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Since You Asked: Friendship Breakups

What do you do if your long-term friendships don’t align with your personal growth? Since you asked, Susan shares her hard-won wisdom

Susan
Hello, everyone. What is up? It’s another week here in beautiful sunny Tampa, Florida. I’ve actually had to lower the blinds since it is that sunny. So those of you in wintry areas, I’m sorry.

I’m so excited to be here again this week. And we’ve got some great questions. The first one from one of our readers on the Since You Asked show is: “I’ve realized some old long-term friendships don’t align with my personal growth and wellbeing. How do I navigate this new dynamic?” 

Oh, my God, do I have so much to say on this particular subject! And, you know, I don’t hold back at all. There’s no reason for me to hold back. But one of the reasons I have so much to say about this particular subject is that I personally have been through this about three years ago. Those of you who don’t follow me, you may not know that I went through a physical transformation. I made a decision, because of some circumstances in my life, to sort of take back my health and my life. I was tired of being invisible. I was tired of sort of following the narrative of menopause. I decided that it was time for a 60-something-year-old woman to grab all the joy out of life that she possibly could.

And I come from a very typical conservative, Cuban Catholic sort of environment from friends and family. A lot of my friends are people that I’ve been friends with for more than 40 years that I worked all through medicine with. And one of the unfortunate things that happened to me was, a friendship group that literally we would get together every month for the last 30-some-odd years with four other women — And I loved them. I adored them. I’m sure a lot of women have friends that they’ve been friends with since high school — but when I decided to go on this journey of weight loss and self-love, self-love was not something in our adult manual. I often say when I talk about my standup and the nuns and Cubans and Catholics, there was nothing in the Cuban manual about self-love.

In fact, for women my age, most of the time you were growing up, women did not put themselves first. And definitely my friends were reflective of a certain age as well. They were not women that had put themselves first, especially practicing medicine. Medicine is all about caring for someone else.

But I realized as I started to lose weight and say no to certain things, like no to alcohol, all we did when we were together was eat. We never went for a walk or played some physical activity. In fact, a number of them had become quite unhealthy. All of a sudden I started to get some really odd pushback.

I got a phone call one day from one of the friends that said, “I just have to tell you, we just don’t consider you a good friend anymore. You’ve never really been there for us. And now that your life is taking off in this amazing way, and the rest of us are here kind of left…”

And I kept thinking, “What are you talking about? Like, I’ve been there all along. Just because I look differently or I’ve lost weight, why does that sort of have you projecting?” 

The advice that I have for you is that you can’t take this shit personally. You just can’t. And it’s really, really easy to do with family and friends. It’s really easy to say, “Why don’t they like me anymore?” One of my friends said, “If I knew that we were breaking up with you, I would work like hell to get us all back.” And for the first time, I thought, “I don’t feel like I need to do that. I don’t feel like I need to apologize for putting myself first.”

And then I realized that I was making a bunch of friends beyond that. And that was also something. The narrative of this age is: Can you make friends at this age? And yes, you can, because making friends is an action. It’s a verb. You have to do this. And so, I think with your long-term friendships, you wish them the best possible.

Send them love, send them forgiveness. Have forgiveness, prayer, and you can include all of them in this just daily forgiveness, prayer, and then move in the direction that you always dreamed of going. And you know what happens? Sometimes you start to find people now that are going to level you up. The people you start to align with are going to be people who have the same mindset of you that want to get healthy, that want to improve their life, that want to be better no matter what age.

So wish them peace. God bless. Say something in confession for them and take pride in the fact that you’re doing something super, super, super important for yourself. 

So that’s my advice for this week. I love doing this, you guys. So if you guys have any questions for us, please, please, please, let’s hear them. Send them to me. DM me, find me on Instagram. Go to WeAreAGEIST, DM David. He’ll answer your DMs because we love you. Have a great week.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

 

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