Why your friends change when you are a teen

Many teens ask themselves: Why do all of my friendships seem to be changing?

The answer is simple, and yet complex at the same time. Your friendships change because you change. In fact, your friendships are changing because you AND all of your friends are changing. The teenage years are a time of physical, emotional, and social growth and change. These changes don’t happen at the same time, or at the same speed, from one person to the next. The changes are not the same. This means that you may start to value school more, and your one-time best friend might start to value the party life more. These are natural changes, and they lead to growing apart, or drifting apart of friendships. There is a good chance your friends will change, and this is why statistically, most people‚Äôs friends from college are the friends they stay with for life. By the college years you have pretty much defined who you are, and your views, values, and opinions are not likely to change much or be as easily influenced, thus the people you associate with and have common interests with at that stage will share those interests with you for years to come. When you are a teen it is just not the case.

What you can do about it:

The first thing you can do is recognize change as normal and vital, and not try to fight it too hard. It is a part of growing up.

The second thing you can do is look for new friends that have common interests. If your friendships change it is because the people in them are changing, so it might be smart to simply find friendships with people like who you have changed to.

Lastly, you can try to keep some connection with the people whose friendships matter to you the most. They will never be the same, but that does not mean they have to disappear completely.

How to accept it and find peace in it:

Change can be difficult, this is especially true if it leaves you feeling friendless for a time. So, to accept it and find peace in it, you may want to anticipate it some, and start developing other friendships. This does not mean you should ignore your current friendships, but recognize the transient nature of teen friendships, and be open to making new ones, you never know where you will find someone who is so completely on the same wavelength as you.

You also need to find ways to keep the friendships that you currently have alive as much as you can. This means that if you have things in common still make a concerted effort to spend time together doing those things. It is your responsibility to keep your friendship alive.

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