Friday, February 11, 2011

When Friends Change

Even though it is fantastic to have friends, some friendships just do not last forever. When friends change or when friendships change, it can be difficult. You'd like to think that all of your best friends will always be there for you, but sometimes friends change. This might be a change for the better, and it can work great with your friendship. But, it might not be such a positive change, and if that is the case, your friendship might have to end. If your friends are changing, its important to know what you can do about it and what you should do about it.

Good Friendship Changes

Change is a natural part of growth. When people grow, they change. As people get older, they have different ideas. Sometimes, people change as they learn more things about the world, or as they have experiences that teach them things. You might feel sad and even angry when your friend is changing, but remember that you've probably changed during the past few years as well. This is a natural part of growing up – like moving from rated PG movies to PG-13 movies, or from liking Zac Efron to drooling over Johnny Depp. If you can hang on to your friends as you all change, you'll find that your relationships will get stronger.

Not-so-Good Friendship Changes

Although everyone changes, sometimes a friend changes in a different way. You might have a friend, or even a group of friends, that go in a totally different direction from where you are going. This might make you feel left behind. It might be that your friend is suddenly into things that you don't care about, or is hanging out with people that you really don't want to be friends with. Most of the time, friends don't do this in order to hurt you. It is simply a matter of growing up – changing feelings and beliefs, as well as attitudes and interests. But, of course, it still hurts to feel left behind.
Sometimes, when your friends change, you might be tempted to pretend that you feel a certain way, or that you want to change along with them. This isn't a healthy thing to do, though. You have to be “real” and honest about who you are and what you feel. Don’t think you need to change who you are to be around a certain group of people. You can never keep that up for very long – and you won't feel good inside, either.
As your you and your friends grow and change, even if you are sad about it, try to remember that this is a natural process, and you'll find friends that are more suited to you. Changing friends is part of life – and a necessary one – because as certain friendships grow apart you'll learn the things about yourself and the kinds of friendships that you want to have. You'll think more about what you want to look for in a friend and you'll learn about things that you want to avoid having in a friend.

Special Situations

Something to consider is that some friends are only meant to be in your life for a single reason, or a single part of time. When these friends have served their purpose (or you have served your purpose for them), you'll both move on to new friends. Everyone is put into your life for a reason.

Bad Friendship Changes

If you have a friend that starts to hang out with someone new and the new person is a bad influence, your friend might change without even realizing it. If you can help your friend see that they are not changing for the better, you might be able to help them change back to what they were – with your support. However, if your friend is changing in a negative way, and doesn't want to listen to you, or refuses to recognize that they are taking part in dangerous behavior or bad choices, you might not be able to do anything about it. If you are worried about your friend, you can talk to an adult you trust or to another friend that might be able to help shed some light on the subject. No matter how much you like your friend, keep to your own beliefs and do what you know in your heart is the right thing to do, even if it means that you are the one who has to change and move away from your friends.

For You

For your own good, too, remember that hanging out with people who are a bad influence can change your entire life and head you in a wrong direction too.
Changing friends is part of life. It is a part of life from which you can learn a great deal if you take the time to reflect on what is happening and why – as well as what you can do to make the situation turn out as positive as possible. Keep a bright outlook and you will do well.

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