One of the hardest struggles in life is when friends and family estrange you. Whether it's because of a flight, conflicting schedules, busy lifestyle, or difference of opinion, people who once were friends become strangers in just a short time.
We've all been there. No matter how good of a friend you are, some people will ignore your texts asking to meet up or cancel plans at the last minute. Or they might suddenly stop being there for you when they begin dating someone - overnight your friendship is replaced with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
After a while, it becomes exhausting to always be the one to send the first text or come up with a plan to hang out while they're making zero effort to keep in touch. But what can you do about it?
First of all, it's important to remember chasing people is a waste of your time. A true friendship requires effort on both sides, and when that's not happening, you need to let it go.
While letting go is important, most of us fall into the the trap of becoming resentful towards friends who stop making an effort. After all, it's hard not to take things personally when friends leave. You might feel betrayed and ask what you did to deserve it.
The truth is, it probably has nothing to do with you. Oftentimes, life circumstances pull two people apart. Life gets busy and humans are bad at time management. Even when a person cuts you off on purpose, the worst thing you could do is be angry with yourself or your friend.
Anger and resentment will rob you of your joy, increase your stress levels, and decrease your chances of finding inner peace. None of these things are helpful towards your own physical or mental well-being. If you've been wronged by your friend, lack of forgiveness will only make it worse.
Budda said it right: "In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
If people aren't making an effort, it's time for you to move on. Believe there are amazing people out there who will be your friend - you have only to find them. Everyone needs friendship. In the meantime, you'll want to do things that make YOU happy - with or without your friends.
Continue to the next page to discover what you should do when friends stop trying to be in your life.
Having all your friends disappear at once can be disheartening. Perhaps a few have moved away, one just got married, and the other is getting a PhD. What used to be a healthy and active friendship with nights out on the town, deep discussions over tea, or quality time playing sports together is now gone.
It's normal to feel left behind, but remember it's a normal part of life. Priorities shift over the course of a lifetime, as people make time for the things that matter most to them. The loss of one friendship doesn't mean you should give up on friendship altogether.
In fact, before all others, the most important friendship you can cultivate is with yourself. If you're feeling blue from lost friends, here are some ways you can give back to yourself:
1. Read a Book
What's the first thing you do when you come home for the night? Most of us plop down on the couch and turn on the TV. While this can be fun and relaxing after a long day, the passive nature of watching TV doesn't engage your mind in the way reading a book does.
Not only does reading improves overall brain connectivity and aid in communication, but it also decreases stress by up to 68 percent. Reading a book can help you connect better to your own thoughts and help you gain a better perspective about the events in your life.
2. Go for a Nature Walk
This is something we forget about all the time. It's only after spending time outside that we realize how important sunlight, fresh air, and plants are to our health. Sitting inside trying to figure out what to do when your friends are too busy is not healthy.
Go ahead without your friends. Spend some quality time with yourself and get some much-needed time out of doors. Explore and give yourself permission to enjoy being alone. The only person you spend your whole life with is yourself.
3. Write it Out
It's not always an option to talk in a meaningful way when you're upset, angry, or overwhelmed, but those thoughts and feelings need to be let out. Don't bottle up. Buy yourself a beautiful notebook or journal and write anything that comes into your head. It doesn't have to make sense and the spelling doesn't have to be right. It's for you.
The first step to being a better and happier you is to acknowledge what you feel and put a name to it. As soon as you discover how you're really doing, you'll be able to better solve problems and adapt to your current situation.
4. Cook a Delicious Meal
Food is for the body and the spirit. The kind of food you eat and the way you eat it contributes to calm or stress, health or lack thereof. If you're ordering Chinese takeout seven nights a week or snacking on whatever's in the kitchen cupboard for dinner, you're not doing it right.
Eating fresh meals high in veggies and protein is something you owe yourself. Don't snack. Set the table, light a candle, and pour yourself a glass of wine (just one). Even if you're the only person at the table, you deserve to enjoy your food.
5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Just 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can release a good dose of feel-good chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin. These act as natural anti-depressants and will make you feel on top of your world. If you've ever heard the term "runner's high," that good feeling induced by cardio exercise is what it means.
If you don't like certain forms of cardio exercise like biking or running, that's okay too! Swimming, kick boxing, and step classes are a great way to get your heart pumping. All you need is to find the right type of exercise for you.
Ultimately, you owe it to yourself to keep moving forward. Don't let busy or absent friends prevent you from living your best life and feeling good. Go back to the basics and good people will find you.
"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend "“ or a meaningful day." "• Dalai Lama
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