When I go through my Instagram feed and watch Instagram Stories, I am always surprised to see that many people still hang out together. Some people are enjoying the newly formed group. And others are still hanging out together after 5+ years. When I looked at my history of groups, I realize, I belong to all of them. But at the same time, I am not counted in the inner circle. It does not bother me at all if you are thinking that. I was and will never be a blind loyal friend who follows. That is not me. However, this thought set me back to my past with all the problems I had with my friends. Summarized, I always outgrew the current circle and I was looking for something new. Here are 10 signs that you have outgrown your friends based on my experience. Enjoy.
1. You do not feel welcomed anymore
Back in my Highschool time, I was always a follower. Moreover, I had no opinion, no assertiveness and I always backed up when a conversation gets too intense. I was always a ghost. Somewhat with them and hanging out but I felt there was no deep connection overall. This feeling was confirmed when I once met up with them. I came later than the agreed time. When I finally showed up they were talking about a teacher. I was happy to see them and greet them with a big smile. However, they ignored me. Even when we were not friends. It is common sense to greet each other. But they did not. I felt sad and I really wanted to go. But my weak-ass attitude prevented me from that. So, I followed them for the rest of the day.
Some of you might relate to my situation. This feels kind of weird and something is not right. No matter the reason for their behavior, since then I had never felt welcomed anymore. So, I started to meet them less, much less.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #1 You do not feel welcomed and appreciated anymore. When you have the feeling that your friends take your presence for granted. Time to move on.
2. There is no connection with your best friends
In every group, there is a handful of friends you feel much better connected. This phenomenon is often seen when the circle is too big. And with time, the group will break down into smaller sub-groups. It is a natural process and I support this as well. Because we unconsciously choose similar people to us and start to have a better, deep connection with them. Best friends should consist of 3-5 people who are friends with each other. Thereby a high variation of opinions and experiences is given. Friends of 3-5 people can help each other better without exposing themselves to falling into subgroups.
Therefore, when you lose the connection to these friends, it feels devastating. You have nothing to talk about anymore and your usual activities do not enjoy you anymore. When this happens, it is time to leave the inner circle with its big group as well.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #2 You lost the connection with your inner circle.
3. They emotionally put you down
The best kind of friends are people who support you without hesitation. If you are the biggest douchebag or the biggest hoe, they still are your friends without judgment. These are people you should stick with forever. And I live this statement. I befriend people who are socially awkward almost creepy and people who are in the eyes of some “really bad people”. But I do not care who they are or what they did in the past. As long as, they are friendly to me, I have no problem telling others that they are my friends and I support them.
Nonetheless, support should be executed and should be granted to a certain amount. No matter how good a person is to me I could never befriend people who drag their problems into my home. And I am not talking about the big problems. I am talking about the stupid, repetitive mistakes/problems. If they bring these problems for the first time, I have no problem supporting them. But after 4-5 times, I bet no one would have enough patience for that. Moreover, every time I listen to it and try solving it, it drains my energy.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #3 If they constantly ask for support about repetitive and stupid mistakes, time to move on.
4. You are not important
Life can be busy. Containing your social interaction upright is exhausting entering work life. After finishing a workday, most of us do not feel energized enough to meet up with friends. Therefore, the weekend is mostly fully packed with appointments. At this point, we have to prioritize who is worth the time. If you are one of the friends who is left out every weekend, you are not important to them. There are various reasons you can guess. Regardless of the reasons, it is a fact that you are not counted as an important friend anymore.
Also vice versa, you sort people out who are not important or worth your time. There must be many reasons why people lead to this decision.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #4 No matter the reason for sorting people out, it is a sign that you outgrew your friends and it is time for new friends.
5. You cannot be yourself
Regardless of your attitude or behavior, it is always time to move on when you cannot be yourself. Because friends should make you comfortable for who you are. When you must think before you talk or act, it is an obvious sign that this group is not suited for you. Therefore, groups will always be formed when they share common traits. I saw many groups formed for partying, games night, entrepreneurship, and eating out.
Here is a small reminder, just because you cannot be yourself in a group because of your behavior, it does not mean you were right. Once you are thinking this way, there is no possibility for you to improve. For example, when you are someone who judges fast and based on what you hear, it will be hard for you to find a suitable group. Even when you are in a group of people who loves to gossip and judge people, the possibility is high that they are talking about you as well.
So try to differ what kind of yourself is good and what should be improved.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #5 When you start to think about what to say and how to act, time to find a more suited group.
6. Your Values and Goals did not fit with your group anymore
This is the best way to find out if you outgrew your friends. Values and Goals. Once your values and goals shift and therefore your priorities as well, you change. And it is obvious when you become someone new, it is not guaranteed that your friends develop with you. For example, you decided to start working out more often and try to eat healthily. You will feel less connected or understood when your friends do not share your new passion.
And at this point, I finally found my answer to the question of why I never had a steady, remaining circle of friends. Because my priorities, goals, and values changed over the years. Not long ago, I talked with my brother and ask him the question. Why do I have no long-term friends? Of course, some people stick around but are never truly 100% connected. I ask myself often: Am I a horrible person? Do I miss the important trait of being loyal? Not having a group like this really made me worried.
But I realize it is not that I am a bad friend. My values just developed too fast. First, I had friends who only played video games. I get bored because I wish to have an active social life offline. Then, I had friends who only consisted of party people and alcoholics. I got my social life and I met many people over the years. But soon, it was too much for me, too much excitement. So, I tried a more laid-back group of friends. Again I was bored really fast and I had enough of doing the same things weeks after week. And I did not want to return to my life of drinking and partying. Therefore, I tried to make my life more challenging. I turned to shift my values once again.
Now, I am at the beginning of entrepreneurship and met many people who think this way. And I expect that it will change once more. Once I start to have a family. But who knows.
To summarize, my life changed a lot in 7 years. And I think it is a good thing to change your circle of friends. It does not automatically mean you are a bad person. It just means you change for the better and you want better things.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #6 When you are unsatisfied and therefore change your values and goals, it is a good sign to move on when they are not sticking with you.
7. The only thing you have in common is the past
If you are friends with people who only share the past. It means the only common thing is your past. You have different interests, different goals, and different values. This is a clear sign to move on. I know many people who hang out with people for the sake of the length of their friendship. Like they want to impress other people with the years they know each other. Just like expressed with the Snapchat Hot-Streak, it is not a thing someone should be impressed with.
I was insecure about that for some time now. But I realize it is not the length of a friendship, but moreover the quality of it that determines true friendship.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #7 The only thing you have in common is the past. And you share no other interests or goals anymore.
8. The usual activities with your friends no longer interest you
This is the tip of the iceberg of the problems with your friends. When you start to feel bored with the activities you usually love. Then this means your friends bore you, not the activities. And there can be many reasons for that. For example, you used to make fun of people who post a lot on social media. But then you start a business and you have to do it. Now it feels weird to talk about it. Because you are one of the victims now. The same goes for drinking. You guys used to drink a lot. You are fed up with it and stopped. Now at every group meeting, you are the only one who drinks water. How awkward. And you might have the feeling that your friends do not like it and they had or will talk about you.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #8 Activities that you once loved but now hate are a good sign that you outgrew your friends.
9. You stop sharing your life
At the beginning of my journey as an Entrepreneur, I experienced many things about it. For a small period of time, I tasted the benefits as an Entrepreneur. The freedom to do what I want, when I want, and how I want, is still the best part of this lifestyle. But most of the time, I was worried. Will this new idea bring in more sales? More traffic? A better website performance? My life is right now a rollercoaster. So many ups and downs. In addition, I finally understand the hardship of it all. It is not about how we start. It is all about how long we can keep this up.
So, I told a lot about it with my friends. They are good listeners and they are always backing me up. Of course, they helped me in a field that I had no clue about and gave me many tips from their professional fields. I am and will be always grateful.
However, I stopped sharing my journey with them. Because I feel like I was showing off or crying too much about the problems. But the real problem is I did not feel supported. When I was at Axel Springer and decided to resign, I was bombed with neglected feedback. I was told that this decision is stupid and overall not thought through probably. I felt insulted. Of course, they want the best for me. However, they assumed that the decision was impulsive. Since then, I have told them nothing.
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #9 You stopped sharing your life because you feel not supported.
10. You are the only one putting in the effort
Another tip of the iceberg, you are the only one putting in the effort. And of course, there are many reasons for that, as well. It shows when you are the only one who tries to meet up with them, keeping up with their lives and offering any kind of help. Furthermore, it is sad to see if you are only asked when you are needed. For example, one of my friends who I thought is close only asked for my help. Of course, I offer them my help beforehand. But slowly it turns one-sided. And it hurt more when this friend makes up plans without you. I can relate to how you feel. And you might ask: Am I just a tool for you?
10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends: #10 If it becomes one-sided, time to move on.
Summary – 10 Signs that you have outgrown your friends
Is friendship worth it?
The end of a friendship is always worth thinking about twice. Because you shared a lot of memories, and enjoyable things, and also you appreciate the time they are there for you. That is why the end of a friendship is always a sad chapter of our lives. I cannot say if any friendship is worth fighting for. I had never had such feelings once. Disappointment and anger are somewhat invisible followers. They might appear or not depending on how you deal with your friends and how you deal with the changes. Some people are really vulnerable to losing friends. They fell into depression or change entirely.
Not long ago, I reconnect with a past friend. We chat a bit. And I thought, should I be friends with her again? I made an analysis of it. But the contras overweight the pros. She is one of the people who will pull me emotionally down. And I decided against it. My life right now is exciting and I do not need any dead wood that might stop me to live this life.
I consciously do not put any kind of countermeasure for each sign. Because I believed that keeping a friendship is not always worth it. Most of the time it is good to end things. So you are ready for something new.
The thing about loyalty, trust, and support
I consciously put no sign in this post about reliability. By that I mean can I trust them, can I depend on them, do they listen to my problems, and are they willing to help. For me, and I think I belong to the few ones, it is not part of a friendship. I do not define my friendship with these reliabilities.
For many people, these traits are the whole purpose of friendship. To rely on each other by supporting, trusting, and being loyal. But for me, it just translates to ‘I cannot do it on my own. Please help me!’ Even though, my problems that were solved by friends could be solved by me with time. I would research or ask professionals about it. It does not mean I am not grateful by the way.
demanding loyalty from someone means: ‘I can gossip with you about others. Knowing that you will not tell them about how bad I talk about them.’ Loyalty is just a cheap excuse to gossip without being exposed and freely. Sometimes when I hear people talking about loyalty, I imagine I am in an episode of Game of Thrones. Only in situations of life and death, I can excuse the importance of loyalty. In our life? I see no reason at all to be loyal. Being loyal is similar to trusting. Same shit different word.
Support is another thing that makes me throw up. I hate people who complain about every problem. Moreover, they cry about them, making them weak. Especially for men, I heard from many friends that a 24/7 complaining guy is just unattractive. Who wants to date him? And more importantly, it is not the job of your friends to deal with your problems. Listening alone should be good enough. But demanding more? Please.
There is a reason people gossip.
Friendship – Nice to Have
What is friendship? I think friendship should never be defined as essential. It is nice to have best friends. But never a must. Furthermore, there are many kinds of friendships. I have many friends and more importantly, I can befriend many people. However, I never attach to them to close. Not because I am afraid of betrayal or disloyalty. Moreover, I do not want to be involved in drama. And if I have to pay the price to be just a friend. So be it. I might start to enjoy the time alone working and I have better things to do. And talking about people is not a thing to fill my free time.
In addition, I will never ask people for help when it comes to emotional issues, again. I stopped expecting help from others. First, because I do not want to be seen as weak. Second, this might sounds arrogant but I have bigger dreams than most of the people I know. I want to talk about our dreams, business idea, and the future.
Nevertheless, I developed a specific level of useful advice for couples or life in general. Here I am willing to help. I am a good listener and I will do everything. In return, I expect nothing. This way I will never be disappointed.
I sound really biased about this. Because I changed a lot after 1,5 years. No wonder leaders and intellectuals are mostly on their own.