Personal growth might mean leaving behind old friends.
It can be painful when female friendships end — but at the same time, if the relationship has become stressful or frustrating, it can also feel like a relief. We know that when one door closes another opens, and it's important to stay focused on quality gal pals who are positive-minded while bringing out your best.
When you're truly interested in quality friends, you probably won't have 30 of them, so it's natural that as we mature, friends fade into the past. A study by NBC News shows most people have only two true friends. That might seem like a small number until we consider who we really trust with our innermost feelings. If you have more than two quality girlfriends, that's great. If you have fewer than two meaningful friendships, don't worry: there are ways to cultivate more.
Social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be great places to develop surface-level, online friends. In fact, it has been my source for meeting some of my very best girlfriends, who I treasure with all my heart. Just as you can use an online dating site to meet a great guy for a couple of dates or meet the one that develops into a real relationship or even marriage, you can meet like-minded, quality female friends online as well.
Sometimes, you can upgrade your current friendships. Over time and with effort, a casual friend or concert, movie or hiking buddy can turn into someone with whom you share your innermost thoughts. Think about your friends and consider working toward a deeper bond with one or more of them. Trust your gut feeling: being confident in yourself and your values will help you attract the right kind of friend. (If you'd like to learn more about tapping into that inner sense of self, you can read this article).
Over the course of my own friendships, I've realized that when they end it doesn't mean one person is better than the other, but rather, we were simply moving in different life directions. That's not to say friends must have the same goals in life, but sometimes people are so different that communication and simultaneous personal growth are a challenge. That's when it's time to let go. Since it can be quite painful to lose a friend, this is very important to recognize.
As we grow and mature, we need different support systems in our lives. One particular friend may be a perfect fit for three years, after which you may want to move on to someone who can take you further in your new direction. Another friend could be a great fit for 30 years or longer! If you're both growing in the same direction, enjoy the stability and camaraderie that comes with solid, long-term female friendships.
After a friendship breakup, it's important to keep a clear head and think about the good times. Beating yourself up or thinking negative thoughts about her will always be detrimental to your integrity and energetic vibration in attracting new female friendships. Remember, what you think and feel manifests into your life in physical form. It's a combination of the universal law of perpetual transmutation and the universal law of vibration (that is, what you think about, you bring about). For example, if you can expertly rattle off five things you hate about your ex-friend, your energy is focusing on your "don't wants" and will bring you another friend with the same qualities you disliked.
Just as with a past romantic relationship, practice focusing on the good parts — the fun adventures, the times you supported one another, the times you laughed until you couldn't breathe or the fact that you finished each other's sentences. This positive emotional thinking will draw to you a new friend with the good qualities you're focusing on and enjoyed in that former friendship.
When friendships end, it means two friends are going in different directions and that the partnership has served its purpose. It's okay to let it end. This opens the door for a new friendship.
My Personal Example
When I was 22, I read a magazine article that changed my life. I learned that friendships have a lifetime — a beginning and an end. It put my mind to rest because I had a friend at the time who was a challenge to be around. Unfortunately, she was the only other single girlfriend I had. We were certainly not going in the same direction; her opinions and beliefs changed as quickly as the direction of the wind, so I never knew what she was going to say or do. Now I understand we were friends out of our scarcity mindset: "We have no other single girlfriends."
Reading that article gave me permission to end my friendship with her. I didn't need permission, of course. But when we come upon information that makes sense and feels like it's rescuing us from an uncomfortable situation, we give ourselves permission to make a positive move we may not have otherwise made, or else would have made with reservations. I didn't have anyone to hang out with for a few months, but I noticed that I felt a lot better about myself from that moment on.
I ran into her and her second husband 27 years later in a restaurant. He already knew my name and said, "Oh, you're Kelly Rudolph? She talks about you all the time. It's so nice to finally meet you." I was extremely surprised as it sounded like I'd made more of a positive impact on her life than I had realized. That felt good, but after considering it further, I realized that if she was still the same person, my success in business and coaching, as well as my public persona were most likely the attractive parts of our friendship for her.
Although I've always expressed my gratitude for her and the fun things we did when we hung out together, she is an example of a friend who was out of alignment with my personal growth and where I was headed in my life. From that experience in my 20s, I learned that it's healthier and much less stressful to be alone for awhile rather than choosing the wrong friends out of desperation. Back then I lacked the necessary confidence in myself to feel comfortable alone or to go places by myself. Now I find it refreshing and I'm grateful for all of of the female friendships that have guided and supported me along my path to loving myself and my life. My life coaching clients often say they appreciate me for "walking my talk," and I take that as a true compliment, making my tough lessons completely worth the effort.
I leave you with three undoubtable facts about friendship:
- Female friendships have a beginning and an end based on what both of you need at the time, just like any other relationship.
- All relationships come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When a person's part in your story (or your part in their story) has ended, it's okay to let them go with love and your blessing for happiness and joy in their life.
- There are always many lessons in each friendship. When we pay attention and recognize them, we upgrade our lives to a whole new level.
Kelly Rudolph is a Certified Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Founder of www.PositiveWomenRock.com. Are you tired of stress, lack of confidence and fear about your future? Kelly can help. Begin getting her free Life Strategies now.