Sometimes, outgrowing your friends can be hard to deal with, especially if it is someone you are close to.
As you work on yourself and strive to grow, it can be challenging to maintain strong connections with those you used to spend time with.
Outgrowing friendships can happen for a variety of reasons. You may no longer have common ground with the people you once hung out with.
You may have noticed that your conversations with them focus on old memories, or they may unintentionally encourage negative behaviors you are trying to avoid.
Possibly, you find yourself feeling like you are walking on eggshells or constantly defending your life choices.
If you need clarification on whether you’re outgrowing a friendship, here are 10 signs to look out for.
1. No Common Ground
As you embark on your journey of self-improvement, you may decide certain behaviors or actions no longer align with your values.
These behaviors and actions may include late nights at the bar, gossiping about others, or putting up with other’s toxic traits. [Read also: How to Identify Toxic People]
If you struggle to connect with a friend because your interests and lifestyles are changing, it may be a sign that you have outgrown the friendship.
When you no longer find common ground for discussion or activity, you may find the relationship will start to dissolve naturally.
The relationship could naturally end when both parties lose interest in each other, resulting in less communication over time and not staying in touch.
Allowing the relationship to dissolve naturally will enable you to reconnect with your friend if you find common ground again.
2. They Don't Lift You Up
One indication that you are outgrowing your friends is when you realize your pals aren’t supporting you.
You may notice that your friends are not providing you the support you need in various ways. Below are a few ways your friends may lack support:
- Lack of compassion, encouragement, and empathy
- Ignores pleas to avoid specific behaviors or activities that hinder your progress toward self-improvement
- Verbally abusive, even in a joking manner
- When your friends are incredibly competitive to the point of hurting you to win or fail to support you when you succeed
- If your friend encourages you to do things that make you uncomfortable and do not contribute to your self-growth
Indications of unsupportiveness may include avoiding conversations about the positive things happening in your life, bringing up unfavorable incidents from your past, or attempting to discourage you from pursuing your goals.
It’s essential to avoid people who discourage your progress toward self-improvement and make you feel bad for trying to better yourself.
Prioritizing your personal growth is vital, so don’t let anyone hold you back.
3. Pressures You
As you develop and evolve, some friendships may no longer align with your growth if they do not grow in a similar direction.
When working towards making changes to better your future, it’s essential to be mindful of your friends’ influence on your efforts.
If your friend pressures you to make choices that undermine your progress toward achieving your goals, then reassessing your friendship may be necessary.
For example, you have a friend who always goes out to the bar and drinks. Although you want to focus on your health, waking up early to work out, and your job, you decide that meeting her occasionally is OK since you’ve been friends for a long time.
However, when you meet with her at the bar, she pressures you to drink more than you are comfortable with. You know the potential risks of drinking more than you can handle, such as a DUI. Therefore, you want to limit yourself to be responsible.
Determine how your friend handles you not wanting to drink any more alcohol. Do they accept your choices, or do they continue to pressure you? Do they get mad or upset with you?
Your friends need to respect and honor your decisions in your life, especially when you are working to improve yourself and your future.
Your future is in your hands, and it’s up to you to surround yourself with people who will uplift and encourage you on your journey toward success.
4. Doesn't Support Your Efforts
When you strive to improve your life, it becomes essential to reassess your current choices.
Making changes to improve your life can be challenging and takes much effort.
Therefore, having a group of individuals who support you is imperative to making the process easier.
Suppose you find that when you talk to your friend about the life choices you want to make, they discourage you, change the topic, or encourage the behavior you’re trying to get away from.
In that case, evaluating your relationship and deciding if that person is someone you want in your life is essential.
5. Talks About the Past
When you begin to focus on self-improvement and opt for different choices, you may lose some common interests or a shared foundation with friends or family.
To keep the relationship, you may frequently reminisce over the past, but this may not be productive if you attempt to leave behind your old self and become a more improved version of yourself.
For example, you used to have an unhealthy relationship with food. When you were sad, stressed, or depressed, you used to eat more than you should.
An unhealthy relationship with food causes weight gain and unhappiness with your appearance. Therefore, you made a change to improve your relationship with food.
As a result, you choose to live a healthier lifestyle by starting to eat healthy foods and going to the gym regularly.
However, when you meet with your friends, all they seem to talk about is the past diet, appearance, or lifestyle that you are trying to move on from. Reliving these memories makes you sad because that wasn’t a happy part of your life.
If you tell your friends that you would like to move past those memories, but they continue to bring it up, they may not be a good friend who wants to see you improve your life.
Determining if a friend encourages negative habits by bringing up the past that contradicts your personal growth and development will help determine if they truly want to see you improve.
However, if you’re talking about old memories because you don’t have many shared interests, try steering the conversation toward topics you both enjoy.
If you notice that your conversations are starting to feel repetitive, it could be a sign that you and your friend need to find new common ground to explore.
6. On the Defense
If you’re frequently defending your decisions, it could indicate that you are outgrowing your friends.
When you decide to improve yourself, some close to you may resist or disapprove.
However, if your friend persistently opposes or disapproves of the positive changes you’re making, it could be a sign that they are not supportive of your well-being.
Sometimes, people may fear losing their friends when they see them grow, leading to resistance and unsupportive behavior.
If you must constantly justify your choices and explain their benefits, then it might be a sign that it’s time to create some distance from that friendship.
Having a supportive and trustworthy circle of individuals around you who will encourage you and have your back is essential.
7. Feel Drained When You Leave Their Presence
Feeling drained when you leave the presence of a friend may be a sign that you are outgrowing your friendship.
In fact, this is so common that the term energy vampire describes people who drain others’ energy.
According to Healthline’s article, How to Recognize and Respond to Energy Vampires at Home, Work, and More, by Kimberly Holland, “Energy vampires are people who — sometimes intentionally — drain your emotional energy. They feed on your willingness to listen and care for them, leaving you exhausted and overwhelmed.”
If you notice a significant decrease in your energy levels after spending time with certain friends, it may be a sign that they are not beneficial for your mental health.
Feeling drained often indicates toxic behaviors, such as consistently engaging in negative talk, criticizing others, being judgmental, or displaying outright cruelty.
It’s essential to prioritize your well-being and surround yourself with people who uplift and support you.
8. Feels Good When You Don't Hear From Them
If you consistently feel uncomfortable around someone, it can cause anxiety over time, and keeping a distance may bring you inner peace.
That’s why feeling relieved when you haven’t heard from a friend could indicate that the relationship is toxic.
If you feel a sense of relief when you’re not around someone and a feeling of discomfort when you are in their presence, it could be a sign that the relationship is not healthy.
9. Get Nervous When They Call or Text
Another indication that you may have outgrown a friendship is feeling uneasy or uncomfortable when you see they have texted or called you.
Additionally, you may find yourself avoiding their phone calls or texts due to nervousness about speaking with them.
Feeling uncomfortable or nervous may be due to their negative impact on your energy levels or the stress they add to your life through their words and actions.
As you work towards self-improvement, it’s crucial to prioritize decisions that promote both your physical and mental well-being.
Recognizing that a friendship is toxic can signify growth as you prioritize your health and set boundaries accordingly.
10. They Make Poor Choices
As you work towards self-improvement and strive to make better decisions, you must be mindful of the impact your relationships have on your life.
Your life’s outcome is a culmination of countless tiny daily choices, so it’s crucial to surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you to make informed decisions that positively impact your life.
One of the challenges of friendships is that your friends may have yet to grow as you have, and they may continue to make unproductive choices that you left behind.
Being in the company of a friend who tends to make unwise decisions may pressure you to make the same choices you no longer wish to make.
Moreover, being around friends who make poor choices can negatively impact your life, even if you don’t partake in those decisions.
For instance, if a friend gets into an argument or a fight, you may get dragged in just because you were with them.
Therefore, it’s essential to consider the impact of maintaining a friendship that does not work towards improving themselves and the overall impact that can have on your life. [Read also: When is it Time to Cut Off a Toxic Friend]
Your future is in your hands, and it’s important to prioritize your personal growth.
Outgrowing friendships is a natural part of life, especially as you grow and evolve as a person.
Navigating these changes can be challenging, particularly when it involves someone you are close to.
However, prioritizing your personal growth and well-being is crucial. Recognizing the signs that you have outgrown a friendship can help you decide whether to distance yourself or continue the relationship.
Your future success and happiness depend on surrounding yourself with people who uplift and support you on your journey.
So, don’t be afraid to let go of friendships that no longer serve you well.
Sara is a writer for Amora V Lifestyle and is Co-Owner of Elizabeth Besich. Sara previously worked as a Marketing Manager and has her Master’s from Lindenwood University.
Sara studies everything of interest, from psychology, recipes, finances, mental health, and travel, thriving to find happiness and to live a good life.
When not learning, Sara loves all things outdoors, food, and hanging around great company. Furthermore, Sara loves spending time with family, who she is blessed to have in her life.
Note from the author: Through my articles, I hope to bring you joy and peace and that you enjoy it!