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’s 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.

Keeping friends even if you grow apart

During the teenage years your interests seem to change frequently, and with them, your friendships. As your interests change, the things that bound you to one another change, and so some friendships will come and go. However, sometimes you want to keep a friendship alive even though the two of you have grow apart. The following is a look at some of the things you can do to try and keep friends as friends, and to not let your friendships end or grow stale despite changes in interests, hobbies, etc.

The following is a brief answer to the question: What can I do to try to keep a friendship alive?

First, you have to talk to your friend. You have to let your friends know how you feel, and that their friendship is an important matter to you. You can try to talk to your friend about your feelings, help them understand where you are coming from. You need to help them see that even though your interests are changing, and you no longer have the same bond you used to that they are still important to you and you value their friendship. This will help both of you make a conscious effort to keep the friendship going, and to find common ground as your commonalities from the past no longer exist.

Second, you have to try and keep some similar interests. If neither of you are the same person you once were, it can be hard to stay friends. So, one of the things you can do to keep friends, even as you grow apart is to try and develop interests in the same things. If your friend has developed an interest in skating, you can try it out to see if you can have a shared interest in it. If they love music, you can try and share in that interest with them. Or, you can invite them to share in your new interests. Maybe you can get them to try out for the soccer team, or go to a concert with you, or attend an art exhibit.

Third, hold to the ties you do still have. If you are growing apart from your friends, there is likely a few things you still both enjoy doing. It might be shopping, swimming, going to the beach, playing cards, or some other activity. If you both have things in common still, and want to keep the friendship alive, one thing you can do is make plans to get together on occasion to do that thing you enjoy together. So, you may still spend a great deal apart, but you have something that keeps you bonded and your friendship flame alight, even if it is not a raging inferno.

Losing friends can be difficult, but it is good to recognize that as you grow up and your interests change, as well as your priorities, your friend’s do too, and you can’t force a friendship. So, hang on to the ones you can, and let go of the ones you can’t. Also take advantage of the time to form new bonds of friendship.