Over the past weekend, I found myself needing to be in different situations that put me in close proximity with people that I used to have close friendships with. It's hard to explain at what point we went from being great pals to being people who are friendly on a "need to" basis. Does this happen as we get older? I find that it does happen in my life. These friendships did mean something to me at one point but how does a friendship end up on the other side of bff (best friends forever) to bt (barely tolerated)?
I know that, for me, and my ever changing moods, I have found that I am less tolerant. I don't like to spend a lot of time and energy on the friend who tries so hard to make me feel like they are better than me, or tries to outdo me or feels that they have to constantly blow their own horn. I don't think that friendships should be a competition.
I also know that in my ever changing moods, I no longer tolerate bad behavior and back stabbing in friends. Junior high, high school and college days are long gone. I no longer want to feel like every move I make is going to be food for the gossip queens.
I don't know what motivates these friends to act like they do. I am a good friend and a loyal friend and I have lots of friends. But, my mood is now seeing some people very clearly. I am seeing things for the first time. It is very liberating when this happens. When I was younger, I would worry about everyone liking me, making everyone happy, worrying if they were angry with me, needed to always have everyone happy. It was exhausting. And, I don't need the exhaustion, these days. Now, I find that I quietly step back and eventually out of some of these friendships that are no longer good for me. There is never a big blowup or girl fight or talking about it behind their backs. I am a polite un-friender. I fade out, I smile and am attentive when I run into them but in the back of my mind, I am so happy that I am seeing things for the first time because it makes my life so much less complicated and draining.
I think that as we get older, it is important to know that if a friend is no longer making you happy and all that you feel is stress when you are with them, something needs to be evaluated and changed.
So, in my ever changing moods on friendship, I do cherish each and every friend that has ever entered my life. Some of those friendships have stood the test of time and I know that these friends will be there to the end. Other friends have faded for reasons like moving or interests changing and then you have the friends who make it a sport to try to make you feel bad. And these are the friends that once you see them clearly, you can make the final and liberating decision on just where they will fall once you decide that something needs to be done.
I am not a mean person. I am just a person who is able to stand back and examine. I think this comes with age and experience. I know that the friends I have are in my heart for a reason and then friends that I have had to let go, I cherished at one time, but am wise enough to now know that they must go.
What about you? Do you have these revelations when you are seeing things for the first time?