Most of us have friends from all different parts of our life. There’s a crew you might have grown up with, others you met in college, and then the the random people you picked up here and there over the years. They’re all great in their own awesome ways, and you thank the sweet, sweet universe that they’re in your life — most of the time. Sometimes the squad you run with can have a bigger effect on your life than you realize, and not always in a good way. As you get older, it’s super common to realize that you need to renovate your friend group, for better or worse…before it gets worse.
We all know that making friends as a grownup is really hard.
Which might be why so many of us hang onto to our old friends, just like we do that one cozy fall sweater that we refuse to throw out even though it’s like 20 years old, and we don’t even like wearing it anymore. Old friends can be comfortable. There are times when that’s a good thing, because they get us and it takes little to zero effort to be around them. But sometimes that comfort can be holding us back from bigger and better things. It sucks when you realize that your best buds just aren’t doing it for you anymore, but it happens.
You don’t need to ditch those old (or even newer) friends, but reorganizing where they fit into your life is not a bad idea now and again — just like you would rifle through your closet every few years and get rid of whatever no longer fits your personal style anymore.
1They’re not very flexible anymore.
The clique you’ve run with forever used to be better at letting in new people or at least being friendly to that new person you work with and invited to the silly squad Halloween party you’ve been throwing since college. But now your group has calcified into some strange coven, and any newcomer is made to feel so unwelcome that they don’t come back. Yikes. Don’t let your friends keep you from making new friends.
2You encourage each other’s worst habits.
We all always do basically the same thing with our friends — we hang out! But there can come a time when that thing gets harmful for some people. If all you and your friends do is drink or party hard or engage in dangerous behavior, you might want to make some friends who do other things, so you can be the healthiest version of yourself possible.
3You aren’t in the same place anymore.
This works both ways: Maybe all of your friends have moved onto another plane of adulthood by getting married or having kids, and you’re still living with roommates and counting quarters for Chinese takeout. Or maybe you’re trying to make some big moves in your life, and your friends are bringing you down. Having variety in life is generally good, and just because someone has made a major move doesn’t mean you can’t be friends, but drifting apart or not ~getting~ each other anymore is so common. Having friends who are on the same level as you is always good for your mental health.
4They’re actually not that nice to you.
If they ever were, of course. Your friends should lift you up and celebrate you…even when you’re having a rough time. You need and deserve a bunch of buddies who don’t cut you down just for jokes.
5You feel tired AF when you hang out with them.
If you leave every hangout with your friends feeling exhausted, it might be time to find some new people. Sure, if you’re an introvert or have social anxiety, that could be the case all the time. But your friends should be a calming influence or an energizing one — not people who make you want to hibernate for weeks after one single brunch.
6They haven’t done anything for you lately.
Friendship is all about unconditional love, and no one has to give you anything, but when you accomplish something, they should be there for you! They should take a minute and ask how you’re handling things after your breakup, even if it was like four months ago. You’d do it for them, right?