Keeping a group of close friends is not always easy, as everyone needs to keep their personality and fit in with the group. The right mix of personalities, an open mind, and a willingness to forgive everyone's mistakes will keep your friendship going for the long haul. However, when things don't take the turn they want, or a competitive spirit sets in within your group, some may feel victimized or left behind. These behaviors can be subtle or more explicit, and they won't always be directed at you: however, it can get unpleasant and make you want to move away from that group of friends. Occasional disagreements are a part of group life, but if being part of it makes you feel depressed, anxious, or disparaged, it is important that you stop dating so that you can regain a sense of well-being.
Step 1. Analyze your state of mind after a day spent with your friends
If you are feeling upset or unhappy, this is a sign that things need to change. The unity of the group may not be in danger, but if you question your place in it, it's time to make some new friends.
- Do you feel pissed off after spending time with your friends? Is it a rare feeling or a sensation that comes back every time you see them?
- Do you feel that they are trying to keep you away from the rest of the group?
- Spending time with your friends makes you feel pissed off? Did you get up on the right foot before realizing you were upset after leaving your friends?
- Are conflicts common in your group? If so, it is possible that a climate of competition has developed between you.
Step 2. Think about the connections between you and find out what has changed
This can be more complicated to understand than for a friendship between two people. However, by reflecting on what originally united you, you can better determine whether that reason is still valid or not, and if the loss of this common ground is preventing your group from functioning healthily. If this reason can be difficult to identify, here are some recurring cases within a group of friends.
- Your group was formed when you were children. In this case, the bonds you have are very strong, but can quickly fall apart when your lives take different turns. We all grow with our jobs, our moves, our marriages and new perspectives and it can drive a group of friends away.
- You met at work. Sometimes it is easier to spend time with colleagues. However, personalities are likely to be very different in a more personal context. Your group can also fall apart if some of its members change jobs, thus losing the main common point that united you.
- You met thanks to your children. For example, you have met the parents of your children's friends and shared common concerns. These friendships are very important when dealing with the challenges of parenting, as they support us through every stage of this new life. However, it is possible that you have nothing else in common, or that competition sets in between you and your children, making your relationships more complicated. Another example of separation can occur if your children no longer spend time together.
- You share a common interest such as your faith, your education or a sporting activity. Your links can therefore disappear with the loss of this common interest.
Step 3. Determine if you have changed
It is not always easy to realize that you are the one who has really changed. There are positive and negative aspects to it: it is natural to evolve and mature, but sometimes it means losing sight of our friends who do not evolve at the same rate as us or do not necessarily appreciate these changes in the world. our personality. Whether you've changed for better or worse, your group of friends can seem like a hindrance or even a burden holding you back. If you are often upset when spending time with your friends, you may feel like they are preventing you from moving forward or being the best version of yourself. Start a topic of conversation on a topic that is close to your heart and watch your group of friends react: if they seem disinterested, flippant, or evasive, you might just be off the same page.
If your friends make you sad, miserable, or confused, realize that it may not be your fault. First of all, change is inevitable and part of life. Second, it's possible that your friends have changed too and are no longer the people you have bonded with. Rather than letting yourself be swept away by a dynamic that no longer fits you, it's time to take matters into your own hands and think about your own happiness first
Step 4. Determine if your friends are having a negative impact on your morale
If you feel pressured to act in a way that is not for you or that the values that held your group together are no longer the same, it can lead to behaviors that are harmful to the members of the group (although not all will be able to realize the negative effects of these changes). For example, complaining, blaming others, spreading rumors, disparaging a group member, and blaming others for their own mistakes can foster negative dynamics within the group. Here's what you need to consider.
- Has spending time with your friends made you quicker to spread rumors or judge others? After spending a day with your group of friends, you may realize that you are tougher on others (when it wasn’t a trait of your character). Do you feel like you have become suspicious of people outside your group?
- Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed by events? Do you feel like you have to comply with the wishes of the group? Absorbing negative energies from your friends can be exhausting.
- Do you feel like your friends are preventing you from following your ideas or your ethics? Do you feel like you have to hide what you are really thinking?
- Do you feel like you need to act on what your friends think? You may feel like you are no longer making your own decisions or being judged if you act differently from the group.
- Is your group of friends preventing you from seeing your other friends and family? This isolation phenomenon can be dangerous.
Step 5. Determine if you care more for your friends than they would for you
True friends will not only be grateful for your concern, but will also push you to take care of yourself and consider your needs and not just theirs. But in a toxic friendship, you may find that your friends only think of them and never of you. This imbalance will never be to your advantage and, more importantly, you must understand that this is not about true friendship. Here are the signs that your friendship is not balanced.
- You just lost your pet and your friends don't care or don't care. They don't call you to cheer you up and don't care about your well-being. These important events in our life allow us to realize who our true friends are.
- Your friends only want to talk about their problems and don't care what is going on in your life. By becoming your friends' personal therapist, they may have forgotten that you have feelings too.
- Your friends don't think about wishing you or celebrating your birthday. True friends always think of these important dates, so if your group of friends tend to forget about them, it indicates that they don't really care about you.
Step 6. Weigh the pros and cons of staying in your group of friends
Be honest and answer sincerely the questions posed above. If you have a real reason to stay with this group, give it a second chance. But if you don't see any good reason to keep that friendship, it's time to embrace your courage and the decision that lies ahead.
- Being friends for years is not a good reason to stay with this group, and it shouldn't make you forget that you have moved in opposite directions.
- If those reasons are that your friends are your neighbors, co-workers or teammates, that is not enough either. Friendship is not about convenience. If you have to spend time with these people, because you work together for example, don't try to convince yourself that they are friends, but take it as it really is.
- If you can't find any reason to continue spending time with these people, there's nothing stopping you from moving on without them.
Step 7. Take your time before making new friendships
You may feel reluctant to make new connections because things haven't gone so well with your old friends. Take the time to bond with one or two people to regain your self-confidence. Do not be afraid either that you will no longer find this group dynamic: this type of friendship will not necessarily suit the person you have become or your aspirations.
- Rather than ending your friendship with everyone in the group, you can continue to see some of them. Invite them over for coffee and determine whether or not it is possible to maintain your friendship outside of the group. This won't always be possible, but at least be sure to give it a try.
- Decide on the best way to stop seeing your friends - you can say you're too busy or avoid their calls. Don't be rude when you reduce or cut off all contact with them.
- Be careful if you want to join a new group of friends.
- Some people will find you funny for the first few months, but when they start to tire of you being there, they can put you down. Don't try to fall back into a new friendship immediately and learn to be alone.
- Do not discuss your problems in this group with mutual friends. You could pass for a vindictive person or spreading rumors.
- Don't force yourself to do something you don't want to do. Some people like to cause trouble, but don't be swayed by them. True friends should not seek to change you, but on the contrary, will want to see you happy and positive. Do not be persuaded to smoke at school, as it is dangerous and you could be fired.
- If your friends hurt you, report them. Some people will use you to be popular or have more power: they can also hurt you (physically or mentally). Talk to an adult you trust, they will advise you on what to do next. If you are not under adult supervision, call 911. The police can possibly intervene in the most serious cases.
- Don't yell or curse your friends. It is not appropriate to respond to pressure from your friends by insulting them. Talk about it calmly so that your friends can change their attitude and act more amicably with you.