As you navigate your twenties, you might realize that some things about the people you hang around with have changed. You may no longer feel that bond you once had with your circle of friends and that's okay. Your twenties are a time of rapid change; they are a time when you may look back and realize how different things used to be.
This is an era of self-discovery and the people you choose to surround yourself with are vital to this process. They influence the decisions you make and the behaviors you engage in, so it only makes sense to associate yourself with people who bring out the best in you. If you find that this is not the case, you probably should be making adjustments.
Here are nine telltale signs that it's time to move on from your friends:
1. You are bored by things that excite them
If your interests are completely misaligned, then what do you really have to talk about? Of course it's fine to have friends with different interests, but if you can't even fathom why they enjoy doing certain things and you enjoy doing the opposite, well, this is just a recipe for disaster. If you find yourself having nothing in common with your crowd, this can lead to the dissolution of a friendship without you even being aware of it.
2. You dread group hangouts
If you aren't looking forward to hanging with your supposed group of close friends, it should be a warning sign in and of itself. These are the people you're supposed to be excited to see, excited to spend time with. If you are becoming filled with anxiety before a group hangout, it may be in your best interest to nix the gathering altogether.
3. Your idea of fun is vastly different than theirs
The best part of having a solid group of friends is all the fun things you can do together. However, when you realize that your ideas of fun are gravely different, you have a problem. You start wanting to do different things, go different places and sometimes even hang out with other people (gasp!). When the things that used to be fun are no longer enjoyable, it's about time to switch up your circle.
4. You feel worse about yourself after hanging out with them
If your friends aren't supporting you and your goals, what good are they doing for you? If you are consistently surrounding yourself with negative people, it will hinder your progression in life. Why choose to spend time with people who are holding you back when you can surround yourself with people who can elevate you? Relationships are supposed to enrich and embellish your life, not aggravate your mind.
5. They aren't reliable
Too many friendships are built around convenience. If one friend is always readily available and one is not, this becomes an unhealthy relationship. You need a mutually beneficial connection, in which both people can rely on each other for protection and comfort. The harder you try to resist your growth, the more difficult this will be.
6. It feels like an obligation to hang out
If spending time with your friends feels more like work than enjoyment, you clearly have an issue on your hands. Lounging with your friends is supposed to be a breath of fresh air, a time to escape from the anxieties of everyday life. If hanging out with your friends is giving you as much anxiety as everything else in your life, this is not a good thing.
It’s not that you’re better than your friends; it’s that you are moving at a different speed, heading in different directions. Of course there’s going to be a sense of obligation to stay true to your friends, but at times like these, you must remain true to yourself.
7. You can only hang out with them under the influence
Getting drunk and high is all in good fun until you realize that's the only time you can tolerate certain people. If you can't enjoy your friends' company in a sober state, how and why do you consider them friends in the first place? Wouldn't you want to associate yourself with people you can hang out with in all states of mind?
8. You feel like you are on a completely different wavelength
Over time, you will continue to outgrow people and situations. It is not enough to recognize this; you must be proactive about it. Sometimes you are left with no option but to leave these so-called best friends in the past. Authenticity is at the heart of success, so you must surround yourself with others who understand this.
9. If they weren't already your friends, you wouldn't hang out with them
As you spend more time with people, you become more aware of their individual quirks and tendencies. These are your friends because they've always been your friends, but sooner or later, you're going to recognize their qualities independently. Unfortunately, however, these traits often become ones that you do not want to associate with.
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures/The Hangover