Have you outgrown a friendship?
As far as relationships go, friendships have always come relatively easy for me. When I was younger, I was not close to my family. I created my own family through very close friendships instead. In my 20’s, my family became the people that I worked with until I had a family of my own. From my 30’s until now, my friendships have been an ongoing struggle. My home life and family life have been wonderful for the most part, but my friendships have become a grey area. At some point, I got confused about the differences between friends verses people that simply want something from me. When I started to set boundaries in these friendships, because life just brought me to that point, it became very clear that many of my friendships were very co-dependent. I would usually attract people that needed me to take care of them in some way or another, either someone that needed me to lift them up, make them feel better, or sometimes even carry them altogether. When I began focusing on my spiritual awareness and growth, I uncovered this pattern within me. It would be nearly 10 years later that I am finally allowing myself to release co-dependent relationship patterns. Sometimes, what you know, regardless of how healthy or unhealthy, feels safer than what you don’t know and therefore you resist letting go of what you have outgrown.
To Dance or not to dance, that is the question
With most relationships you create a rhythm between you that becomes your dance. You become partners weaving and bobbing together to a synchronized beat. You begin to predict what your dance partner’s move will be before they even make it. In order to be a good dance partner, you have already pre-meditated your dance moves and you know exactly how you will move based on their movements. Eventually, this becomes so automatic that you don’t even know you are dancing. When you have outgrown your old ways, you will wake up to the fact that you have been dancing to the same old worn out song for eons and you no longer feel like dancing.
An example of an unhealthy friendship dance goes something like this………….. Something good happens to you, so you call your friend excited to tell them and instead of being happy for you, they start to withdraw from the conversation. They start to make you feel bad for something good that you are doing. They change the focus from you to them. They begin to feel bad about themselves and so you start to lift them up, tell them everything will be okay, and remind them of just how great they are. Do you see the dance? Something good happens to you, they feel bad about themselves, and you lift them up and so on. This dance has probably been going on for years and both parties equally agree to ignore their participation and so it continues.
Now, let’s look at all of the ways that this is a toxic friendship. It is not just toxic to one person. It is toxic to both people, because one person pretends to be helpless and uses their friend’s success as an excuse to feel bad about themselves, purposefully taking away from the other person and not celebrating them. The other person uses their friend’s negativity as an excuse to continue putting other people needs before their own in a way that makes them feel unheard and unseen. This will gradually making them feel worthless. Eventually, both people will grow to resent each other. Once you wake up to this dance and you challenge it to move in a different direction, you will challenge the very core of the friendship. Unless both parties have outgrown this dance, chances are this friendship will not survive.
How to recognize a friendship dance that you have outgrown
Think of a friendship that you are always at odds with. Have you found yourself trying to set boundaries with this person in some way only to be met with resistance to your boundaries? Have you tried to communicate how you feel, only to have your feelings be dismissed or ignored altogether? Do you feel worse or better when you are around this person? If you have recognized patterns from most of the above statements, then chances are you have outgrown an old relationship pattern.
Is it time to move on?
How do you know when it is time to let go and move on? Simple. You no longer want to dance to the same song. You wake up and realize that something does not feel right. You may try to communicate your feelings with the intention of saving your friendship. Yet, instead of things getting better, they start to get worse because you brought a pattern into the light that the other person has yet to outgrow. You try and you try to save the friendship, but it just keeps getting worse and worse. This is how you know that it is time to let go. People come in and out of our lives based on the relationship patterns that make us compatible. Once you outgrow your old ways of being, then chances are you have also outgrown a relationship. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Value the times you had together, love the person where they are at, and be willing to love yourself enough to let them go. Then you can move into harmony with the new you that is emerging.
Letting go of a relationship or friendship is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do. This does not mean that your friendship has to end badly or that you even have to stop loving the person. Sometimes it is best to love someone from a distance. Let them go, and know that if they have a place in your life, and you have a place in theirs’s they will return when the timing is right for you both. Send them love and let go so you can make room for new people to come into your life that are more in alignment with the person you are growing into. It could be that it is simply just time to say…………
About The Author
Kelly T. Smith is a Mind, Body & Wellness Practitioner with an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in holistic health care with a concentration in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology. She also holds a certification in Life Coaching & Hypnotherapy. She has been trained in a variety of holistic healing modalities as well, such as: NLP, holistic nutrition, past life regression therapy, homeopathic remedies, essential oils, psychology of intuition, energy healing and many others. Her mission in life is to help you realize your fullest potential, find your hidden gifts and break free from limiting beliefs that keep your true self hidden. She offers one on one sessions & intuitive readings via phone and skype as well as group coaching and online classes.