Let's face it, watching your best friend grow with people you don't know can be challenging. It makes it very easy to start comparing yourself to your friend's new friends when you have so much history together. From energetic dance parties in your room to the crowded halls of high school, you've always been known to be a packaged pair. But all of the sudden, you're both talking less and are forced to keep up with each other's happenings through updated Instagram pictures or a status on Facebook. It's frustrating, and unfortunately a stage that many cherished friendships go through.
Although most people say that you find your lifetime friends in college, I had a hard time accepting that my best friend had formed an extremely close bond with her new friends from school. It seemed silly, but deep down I struggled with the fear that I was being replaced. I was scared my best friend would no longer need my support, the laughs, and that compassionate shoulder to cry on during the rough seasons. We had been inseparable since seventh grade, but suddenly, it seemed that she didn't have time for me at all.
Watching her squad in action made the sting much more painful. When visiting her school, I watched her and her friends hysterically laugh about inside jokes and events they did together. I felt like Annie Walker in Bridesmaids when she makes such a scene at her best friend's bridal shower. Plain and simple; I was jealous and fed up with feeling rejected.
Instead of harboring my emotions, I decided to be transparent with my best friend about my feelings. I didn't expect her to be so open and reassuring that our friendship was in tact and here to stay. But through our talk, I gained so much peace and experienced five major revelations.
1. Hold On To What Makes Your Friendship Special
Yes, your best friend has new inside jokes and bonding experiences with her other friends, but that doesn't erase the massive amount of memories you already share. Remember all of the challenging and fun times that brought you closer together. A good way to do this is to create a memory capsule or photo collage of all your favorite moments with each other. This will bring back confidence when insecurity tries to creep in.
2. Learn New Things About Your Best Friend
You may think you know everything about your bestie, but challenge yourself to learn new favorites, dislikes, and goals in this current season. The beautiful part about growing up is that we change. Don't compare your seventh grade friend to the adult one. Find out new things about each other by trying new activities together. Some suggestions include checking something fun off your bucket list together or having an old fashioned sleepover.
3. Put Time Into Your Own Friendships
Don't become so wrapped up in this friendship that you don't make time for other awesome friends. It's very unhealthy to focus all of your time on one friend when there are so many other friendships that could grow. Join a new club or try inviting a new friend to an event on campus or around town. You will appreciate getting to know someone new who can help you become more open to new experiences.
4. Be Open To Her New Friends
Always give your best friend's friends a clean slate when meeting them. You don't want to treat them negatively because of your own envy. You can do this by finding some ways to connect, whether discovering favorite foods, bands, or even places to travel. Being open will allow you to also bond with the girls and potentially form special friendships, too.
5. Own Your Awesomeness
As we grow, we learn more about ourselves and often change for the better. Be confident and assured that if you continue to put out love to the world, you will always get it back. Love yourself, be your own best friend, and realize that anyone who is connecting to you is already winning.