Friends react to personal growth in a variety of ways.
A select few cheer you on, while the majority react with surprise.
Many distance themselves, as they can no longer relate to your outlook or lifestyle.
Others react with hatred or hostility.
What should you do when your growth has you losing friends?
A “Friend” Who Doesn’t Celebrate Your Success
Is No Friend At All
As you elevate yourself, your old “friends” will try to shame you back into your old sense of self. This is because they want to maintain their social reality. Your character has been placed inside a mental box serving their personal/emotional needs. Never mind the fact these kinds of “friends” have no idea what you’re actually about.
An idealized relationship has no basis in reality.
When you outgrow your own limitations faster than your “friends” can comprehend, it breaks their sense of reality. These “friends” may throw around emotional words such as “loyalty” as a means of keeping you in the crab bucket.
“I feel like you’re being disloyal bro! I’m your loyal homie for life! Come back to yourself!”
On the surface, such a plea sounds like a well-intentioned friend looking out for you. However, your gut will tell you it’s a last-ditch effort to stop you from bettering yourself. It’s easy to get swept up in such appeals when you haven’t developed the presence of mind to deal with them.
Words Don’t Always Reflect The Truth Of A Situation
Every word has an emotional component to it.
Language is an arena of frame.
When a person hits you with noble-sounding appeals, it’s time to double back and observe his/her actions. Many of these so-called “loyal friends” are actually committed to holding you back.
- They never congratulate you when you’re doing well
- They ask for advice and then try to argue against you
- They tell you to “stop it” when you engage in high-value activities
- They call you up only to have one-sided conversations about their self-created problems
Hmm… sounds like a bunch of entitled miserable nonsense.
Real loyal right?
You Can’t Help Those Unwilling To Help Themselves
Sure you may have had “good times” with old “friends”, but if they aren’t willing to grow then it’s time to leave them behind.
When you reach a certain point, your trajectories and lifestyles won’t have anything in common. Growth-oriented people and comfort-oriented people don’t mesh. Making the transition from one mindset to the next will destroy all your old relationships.
You can’t pull a crab up when he’s trying to pull you down.
All you can really do is set a good example with your own lifestyle. Those truly interested in bettering themselves will come to you. No need to force anything.
When you place greater value on your own time, you won’t have any energy to waste on those committed to misunderstanding you.
Social Experience Isn’t Permanent
Nodes such as “family” generally stay around for life, while nodes of “acquaintance” tend to change more often.
Relationships are fluid. Best friends become strangers, acquaintances become friends, etc.
It’s foolish to think in terms of absolutes. Just because a person is your “friend” today doesn’t mean he’ll be the same person 5-10 years from now.
Many people cling to “friendships” as a means of keeping their realities stable, even when such relationships have expired. The excuse for doing so is largely an emotional one rationalized with flowery language. It’s the height of selfishness to force people into mental roles that don’t resonate.
The only thing an average person is “loyal” to is his own stagnation.
Real Loyalty Is Worth More Than Gold
I’ve written a lot about the virtues of friendship, leaving people behind, dealing with fakes, etc. While this attitude is easily labeled as “negative” or “pessimistic” it’s important to recognize things for what they are.
The more a person has to rant about loyalty, the less likely he actually cares about you as a person.
True loyalty goes unspoken.
It’s better to judge people by their actions instead of forcing them into pseudo-permanent boxes of “friendship”.
P.S. By all means show support to those who wish you well.