Like, I seriously have not seen Tommy in 35 years. Yay for him! But in the current era of mediated relationships, those relationships never have to time out. These friendships fall into three categories: active, dormant, and commemorative. A commemorative friend is not someone you expect to hear from, or see, maybe ever again. But they were important to you at an earlier time in your life, and you think of them fondly for that reason, and still consider them a friend.
Facebook makes things weird by keeping these friends continually in your peripheral vision. Because your camp self is not your school self, and it dilutes the magic of the memory a little to try to attempt a pale imitation of what you had.
The same goes for friends you see only online. It becomes a relationship based on storytelling rather than shared living—not bad, just not the same. If you think of all the things we have to do—we have to work, we have to take care of our kids, or our parents—friends choose to do things for each other, so we can put them off. They fall through the cracks. After young adulthood, he says, the reasons that friends stop being friends are usually circumstantial—due to things outside of the relationship itself.
So we stop expecting as much, which to me is kind of a sad thing, that we walk away from that. But the things that make friendship fragile also make it flexible.
European Journal of Personality. Ong AD, et al. Loneliness and health in older adults: A mini-review and synthesis. Gerontology ; O'Connell BH, et al. Enhancing social relationships through positive psychology activities: A randomised controlled trial. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Yang YC, et al. Social relationships and physiological determinants of longevity across the human life span. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Hall-Flavin D expert opinion.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Thoits PA. Mechanisms linking social ties and support to physical and mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Halter JB, et al. Preventive gerontology: Strategies for optimizing health across the life span.
In: Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. New York, N. Accessed Sept. McCloskey W, et al. Are Facebook "friends" helpful? Development of a Facebook-based measure of social support and examination of relationships among depression, quality of life, and social support. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. If you are persistently surrounding yourself with negative people it will hinder your progression in life.
Why choose to spend time with people that are holding you back when you can surround yourself with people that can elevate you?
If there are people in your life holding you back, you must cut them out of your life. This is the time in your life where you start to discover who your true friends are. Sometimes you just outgrow certain people. I would prefer a rude and honest friend to a pretty little liar. Yes, I do see what I did there. Too many friendships are built around convenience. During the class my instructor repeated a phrase she had said often, but it hit me with a deep profoundness, providing me with a completely new perspective on my situation.
I loved my friends and all we had shared. I could take something from those memories and forgive the natural ebbs and flows of life that had moved us apart. Foremost, I could forgive myself. There was a new view that I could adopt in order to make sense of the changes and loss I experienced in seeing my old friendships fade.
I realized that there were three basic understandings that could guide me toward acceptance and happiness for all my relationships. Sometimes we expect individuals to be all things to us at once or know exactly how we feel. Each of us faces challenges, all of which are not apparent, even to the best of friends.
I learned to see each friendship for the unique quality it offered me. Some friends were great for deep conversations, some were great for a night on the town, and others offered a funny banter. We have to forgive one another and seek fullness from within. If a friendship starts to feel like an obligation, or if you feel guilt, you may be trying to give too much.
You have amazing things to give, and your best friends should want what you are able to share, and not expect more. Think of your friend often, laugh about old times, and share great stories. You can continue to love your friend and experience your friendship long beyond the times of late night phone calls and regular get-togethers. This new perspective offered me a whole new way of looking at all my relationships.
I discovered that I could find a deeper fullness and quality in others by putting things into this view. Photo by Yarns.
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