What to Do When You’ve Outgrown Those Around You

One of the most difficult things about personal growth of any kind is that it, more often than not, leads to the realization that some of the people in your life need to leave it. This can be particularly painful when the friend in question is somebody that you’ve got a shared history with. Maybe they’re an old school friend that you’ve known since you were a kid. Or maybe it’s somebody that you work with and have seen every day for years. Either way, cutting ties can be really hard.

The reason it’s so hard is because it pushes us outside of our comfort zone. We get used to having certain people in our lives. Even if we don’t particularly like them or enjoy their company anymore, we’d still rather have them there than not at all. Even if all they bring is drama, we’re afraid of losing them.

It seems like madness doesn’t it? But humans are such fans of comfort. We categorically do not like the unknown. Better the devil you know right? Maybe so, but all of this quickly comes crashing down when we start to work on ourselves and grow.

I have to say, I think this applies probably more to body positivity and self-love than to any other kind of personal growth. Why? I believe it’s because seeing you love yourself so bravely and so boldly only serves as a painful reminder to those around you of how little love they have for themselves.

This is tough. Especially given the fact that none of us want our self-love to hurt others. That’s not what self-love is. It’s not about arrogance. It certainly isn’t about making other people feel bad. But unfortunately, even if you’re doing your very best not to flaunt your newfound self-love in the faces of others, there’s no way to really hide that glow.

They see it, no matter how much you try to hide it from them (which, by the way, you absolutely should not do because self-love is all about living authentically and being exactly who you are in every moment), and it reminds them of how insecure they are, of how much they hate their bodies, of how they don’t feel like they’re enough and of how much they need to put on a constant and exhausting act to convince the world otherwise.

In this situation, what can you do? Try to ‘fix’ them? Try to convince them to see the light? You want to spend your life converting the world, be my guest. But I would just give you one little warning; you cannot convert those that don’t want to be converted. It can’t be done. All that will achieve is the draining of your own energy.

Maybe the time has come to say goodbye to this person. That doesn’t have to mean a big dramatic conversation with them while you try to explain to them that you’ve outgrown them and sound like a patronising asshole. It doesn’t have to mean any specific conversation at all. Maybe you just make a conscious decision to drift. Stop taking their calls. Don’t make any more plans. Always stay friendly and polite but create a distant and maintain it.

They may confront you about this in time and demand explanations. If they do, you have two choices; try to explain to them how you’ve been feeling and that, even though you’ll always care for them and cherish your memories together, you don’t feel you belong in each others lives anymore, or make up some bullshit excuse. The choice is yours. Neither is right and neither is wrong.

When we have the right people in our lives, we flourish. When we’re surrounded by people who are on the same wavelength as us, the sky is our limit. But when the opposite is true, we’re stuck. Yes, connections and history and memories matter. And there’s no denying that cutting ties is hard. But this idea that true friendship lasts a lifetime only applies if you’re willing to be the exact same person for your entire life, never changing, never growing and never evolving. And that’s just not us is it?

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