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Ask Bee: ‘When Should I Say Goodbye to Old Friends?’

Dear Bee,

I am in a state of confusion! Lately, I have been doing some introspection because I can truly say that I want more out of my life. During this process I started to look around at the company I have been keeping. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hang with a bad group of friends; although there are a few friends who make me terrified of the phrase “you are your friends”. If it’s true that “birds of a feather flock together”, then there are a few people that I don’t want to be associated with moving forward. My problem/question is that they have not done anything to personally offend, attack, or betray me, so is it wrong for me to say good-bye? Please help me…

Thanks,
Trying to Do Right and Grow

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Dear Trying to Do Right and Grow

First, let me congratulate you on taking the step to look inwardly; it is not an easy process. The process of growth can, at times, mean moving on from things and/or individuals. In your case, it does mean that you will ultimately say good-bye to some of your friends, but the good-bye does not have to be dramatic or eventful. I have come to learn that ‘different strokes for different folks’ is part of what makes the world go round. In saying that, we have to recognize that some of us want to continually grow while others are just fine in staying put where they are. Neither is right or wrong; it just is. Try talking to your friends about how you would like to see yourself grow. Some will be receptive and support you and there may be a few others who don’t want to have anything to do with the process. And there could be numerous reasons as to why they don’t want to grow but your main concern is becoming a better person. Moving forward is about you and not the people around you; you cannot change anyone’s behavior only yours and how you react to them.

Here’s a tip – become busy in the new things that you are inspired to do. When the friends that you rather not hang with call to invite you to do something, you can let them know that you already have plans. But be nice about it. Blame it on scheduling since no person wants to hear “I don’t want hang out with you anymore because I’m growing and you’re not.” Over time your not being around these people will become the new normal. You can still have phone conversations or text to see how they are doing but the more constant interactions no longer exists.

Keep your head up,

Bee

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