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Dear Dish-It: We're Drifting Apart

Dear Dish-It,


My friend is turning into someone I don’t like. What should I do?


wanted2know


Dear W2K,


First, let me tell you that you are in a very common place. As we grow up we change and as this happens we often drift away from old friends. It is a normal part of life. For the most part, friendships drift apart so slowly that the break is virtually painless. These old friendships are replaced by fond memories of closer times and polite smiles as you pass each other in the halls at school. But sometimes the break is not so easy. If one friend is ready for a change in their life when the other’s not, the end result can be resentment and hurt feelings. I suspect this is what is happening to you.


If you are sure that you and your friend have really grown in different directions, the only way to keep things civil between you is by talking to her before your resentment deepens. Tell her you still value her despite your differences but be honest and tell her that it seems the two of you no longer share the same interests and that you think it would be a good idea if you each pursued new interests alone. Do not end the friendship completely and make your friend understand that you still intend to find time for her. Then stick by your word and still talk to her on the phone, make "dates" to see her, and hang with her at school. Just do these things less frequently. Encourage her to make new friends of her own or help her connect with other people in your new group with whom she may have more in common.


As you and she move on in your lives, never break the golden rule of friendship. Turning on an old friend almost always ends in regret, no matter what the short term social gains may be. It is never worth throwing away a childhood friendship just because she may not be the exact same person she used to be. The memories you and she share can't be erased by a few awkward years; it is best not to turn her into an enemy. Good friendships are hard to come by and should never be lightly dismissed.


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