12 Ways To Accept That People Change And There's Nothing You Can Do

One of the saddest things to realize is that certain people are just not who they used to be, that people you once considered best friends are now, at best, strangers.

It's not that there's been any major falling out or pivotal movement when a friendship may have changed, but as C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it: "Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different...?"

Isn't that what always seems to happen? You and your friends are headed into the real world, ready to take on anything that comes your way, but when push comes to shove, you realize some of your friends are nowhere to be found?

Where were these friends when you got a new and exciting job? Were they celebrating, jealous or simply MIA? Where were they when you got your heart broken? Were they by your side or unreachable? Where were they when your world seemed to be falling apart? Were they immediately there for you or did you have to hunt them down?

Do you find yourself thinking it's your fault they aren't around anymore? Or do you think their actions have somehow sabotaged your relationship?

The sad reality is most of the time, the dissolution of your friendships wasn't due to either of these reasons.

So how do you come to terms with people who just are no longer who they used to be?

1. Figure out who you are without them.

OK, so the person you thought was going to be there for the rest of your life suddenly, well — isn't. What do you do now? The answer may seem obvious, but unfortunately that isn't always the case.

At the end of the day, you are an individual, and it's up to you to create a life worth living.

Figure out your priorities, get a new hobby — do anything that teaches you how to be OK without him or her.

2. Distinguish between what you want to do and what you felt obligated to do.

In any type of relationship, regardless if it's an intimate one or one of pure friendship, there will always be compromises to be made.

The best part of a friend breakup is the sheer fact that you don't have to continue doing the sh*t you never wanted to do in the first place.

3. Recognize it's not a personal attack; they're just lost.

In life, the journey is the destination, and sometimes, when it comes to old friends, your journeys just aren't headed toward the same destination any longer. Don't make the mistake of thinking you did something wrong.

Rather, try and realize these people just doesn't have their lives together.

They need time away from you, their constant source of support, to figure out how to navigate life on their own.

4. Stop helping people when it's hurting you.

It's really unfortunate when trying to maintain a friendship results in complete and utter mental anguish.

There really is a breaking point where you just have to let go for your own mental sanity.

5. Establish that your timeline isn't the same as theirs.

Some people don't grow at the same pace, and that's perfectly fine.

What isn't OK is when you are holding yourself back because of other people's inability to move forward.

6. Realize that judging others is a waste of your time.

Yes, your friend was once your confidant, your soulmate and the person you thought you'd never live without, but guess what? You're living without that person and on your own.

If a person can't hold up his or her end of the partnership, it's his or her loss, not yours.

Yes, it'll be painful realizing this person you once knew is nowhere near how he or she used to be, but holding on to an empty friendship will cause you a lot more pain in the long run.

7. Accept that some people were meant to be in your life for a moment, not a lifetime.

The length of a friendship doesn't invalidate the experiences you've shared and the things you overcame together.

Not all friendships are lifelong despite how much we wish they were.

8. Don't spend all your energy on trying to make things work when they clearly won't.

Life is f*cking difficult. There is no way around that statement, so when there is something blatantly making your life more difficult, it's time to make a change.

Of course, this is easier said than done, but once you've done it, you'll be asking yourself why you haven't done this sooner.

9. Learn when people are being fake so you can teach yourself to be more real.

There is nothing like a toxic friendship to teach you the right way to carry and conduct yourself.

You will learn to stop settling for mediocrity and start demanding realness. Unfortunately, realness is quite difficult to come by.

10. Acknowledge that it's better to have one real friend than 100 fake ones.

As you get older in life, you realize how important it is to keep your circle small. The amount of friends you have isn't nearly as important as the quality of friend.

11. Comprehend that the lessons these people teach are more valuable than they are.

People come into your life to teach you lessons, and sometimes, these lessons take a little longer to learn than others.

Despite what many people believe, you can't measure a friendship by the amount of time you've known one another.

12. Understand that they may not be who they used to be, but neither are you.

At the end of the day, the person you used to be isn't a reflection of who you are today.

You may think your friend has completely changed, but at the same time, so have you, and it's not always a bad thing.

For more of her thoughts, humor and ridiculous opinions follow Ashley Fern on Instagram and Twitter.