To leave or not leave your friends behind? That is the question!
One tricky aspect of upgrading your life is dealing with your old friends. While you share history, good times, bad times together, you may sometimes feel that you no longer are so a great match on many topic and wonder how to deal with those friendships.
In today’s episode, I share a couple of thoughts on this thorny question.
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If you prefer reading, here’s the transcript:
Is it okay to leave old friends behind as you upgrade your life?
You’ve probably heard this a million times. Someone makes it big, moves out of the neighborhood or the village or their city and leave friends behind. Now everybody is calling them all sorts of names. Is it really fair though? Is it everokay to outgrow your friends and leave them behind? That’s what I’m going to talk about in today’s episode.
Hey, everyone, this is Dominique Andersen. Welcome to StretchandBloom Soundbite where in five minutes or less, I will give you a quick tip to create a life you love.
So, is it okay to leave friends behind? My answer is yes. You see, reinvention is a journey of self growth. More often than not, it is a personal journey. You come to a realisation, a breaking point and you begin to make changes. However, this urge doesn’t always coincide with your friends and associates.
You have to look at it this way. There’s this famous saying by J. Rohn: “You are the average of the people you most spend time with”. If you want to grow, you have to associate with friends who are already where you want to be or friends who want to grow with you.
My observation is that people who do active self development work are never prepared for the fact that they have to leave all friends behind. They struggle, they fight but eventually they realize that they often have to. It’s a tough decision but it’s necessary.
Why would you want to separate? I know separation is not a popular concept in a hyper-inclusive culture but to put it this way: in every decision, there’s a separation. When you eat, you’re not fasting; when you sleep, you’re not awake; when you walk, you can’t be sitting. You know it’s fact of life. You make a decision, you make a selection and as a bye product there’s an exclusion.
I have a super silly example that I love to use to illustrate that. When you bake a cake like a chocolate cake, you need chocolate and you have broccoli and mustard in your closet, you’re not going to use the broccoli and the mustard. It’s not that you have something against the broccoli, it’s not that you hate the broccoli, it’s just that broccoli doesn’t make sense in your cake. Well, it’s the same thing in life.
Sometimes you have to exclude things that are not in line with where you need to be. To talk about friends is not a combination on the people, it’s simply an understanding that what they do, where they are, what they dream of is not what you dream of and there’s an incompatibility.
Another thing is you have to realize that unfortunately, people will attack. If you’re lucky and you’re growing, you’re doing all these improvements in your life, your friends will want to grow with you. That’s the best scenario. But if you’re not, you also have a duty to protect yourself and put yourself in better circumstances.
You may think “what if their feelings get hurt?”. Well, they’re living their lives the way they please and you have the right to live your life the way you please. Your job is to protect your dreams and to be the best version of yourself you can be. Sadly, many times the people we call our friends don’t always have our best interest in mind. They love in a way that they appreciate the social aspect of the friendship or company. But they don’t necessarily want to grow and it’s a lot easier to call you a bunch of names than to do the work. And as you grow, you’re holding a mirror to their faces and they may not like what they see. You’ve probably heard the expression “shooting the messenger” and when you grow, you are the messenger and they may shoot.
As a conclusion, I want to congratulate you for taking the journey to improve your life. It’s not an easy road, hopefully, your friends will join you in this journey. But if they don’t, you don’t have to cut everybody out but there are two things you need to do: first, also surround yourself with people who want to go where you want to go and second, be ready to move on of your friends react poorly to your efforts.
Thank you for listening, if you’ve enjoyed this tip, make sure to join my inner circle. That’s where you’ll get access to all my in-depth tips. To join, got to stretchandbloom.com/innercircle.
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