Ask Kim says it’s OK to outgrow friends

Page 2 Advice
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Dear Kim,

I think I’m outgrowing my friends.  My group is all in their early 20’s and it seems drinking and hooking up with some random girl is all that’s on their minds.  We’re all recent graduates and none of us are working in our field of study.  I’ve decided that it’s really time to start focusing on my future.  I want to find meaningful work and use the degree I worked hard to earn.  My friends on the other hand, don’t seem to care at all about the future.  I really like these people, but how do I separate myself from the group without making them all mad.

Anonymous

Emporia

Dear Anonymous,

Every party has a pooper!  That’s why they invited you.  You’re in your early twenties and you don’t want to drink and chase girls!? 

I have the privilege of working with many twenty-somethings.  Most of them are truly enjoying this time of their life.  Mom and dad still foot the bill and their personal responsibility is minimal.  It’s not the same for everyone in the group.  Some of my young colleagues have had to buckle down.  They are no longer able withdraw from the Bank of M&D.  They can’t afford to be as carefree. 

Seriously though, I’ve said this before – change in inevitable.  There are very few relationships in life that are permanent.  While your circle of close friends might be large today, you’ll find that over time that circle will become much smaller.  People will drift in and out of your life over time.  Seems this might be where you find yourself now.  Just because you find yourself with different goals doesn’t mean these friendships have to end.  Your participation in activities that no longer interest you needs to change.  The drift will occur, naturally.  You can simply start declining to go out or meet up when asked.  The easy excuse is always “you have something else planned.”  There’s no need to elaborate or lie.  Your “something else” could be job seeking or watching an old movie on TV.  You will find that over time new people will drift into your life that share your interests.  Old friendships remain but in a different place in your life.  Change is never easy.  Trust me, it will work out.

Good luck!

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