be very happy to see you off or welcome you back. You may even have to put up with a bit of slander and bad mouthing because your friend would have told the whole world about how it was actually her card, which you pulled away! But, let’s be logical here. Deep inside, wouldn’t you be jealous and pissed off too if it was your friend who won a lottery? It’s the same thing when one friend passes out of college and gets a dream job.
What’s happened here is that one of you has suddenly got better and stepped over the emotional hierarchy between friends.
When the self confidence or morale of one person in a group goes up, especially when all friends have been equals, the others can’t help but dislike the person. When the balance tilts, the friendship tilts towards the sour side too. Friends start finding flaws and bitch about each other when the balance tilts against their favor.
You know that you’ve felt jealous, even if it was for just an instant when your best chum got something you’ve always wanted. Call it envy if you want, but really, envy is just a sugary word for a sudden involuntary burst of jealousy.
Jealousy kills friendship
Friendships can sour or you can lose friendships even over everyday affairs. We get jealous all the time, and I’m not just referring to winning prize money or marrying a rich bloke. Let’s talk about your life. You hang out with a group of friends all the time.
One fine day, another group of friends call you over and ask you out to have coffee. You shuffle your feet, tug your hair, crane your neck around and look at your friends who’re all too bored to do anything. So you smile at this new friend and agree.
When you get back after having a nice time with your new friends, you sit down with your friends. But they all seem a bit distant towards you. No one’s talking much or laughing much, particularly at your jokes. You hear a few snide remarks about you, and you brush it off. As the days pass by, you go out with this other bunch of friends now and then, and each time, you find your pals getting more and more distant from you.
And the snide comments towards you start getting brutal. Everyone who’s ever been cool or popular has always had to go through this brutal transition of friends.
Your friends weren’t possessive about you. They didn’t have any plans, so you accompanied another group of new friends out. What’s the big deal? The big deal is that it was you who was called out, not one of your other friends. By that small gesture, you’ve shown the others that you’re the coolest one amongst your friends, and the fact that you’re superior has made the others drift away from you. Unknown to them, they’ve marked you as a superior and can’t be with you anymore.
Can anyone ever be good friends?
Well, perhaps it may all be a vicious circle. And you may forever be on the move, changing friends faster than soiled underwear, which is really depressing. Friends will come and friends will go. It’s a part of life, and as painful or annoying as it may seem, there’s nothing you can do about it but to let go and move on.
On a few rare occasions, you’ll meet a few great friends who genuinely care for you and feel happy for you and your successes. While these kinds of friend are hard to find, it’s easier to build a strong friendship when you meet someone who shares few similarities with you when it comes to your profession or your path towards success. Always remember this, two competitors can end up as rivals, not as friends.
Good fences make good neighbors, all of us know that. If you want to share a good friendship with someone, always build your fences, set a few boundaries and don’t cross them too early. Perfect friendships take years to build and only moments to crumble.
The best of friends are those who spend time with each other, stand up for each other and are always ready to voice their opinion instead of feeling jealous or secretly plotting payback. It’s the first step to avoid losing friends and building better relationships.
But then again, is the friendship worth holding onto in the first place? That’s something you have to think about. And even if you aren’t thinking about it, chances are, your friend is subconsciously thinking about it and evaluating you as a long term friend!
So are you really losing a friend or is all the secret jealousy and spite just pulling both of you away? Good friendships need good fences, not ill will. Get that wrong and there’s only one way the friendship can go. Downhill.