It’s Natural to Grow Apart from People

You may think it’s a bad thing to grow apart from some of your relatives and friends, but you should stop feeling this way because it’s natural to grow apart from some of them. As time passes, you can begin to see differences between some of your relatives and friends that are not just simple differences but are differences that are incompatible with the core values and principles that define you. While you may have tolerated things they have done in the past that are conflicting with the core values and principles that define you, time may unveil to you that you need to separate from them. I would argue that you made a serious mistake in tolerating them in the first place and never should just simply tolerate people who you claim you love. However, we all do make mistakes and the best thing we can do is acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, move on, and progress.

Although you may disagree with people on many political, social, cultural, and economic issues, it is ultimately their core values and principles you should be more concerned about than their political, social, cultural, and economic viewpoints. You should assess your relationship with people by who they are at their core. You should ask yourself the following query: What kind of human being is this person? Is this the kind of human being I want to be associated with and who is or can be a positive force in my life? Does the good outweigh the bad with this person? If you don’t like what kind of human being this person has become, then you should peacefully sever your relationship and ties to this person. If you don’t believe that the person is the kind of person you want to be associated with and isn’t a positive force in your life, then you should peacefully disassociate yourself from the person. When the good does not outweigh the bad with this person, then it’s time to disassemble the relationship.

Of course, you should not simply discontinue a relationship with some of your relatives and friends without making serious efforts to engage them and talk to them. You cannot worry about how other people will perceive the reality that you no longer associate yourself with these people. There’s no need to go into great details about why you are no longer associating yourself with certain relatives and friends. One of the best explanations is it’s natural for people to grow apart from one another.

When every little aspect about a person begins to irk you, then you know it’s time for you to either take some time away from this person and/or resolve whether it’s time for you to sever your relationship with this person. Far too often, we delay the inevitable when we already know the relationship is really over.

Relatives and friends who disassociate themselves from one another don’t have to become enemies. You can still be peaceful to one another. You certainly shouldn’t just maintain a relationship with one another out of fear of personal information and secrets you know about one another. If those secrets and personal information come out, then just deal with this reality but don’t let fear of those things keep you in a miserable relationship.

Always give your relationships an opportunity to work, but do know when it’s time to end them or modify them. We are all human beings and we all do change. The changes that happen with us may cause us to no longer be connected with others anymore. Accept this natural development and do what is necessary to appropriately respond to this natural evolution.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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13 comments

  1. “It’s sad when people you know become people you knew. how hours long conversations and laughs in the rain become avoiding eye contact on sidewalks as if they were never a part of your life.”. -I agree that it is natural to grow apart from people but it doesn’t always feel good. The lessons learned is the saving grace of it all. Value your relationships and know how to let them go once they’ve run its course.

    1. I agree very much with you. Letting go of some relationships, especially those where something really special has been established, can be quite difficult. We have to, however, face the reality of those relationships when they are simply over. We do greater damage to ourselves and those individuals when we don’t just face the reality that the relationships are over. Thanks for reading and your response!

  2. Relationships fall in three categories: 1) reason, 2) season and 3) lifetime. It is often unclear the nature of a relationship during the course of it. A relationship that we may view as one that is to last a lifetime was perhaps only meant to serve us for a season.

    It is a valuable skill to be able to quickly determine the nature of a relationship.

    1. Excellent response! Indeed, it is a valuable skill to be able to quickly resolve the nature of a relationship. Far too often, people set too high expectations for their relationships and those expectations end up causing them great pain because they were not firmly grounded in reality. Thanks for reading and your response!

  3. I’m all about healthy relationships. There comes a point when you have to evaluate and really determine if the relationship is healthy. I’ve grown apart from certain people in my life and I know it was for the best. What more can I say, totally agree!

    1. Very true. One of the most important things that I want the reader to come away from this article understanding is that it’s natural for some relationships to devolve and no longer continue. As human beings, we grow apart from certain human beings. It’s just the natural order of things. Thanks for reading and your response, Drew!

  4. After reading your post, one of my favorite singers to ever exist on earth immediately came to mind. Kenny Rogers’ song “The Gambler” succintly umines our thoughts!

    This particular line:
    “You got to know when to hold em, You got to know when to fold em”

    Yes!!!! There comes a time when you just have to fold em and kick them to the curb…

    By the way umine is a new word that is yet to be adopted in the Oxford dictionary. I made it up. It is a word that means you and I are in agreement! It is an acronymn of you and mine (thoughts)= umine!

    1. Lol @ “umine”–I love it! Yes, we have to know when to “hold’em” and “fold’em.” You are making a tremendous contribution to the Oxford Dictionary with all of the new words you are coining. Lol! Thanks for reading and your response!

  5. There is nothing wrong with evolving and people around you not in the same evolutionary pattern. You can still be cool with them but you have to know where to draw the line when it comes to yourself and the movements YOU want to make

  6. I just had to end a friendship and it was tough. I felt lots of guilt, however that guilt was the only thing keeping me from ending that relationship towards the end. At that point, I was not being a good friend. Guilt is no basis for a friendship. You should talk to people because you want to, not because you feel obligated. It was best for myself and the other individual to just let it go

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