Stop Feeling Guilty For Outgrowing Your Friends

Outgrowing your friends doesn’t make you a bad person and don’t let anyone make you feel differently.

In every stage of our lives, we make friends because of similar interests or circumstance.

When we were in middle school, we made friends with people who were in our classes, lived in our neighborhoods or were on our buses…

In high school we made friends with people who played the same sports as us, went to the same gym as us and were around us regularly…

In college, we made friends with people who went to the same parties, participated in the same organizations, stayed in our dorms and had the same classes or majors as us.

At each turn, you might find a friend or two that sticks around through each stage of your life but most won’t… and that’s perfectly ok.

As your lives change, you lose the commonalities that brought you together in the first place.

That doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or wrong with them, you just started to grow apart.

I had a group of girlfriends in college that I was super close with… and we started to grow apart because we really didn’t have anything in common anymore.

When we would hang out, I wanted to talk about Millennial Empire Builders (which was called South Florida Young Professionals at the time) and real estate.

Both of those topics were genuinely of no interest to them and because I wasn’t around that much anymore, I started to feel like an outsider when we would all get together.

Some of them even tried to make me feel guilty for not being around as much which stuck a wedge into our relationship even further.

It sucks but it happens.

Outgrowing your friends isn’t a bad thing.

 

Changing Your Circle Is A Good Thing

If you’re constantly around the same people, your world, opportunities and perspective get really small.

You start to dress alike, talk alike, think alike and care about the same things… Life becomes routine and you become content.

The group comes to a consensus on what “success” is, what “failure” is, what behavior is acceptable and even your values start to align with each other…

It’s sort of like how women’s cycles synchronize when they hang around each other too much (sorry guys, I know how much you love when we talk about that time of the month).

This synchronizing happens in teeny tiny interactions that you don’t even realize have an impact on your own mindset.

Those interactions go something like this…

Let’s say you workout every day at 5am.

You start hanging out with people who go out more often so they’re like “oh come on, you can come out with us and still get up early to go to the gym… Come out with us!”

You all have a great time so you start to do it more often… and eventually, your body starts to fight back and you remember that sleep is actually a mandatory thing your body needs.

You don’t want to ruin your new friendships so you miss a gym day here or there…

Which breaks your routine and you start to go less and less. Before you know it, you’ve gained weight and you’re wondering what happened when you used to be so good about it. You try getting back into it but it’s wayyyy harder than you thought.

After all, breaking a habit takes like 0.02 seconds and building a habit takes about 66 days (as evidenced by the book ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller).

You don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

Changing your circle of friends allows this to happen in reverse, too.

Your new friends can push you to build new, good habits too…

Let’s say you’re a salesperson who does well enough to get by comfortably….

When you start hanging around mega’s who are doing millions of dollars in sales, your level of action and mindset will change and grow, too.

It’s inevitable.

The people that you hang around are the single most important decision that you’ll ever make in your life.

 

As you continue down your growth journey, your friends will change.

Here’s what you have to remember… There’s only a small percentage of people who are committed to being their best selves (and don’t debate me on this… everyone wants to be their best self, but if you take one look at their habits and the conversations around them, you’ll see if they’re actually committed or simply interested… For most people, it’s the latter).

As you start to talk more about habits, reading, mindset, growth and taking action on your goals, the people around you are going to either join you or they’re going to fight it.

That doesn’t mean they’re fighting you… Some people are comfortable with their situation and changing is SUPER uncomfortable. In this scenario, outgrowing your friends is almost inevitable.

That doesn’t make them bad people.

You cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped…

You cannot force someone to grow who doesn’t want to grow…

… and it’s not your job to force them to grow.

The best thing you can do for them is to achieve your definition of success and then inspire them to pursue their own.

People grow into the conversations around them, so inspiring them with your own success and encouraging them to pursue theirs is all you can do for them… So lead by example.

Your priority needs to be to surround yourself with other people who are committed to being their best selves too.

It’s your duty to yourself… or you’ll end up one of those middle-aged men or women who go through a mid-life crisis because you don’t understand how you ended up in the boring, mundane life that you settled for when you were so ambitious in your 20’s and 30’s.

Your duty, responsibility and obligation is to commit to being your absolute best self with as much integrity, compassion and love as you possibly can.

No one believed Everest could be climbed until it was.

No one believed that a mile could be ran in one minute until someone did it.

If you love your friends as much as you say, you’ll be the change maker.

Blaze the path and show them what’s possible.

Stop trying to bring people who don’t want to be brought with you to the top…. Once you’re there, you can always go back and get them once they’re willing to grow too.

You’ll be a better leader, motivator, helper, inspirer (is that even a word?!) and friend when you’ve shown the people around you that reaching your goals is absolutely possible and encouraged.

This article will walk you through the process of sharing your goals with other people (because it truly IS an art) and I also created a whole network audit workbook to help you go through your closest friends and really evaluate your friendships.

The workbook, this article and the article that I just mentioned are all designed to work together. Let’s get your relationships on track with your goals:


Brought To You By Alexa Rosario Admin
I started Millennial Empire Builders in 2014 because Iā€™m insanely passionate about helping millennial entrepreneurs build extraordinary businesses and lead incredible lives.

106 thoughts on “Stop Feeling Guilty For Outgrowing Your Friends”

  1. When my sister became an annoying militant vegan, we started clashing. I didn’t like hanging around her any longer because she became self-righteous and judgmental. I feel she “outgrew” me and began hanging around people with her same commonalities.
    This really hurt, but I learned to accept it and move on. I know now that she isn’t bad for ditching me, and I feel less stressed and anxious. Hanging around her much less also helped A LOT.

    1. I COMPLETELY understand this… Sometimes people go through a life change and they ARE different, and it’s hard for us to adjust to the “new” them… Even if you aren’t an annoying militant vegan, find something that you’re really passionate about… You guys can bond over passion, even if the actual thing that you’re passionate about is different. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you for your response, Alexa. I’ll consider this next time I have to be in her presence. Take care!

  2. Momma Addict says:

    I love this article because it is true. Forever. After entering the workforce, you will make workfriends but as you advance you career, you will have new work friends. Only family is consistent!

  3. Kaitlin says:

    PREACH!!! I love how open this is – I’ve always wondered if I’m doing something wrong when I start to outgrow a friendship. Looking at is as a way of self growth is such a perfect way to look at it!
    – Kaitlin
    kedgotwed.com

    1. I felt the same way until I figured that out too. You owe it to yourself to be your truest, biggest and best self. You will make those people better people too! Don’t let anyone steal your shine.

  4. Jamie Fray says:

    The struggle is real. It is so hard to accept it sometimes when you have had amazing friends in one environment, and then that changes. I’m still friends with those wonderful ladies, but it has definitely changed because we are not interested in the same things anymore. I will always love them–they will always be my friends, but I’ve had to surround myself with people who support and encourage me with what I’m doing NOW, and they have too. Thank you for the wisdom in this post–I love it šŸ™‚

    1. I feel like you were just talking about my life! Hahaha. I know exactly what you mean and it’s awesome to hear that you’ve found people who are supportive of your NOW <3

  5. La Shell says:

    Thanks for this post. I struggled with this for quite some time. It turns out for the best though.

  6. Shell says:

    I’m 43 and I still have the same best friend I had in 7th grade… We talk every day and I love her like a sister… our lives took different paths but she is still my rock…

  7. Ana Catalina Amador says:

    I really like your openness and perspective, I completely agree that it’s ok to understand when you have not much in common and separate for a while, however in my experience I have gotten back in sync with friends that I had separated from as our circumstances started to get similar again. It’s all about understanding what you’re comfortable with and your priorities at the moment.

  8. The Expat Mama says:

    this is SO true. I have a particular group of former close friends, now just facebook friends (and we know how little that means). It’s not that I don’t like them as people still, or that I don’t wish them well in life. I just don’t have anything in common – other than great memories of our friendship past – to keep me close to them. I’ve drifted apart from them and I feel absolutely no need to make an effort to drift back to them again. And it’s so nice to finally feel at peace with that.

  9. Glenna Etzel says:

    This is so heartbreaking because it is true! At this very moment I feel my boyfriend and I shifting away from our group of friends and it makes me sad. The reality is though we live farther away and only get to see them occasionally. Thank you for sharing because it is a reminder I needed that it is okay if we grow apart.

  10. Jos A says:

    This is so true. I only have a handful of the same friends from when I was younger. Every few years my circle seems to change again. You tend to gravitate towards people who have things in common and people grow in different stages. Nothing wrong with it though. Change is sometimes good.

  11. Such an awesome post! I have gone through this at different stages of my life. Like you said, there are times when you simply grow away from people because of different changes in your life. I believe that there is a season for all things – including certain relationships and friendships. Like anything, trying to force something out of season – usually doesn’t end well.

  12. Louisa says:

    I definitely needed this reminder. Sometimes it’s hard letting go but remember that it’s all for good makes it easier for me.

  13. Vanessa Ruiz says:

    This is such great advice and thank you for this permission. I always felt like a horrible person for not keeping in touch with old friends but life happens. You are exactly right, if the friendships can’t grow with us they might not be meant for us anymore.

  14. Chelsie Carr says:

    My two best girlfriends from college recently were in the same state/area as me and got together without even messaging me or inviting me. I lived with those girls for 3 years and was so hurt over it at first, but I realized that we had totally drifted apart and I had kind of outgrown them. It still stings, but I realized it’s not the end of the world. I have new friends and am in a different stage of life!

    1. I resonate with this so much… Three of my best friends from college literally JUST posted a picture on Instagram of them having dinner and it stung a little but I had the same epiphany. Sometimes it just happens. So glad that you’re able to see the bright side šŸ™‚

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  20. Jane Doe says:

    Too bad… I really wanted to connect with my old childhood friends and I felt immense love for them! I just don’t connect and “click” with them anymore! I try so hard to be approach, be friendly nice and funny, but I guess they don’t appreciate the new me.. I guess it’s time to move on! Nostalgia is not going to hold this any longer– we have become the closest of friends to strangers…! It’s a bit exhausting that I always try ! I guess I was holding on to the past them too. We were both expecting old selves and just outgrew each other is all! Dang! Time really does change things, huh? Everything has changed believe it or not– whether it be small or big!!!!! Don’t delude yourself with the past!

    1. You don’t need to dismiss them completely, just love them from a distance! šŸ™‚

      1. Jane Doe says:

        Thanks! Great advice!! šŸ™‚

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