People Are Sharing Some Of The Harsh Realities Of Adult Friendships, And Some Of These Hit Too Close To Home

People Are Sharing Some Of The Harsh Realities Of Adult Friendships, And Some Of These Hit Too Close To Home

I'm sure anyone could agree that adult friendships are not always easy to navigate. Sometimes, two people outgrow one another, or maybe two friends are in different chapters in life, so they barely see each other anymore. As you get older, you realize that some friends don't treat you the way you want to be treated in a friendship. I came across this Reddit thread where a Redditor asked, "What's a friendship lesson you had to learn the hard way as an adult?" The many, many responses are all too real. Here is what some people shared:

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

1."Don't do too much for anyone. Don't be available too much for anyone. As a giver, some people will only take and take and leave you high, drained, and empty. Identify such people early on and keep them at a distance. Familiarity only breeds contempt."


2."Sometimes, you need to cut old friends loose, even some you've known forever and been close to. It doesn't mean you are no longer friends or dislike them. But you simply don't want to be as intertwined as you once were, for whatever reason, and no longer want to spend time and experiences with them. Sometimes you need to move on."


3."People say, 'You get out of it what you put into it,' but that's not always true. Sometimes, you put a lot in and don't get a lot out."

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4."Don’t loan anyone money expecting it back. Give it as a gift."


5."Old friendships sometimes don't survive adulthood. You will choose different paths, politics, and what you value in life. Friendship breakups can be way more painful than romantic ones. The love and companionship will ebb and flow, and while you shouldn't be begging for scraps of friendship, the truth is your friends will have jobs, spouses, trips, parents, or children to care for. Cut them (and yourself) some slack. Community is everything, and individualism isolates us. Before cutting off someone because they aren't 'putting in the effort,' ask yourself if they are truly not doing it or if your own selfishness is talking."


6."That the majority of friendships are due to proximity/ convenience, and when you move on to another chapter in life, those friendships will fade away."

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7."When push comes to shove, the only person you can totally count on is yourself. Even people you moved mountains for suddenly are busy or say things like, you're strong, you got this, you'll be fine.'"


8."I had a very ‘loyal’ mindset towards my ‘close friends’ when I was younger. I would stand by them and make up excuses for even their worst behavior. Even when I was on the receiving end of their cruelty, I would still return again and again until, one day, I realized it wasn’t okay. People show you who they really are. I needed to learn to pay attention. I learned a lesson in setting boundaries and minding myself. It was a little too late because I now have trust issues, but I’m working on it. I struggle to trust my own judgment when it comes to other people."


9."If you put someone first, and they also put themselves first, no one is putting you first. And you can’t sit there waiting for them to change suddenly. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, and they’ve never misrepresented themselves. You can still be friends and have a wonderful and healthy friendship, but it’s up to you to set your own boundaries."

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10."Actions are louder than words."


11."The best lesson I learned was to stop focusing on getting others to like me and to start focusing on figuring out whether I liked them."


12."You will have to reframe your expectations of what friendships look like in your 20s, 30s, and beyond, and what you need and want out of friendships will shift. Especially as kids and partners enter the picture for everyone. It goes from girls' nights/weekends to catching up once every couple of weeks or months, and some people won’t stand the test of time. Just because you were able to be emotionally supportive and step up for someone in their time of need does not mean they will be willing and/or able to do the same for you. Some friendships are only meant to last a few chapters in our book of life before their character fades away. They contributed to your story where they needed to, but they won’t last until the end. Bid them a fond farewell, remember them and what they brought to your life, and, as much as it tears you apart, let them go."

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13."Sometimes the best friendships are the ones that start with a 'Hey, do you mind if I sit here?' at a coffee shop."


14."When they show their true colors the first time, believe them. If they talk about others behind their backs, you can know they’re probably talking about you behind your back."


15.And finally, "You need to decide if it is harder to be alone or put in uneven amounts of effort. Similarly, when deciding whether they are good friends, do you feel more alone when you hang out with them? The media has done everyone a huge disservice in showing us what friendships 'should' look like when, in reality, they are so drastically different in many ways. They all take WORK. Good friendships don't exist without good communication."

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Is there anything else you could add to this list? If so, share it with me in the comments below!