The Clear Sign You've Outgrown Your Friendship | When to Let Go of Your Friend

Updated: Nov 3

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Our friends and friendship circles can feel like a life preserver in the rough sea we call life. You may be lucky to have a friend or two you can call on at any time to cheer you up and make you laugh when you need it most.

Our friends stimulate the different aspects of ourselves. You might go on exciting adventures, trying new foods or activities with one group of friends. While with others, you have mature and intellectual conversations discussing politics, theories and philosophies of life.

What a rich and fulfilling privilege it is to have friends!


Friendships, like any relationship (or houseplant), are alive and require care and love from those involved. Relationships need nourishment and a necessary pruning of rotten/dry leaves and branches from time to time. And continuing with the houseplant analogy, the plant can outgrow its original pot. It's a natural part of growth.

As you grow through hardships and experience the highs and lows of your life, your friendships either adapt, growing with you, or they won't. Think of the special blankie, pacifier, teddy bear or some object you were positively inseparable from as a young child- do you hold resentment, anger or any negative feelings toward the blankie because you transitioned into the next phase of life?

"Outgrowing friendships is one of the most heartbreaking experiences to go through. A common sign you've outgrown a friendship is when being with that person or group makes you adopt an old version of yourself to "fit in" and maintain the status quo. It can feel like you can't fully be your new self around them." Elaine shares her recent experience where she had to let a few friendships go.


Friendships form from a common ground or shared perspective between you. When one of you is no longer interested in this point of view due to a maturation of interests, it's usually the beginning of the end (of the relationship, at least).

Marisa Franco, PhD, a psychologist and friendship expert, mentions a theory in an interview with American Psychological Association about why it is difficult for adults to make and maintain friendships.

"There's a theory called the socio-emotional selectivity hypothesis, which basically argues and finds that as we get older, we focus more on quality rather than quantity because we're thinking, 'I have X amount of time left. I want to spend it with people that really matter'."¹

When you are younger, you often don't consider the quality of your relationships with others. Yet as you get older, you filter out people, habits and activities that no longer serve your highest good - meaning they no longer add value, peace or joy to your life.

If you're a regular follower of Elaine from Ilainelyflex, you'll know that she passionately encourages her followers and clients to live their happiest lives. A 2012 survey in Italy found a direct association between the quality of your friendships and your overall life satisfaction.²

If your friendship doesn't support the current version of you, like an outdated software update, then it might be time for an upgrade. "It's easier said than done", I hear you saying.


If there's one thing you take from this article, weigh out the pros and cons of the friendship without allowing the many years and handful of good times from persuading you to hold on to a dead, mouldy houseplant stinking up a corner of your mind.

You have all the right to live and feel free in all environments and relationships of your life. It is up to you to decide what you will and won't tolerate. Remember, there are billions of people in the world. There are genuine, loving friends waiting to meet you - just as you are!

As you got older and grew out of your special toy/blankie, with ease and excitement for the next stage of life - so, too, can you lovingly release friendships that have served their time and purpose to you.

Honest and compassionate communication is always the best (though not the easiest) way to end any relationship. If you would like guidance and assistance in your friendships and relationships, or to honestly commit to a weight loss plan that works, book your consultation call with Elaine today.

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Written by: Andrea Thelen of AuthenticAndrea44

23rd September 2022

¹ Mills, K. (2022, January). Speaking of psychology: Why is it so hard for adults to make friends? with Marisa Franco, PhD. American Psychological Association.

² Amati, V., Meggiolaro, S., Rivellini, G., & Zaccarin, S. (2018, May 4). Social Relations and Life Satisfaction: The role of friends. Genus.

DISCLAIMER: All blog posts are for educational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice or recommendations given in these posts does not supersede directions received by a licensed medical professional (i.e. doctor, psychiatrist, nurse, psychologist, etc), nutritionist, dietician or your personal trainer. The reader is responsible for their own health and well-being.