A Therapist’s Guide to Navigating Outgrowing Friendships

A Therapist’s Guide to Navigating Outgrowing Friendships

Friendship, like romantic relationships, experiences its fair share of ups and downs. While many people hope for lifelong connections, the reality is that friendships evolve and sometimes fade away as we grow and change as people. At Prestige Mental Health, we’re aware of the complexities of relationships and what happens when we outgrow them. In this article, we will explore the stages of friendship, provide guidance on moving on, and discuss the importance of honoring boundaries and cultivating new, meaningful connections. 

Understanding Friendships and What Happens When We Outgrow Them

Every friendship naturally transitions and progresses throughout our lives, whether it lasts for a simple reason, for a few years, or lasts a lifetime. It’s always important to appreciate each person’s role in our journey. Childhood friendships may become casual acquaintances, while coworkers may become close confidants. However, outgrowing a friendship can be unsettling, and it can be tempting to dismiss the discomfort of that loss or make excuses for the changes.

However, when a friendship fades, the first step towards healthy progress is to acknowledge the pain and discomfort that comes with it. Take the time to sit with your emotions, create a space to express them, and be mindful of your perspective on the friendship as a whole. When you feel guilty, remember that friendships are a two-way street and that the responsibility doesn’t fully rest on your shoulders. 

If you start to see a friendship fade, there can be many tell-tale signs that the friendship no longer serves your well-being. These signs include: 

  • Diverged Interests and Goals: In most cases, friendships end when the goals and aspirations of the person you’re with don’t match your own. As we grow and change, our life aspirations, shared interests, and other values change as well, and that can lead to friendship dwindling. 
  • One-Sided Attention: If you’re attempting to try and reach your friend and they don’t respond with similar enthusiasm, then the friendship is most likely one-sided. 
  • Poor Respect of Boundaries: If the person constantly oversteps your boundaries, then it can be a sign that your friendship has negative traits and has become toxic.
  • Overexcessive Drama: Friends who bring excessive drama into your life often create toxic situations for your well-being, even if they don’t realize they’re doing so. 
  • Constant Belittlement: If the person you’re with constantly belittles and pushes you down, it’s no longer a friendship but a toxic relationship. 

If you’ve started to notice these signs, then it’s time to grant yourself permission to let go of them. Grieving the end of a friendship is natural and valid, and giving yourself the space to heal is important for you and your well-being. Take the time to cultivate new friendships that share the goals and values you have, and by seeking new connections, you can explore new social circles, engage in new activities, and grow alongside those around you. 

Visit Prestige Mental Health and Book An Appointment Today!

Outgrowing friendships is a natural part of life, though it can be painful and confusing. It’s important to remember that true friendships will evolve and change over time, and it’s acceptable to move on from relationships that no longer nourish your well-being. At Prestige Mental Health, we are here to support you, so give us a call at (702) 945-2864 to visit our clinic in Las Vegas, NV, and speak with April Sullivan, NP today.

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April is the founder of Prestige Mental Health and is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who is qualified to practice primary care and psychiatry. She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. April specializes in psychiatric illnesses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD/trauma, bipolar, and schizophrenia.