Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Stages of Friendship

Published:Sunday | April 26, 2015 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence
... Whether you sustain your friendships or outgrow them, it all part of the circle of life.

Friends - the people you have girls' night out with, and the boys you play football with, whom you tell your secrets. But there comes a time when the circle changes, and that is fine, according to psychotherapist Alina Apostol. Whether you sustain your friendships or outgrow them, it all part of the circle of life.

Growth

According to Apostol, "Life is an organic process and people change, in terms of personality, values, and beliefs, as well as changing jobs, hobbies, or where they live. Apostol explains that life itself is a growing process, so we all outgrow our old selves. "Two people who were best friends five years ago, will find it harder to still be close friends if their life experiences took them on separate paths, estranging them from sharing the same belief system and core life values."

This change is can be credited to many factors - the changes in our day to day lives or our beliefs. Life, many times, takes people on different journeys that might make it hard for them to coexist over long periods of time.

"The maturation or individuation process that all of us go through during our life, brings self-awareness and change. For some of us, it's easier to move towards our real self and so leave behind people who would limit or oppose the new. Others outgrow friendships because of changes in core beliefs, religion and values," the psychologist states.

The revolving friendship

Apostol notes that there are people who come in and out of our lives based on a number of factors from their nomadic personality to the complexities of our jobs. Though it might be hard to keep track of the friendship, it does not make it insignificant. Apostol noted that you learn a lot from these friendships - not only about yourself but also about life.

Stable Friendship

Though changes in a friendship are normal, the opposite does not mean that something is wrong, Apostol points out.

"I would expect this from a very stable, fixed personality - the type who is very grounded and has deep roots in a place, community, or job. For these people, safety and a controlled environment is very important and one way to feel safe is to keep and invest in old friendships." She continued, "Because this category of people would cultivate some sort of privacy around their lives, new people or new friends might come along harder."

• Alina Apostol is a psychotherapist and family constellations facilitator psychotherapy and psychology private practise. www.alinaapostol.com Contact: 1-876-569-3118 SKYPE: alinapostolmihaela