Time to let go? (friendship)

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    Hi all,

    This is my first post here, so please be kind.

    I’m at point in my life where I feel really good about myself, as if I am finding out who I am. It’s taken a lot of work including 4+ years of therapy, 7 years of medication and a lot of ups and downs. But I feel a bit more content with who I am and less like I need to please other people.

    The trouble is the friends that I have, aren’t used to me being this person. I’m less keen to please, less materialistic and a lot less interested in the consumer lifestyle. I’d prefer to hang out in ways like going for a walk, catching up over a coffee or having a movie night. Their idea of a good night is clubbing til 5am, taking drugs and flirting with random guys.

    In this situation, would it be time to let go of these friendships? Not every friend I have is like this, just a few so I’m by no menas alone. I almost feel like I’m friends with them for their sake, than for my own because it would make them upset not to have me in their life. I’m often the one who is called upon for advice and guidance.

    I feel like I’m very different to a lot of people my age. I’m 25, but I feel 40 in my head. My mother died when I was 10, and father was an alcoholic who passed a few years ago. I was never close to my father at all, in fact he was quite emotionally abusive. I think this really contributes to how I feel about these people because they’ve had easy lives nad I just can’t relate to them on many levels.

    How do you know when it’s time to let go?


    Hi csihdu,

    I did read this line of yours “The trouble is the friends that I have, aren’t used to me being this person
    But I would like to know if this “not so people pleasing” nature of yours is bothering your or others in some way? If yes, then in what way?

    Warm Regards,

    Nina Sakura

    Hey csihdu,

    This is very common for people of our age group. Have had too many friends tell me this about their other circles.

    My suggestion would be to simply spend less time with them. Stay in touch but less frequently, more towards an activity that you like and they may find acceptable too – instead of movie at home, say a nice blockbuster and a fun time bowling instead. Then say bye and scram 😛 Text them once in a while, call infrequently – don’t disappear but don’t be too much into hanging out either.

    Who knows maybe in a couple of years they will change too and you might just have a common wavelength after all?

    Meanwhile get closer to those friends who are more your type. It’s okay to do this, some friendships drift away once in a while when there are way too many marked differences and no common view to hold it together.

    So relax and enjoy your life in your own way. You are doing alright it seems and kudos for posting here. I could really identify with what you described in terms of peer group. Partying till 5 am isn’t for everyone, some people are just kinda “deep” compared to their age.

    No point pretending to be someone else.


    • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by Nina Sakura.

    Hi VJ,

    What I mean in that context is that before I used to not challenge things if I disagreed with certain things, or I was a people pleaser. For example there was night where said friend was flirting, sharing drinks and holding hands with a man. She has a boyfriend and I asked her how she would feel if her boyfriend did this to her and she didn’t care. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to leave, and she accused me of ruining the fun. Before, say a year ago, perhaps I would have just not said anything, despite feeling uncomfortable. My therapist thinks I have co-dependent tendencies and we worked on setting boundaries in relationships.

    This is what they do not like.


    Hi Nina,

    I think that sounds like a good compromise. No need to throw daggers, but equally I think distance between myself and these people will actually do me good. As the Buddha said nothing is life is permanent 🙂


    Hi csihdu,

    The good news is your friends are getting older. No forty year old I know clubs until 5 AM, gets drunk and flirts with random guys. And if we do, it’s more of an event than a lifestyle. 😉

    My advice is to acquire one quality new friend a year.

    Your other friends will also naturally fall to the wayside, or evolve into grown ups.




    Hi csihdu,

    Right now different people are at different stages of the evolution of consciousness on the planet.
    From the activities you have described about yourself to be interested in, you seem to be moving more towards presence which is a good sign.

    You need not wear a mask and show the false you. You need not feel something that you do not want to feel just because someone or some situation is compelling you to do so. When God made us originals, why stoop to become a copy?

    Move on with people who are not in alignment with your soul. Do it slowly and gradually as mentioned in Nina’s post above.

    There are so many reminders that will help you on what to do.

    “I align myself with people who support my growth. If you meet someone whose soul is not aligned with yours, send them love and move along.”
    — Dr. Wayne Dyer

    “Align yourself with people that you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.”
    ― Les Brown

    “If someone messes up, let it go. If they keep messing up, let them go.”

    One of the callers had a similar type of question to Eckhart Tolle on SuperSoul Sunday with Oprah

    One nice comment down on that video….’those who appreciate an awakened you are the friends worth keeping’

    Best Wishes,


    Dear csihdu:

    My answer to your question: “time to let go?” is Yes, it is time to let go. Having read your reply to the other thread, you being only 25 but suffering from underactive thyroid, on Levothyroxine and antidepressant since you were 18, occasional anxiety medication as well; having very frequent mood swings, suffering from extreme fatigue- I would say, you have to make your life as comfortable as possible for yourself. Like you suggested to the person you replied to on the other thread- be gentle to yourself. Do not compromise your hard earned well being (following more than four years of psychotherapy) for others, accommodating others’ need to have you in their lives. Make your interactions and relationships a Win-Win proposition. If it is not a Win for you, do let it go.

    Having Win-Win relationships is necessary for the mental health of any person but when you are weakened by an underactive thyroid, my goodness, let go of any and all Lose (for you) relationships. Do everything possible to promote your well being.



    Remember what makes you a friend. It’s that you provide “advice and guidance” to them, not because of any superficial things you have in common. It’s not how we spend our Saturday nights that makes us friends.

    Since you mentioned your friends’ high-risk lifestyles, do I take it to mean that you are afraid they will tempt you into that kind of lifestyle? Have they gotten the message that you’re not interested in that kind of life, and accepted it? Is it possible that, conversely, you, with your simpler, more mindful life, can inspire them to improve themselves? Knowing that we’re leading by example can be a real boost to our self-esteem.

    Friendship is never selfish. We don’t form friendships just because of what we’re going to get out of them, but simply because it is a good thing to do. If you are upset that you are only giving and not getting, then they’re not truly your friends anyway, and so you should have no trouble letting go. And if they are upset that you’re not spending more time with them, then they’re not truly your friends in that case either. But if they’re content to not see so much of you, and you’re content just to provide advice when they need it, then you have a true friendship. In any case, there is no problem.


    Hi Unconditional,

    Yes I am very afraid they will tempt me back into this type of lifestyle. I have tried to make it clear on several occasions I’m not interested in doing these types of things any more, but I don’t think it’s of much interest to them. They think it’s a “phase” I’m going through.

    I do try and inspire them to improve, in the act of offering advice and guidance, but sometimes I feel like my kindness gets taken for weakness with these particular people. Hence why I perhaps questioning whether it is time to let go. Other than these wild nights where I feel like I don’t belong any more I seldom see them.

    In response to “If you are upset that you are only giving and not getting, then they’re not truly your friends anyway, and so you should have no trouble letting go” I think this may be a little wishful thinking. In an ideal world it would be easy to let go of unhealthy relationships, but in reality we know it’s not quite as simple as that. I understand how you can come to the conclusion that “there is no problem” but it is not that way I see it at the moment, as explained in my previous point and it’s a little upsetting for someone to invalidate my problems so blunty. However, I completely appreciate this may not be the outcome you intended with your words.


    What makes an ideal world? What makes reality? We do. We can accept that “that’s just the way it is,” and let other people define words like “friendship” for us, or we can decide for ourselves what they mean. A word that describes something we value so much, like “friendship,” ought to mean something. Many of us have been hurt by people who claim to be our friends, but don’t act like it. Has this happened to you? Should we just accept this “reality,” in which “friendship” is used to manipulate us for someone else’s selfish gain, or should we each be free to be friends in our own way? I have faith that you will figure out for yourself whether it is worth being friends with these people, in time. Your heart is in the right place; it’s good that you are trying to have a positive influence on them. I think I’m not the only idealist here, see? We just have to accept that some people are not ready to receive the message we have for them. Just know that it’s not a failure on your part if you’re not connecting with them.

    You say “blunt,” I say “simple.” A good first step in dealing with any problem is to simplify it. In many cases, just simplifying the terms of the problem can make the problem disappear. Try it, is all I’m saying. I actually think all our problems can be reduced to one problem, which almost all of us share, but that’s a topic for another forum. Yes, it is upsetting when someone claims that a problem is illusory, but first of all, what I told you so “bluntly” is something that I tell myself every day, whenever I feel like I have a problem, and second of all, wouldn’t you agree that it is at least equally upsetting to find problems where there are none?

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