By Gigi Engle
True story: I don’t really have any friends anymore. I’m super close with my family. My siblings and two of my cousins are my best friends. Other than that, I don’t really like anyone else. I don’t f*ck with anyone else.
I used to have a ton of friends. I was quite the social butterfly. I made friends really easily. I found a close friendship everywhere I went. I was never shy. I found good people in the world. I felt blessed.
I confided a lot of important, profound things to two or three people I considered my best friends. I felt like they knew my soul through and through. They could see me. They would never go anywhere. They would stand up in my wedding. We’d have kids around the same time. We’d raise them as best friends.
I was completely confident that these people would be in my life forever. They were as close to family as non-blood relatives could get. I even liked them a whole hell of a lot more than a lot of my real relatives.
But, as time went on, as the years passed, as I graduated from school to a real job, as I matured and grew up, things changed. Every single close friend left. Every person I trusted with my heart broke it. They walked away. All of those friendships I thought I couldn’t live without ended.
I want to make it clear that I in no way entirely blame other people for my lack of friends. I obviously played a critical role in the deterioration of those friendships. But at first, I felt really sh*tty about the whole thing. It didn’t feel good to lose friends.
I felt like I was putting in a lot more effort and giving a lot more of myself than I was getting back. I was giving 80 percent to their 20 percent. As soon as I stopped giving it my all, the friendships started to decline.
On top of that, a lot of f*cked up things went down. I did some sh*tty things. A few of my friends did some sh*tty things. And we couldn’t get past it. Neither of us put in the work to fix what was broken. Instead, we just walked away.
That’s the thing about people: they always leave. As depressing as that sounds, I think a lot of you can relate to this sentiment.
I’ve really come to the conclusion that the older you get, the harder it is to make friends because the older you get, the more you realize that you actually hate everyone.
And the weirdest part of all is that it’s really OK.
Because the older you get, the less bullsh*t you’re willing to put up with.
When you’re young, you just want to be friends with everyone. We care far too much about what other people think of us. We’ll do a lot of shameful, embarrassing, self-destructive things just to make people like us. We’re desperate to be part of the proverbial club.
This makes us more inclined towards toxic friendships. We don’t even have the wherewithal to understand the warning signs or to recognize when we’re being walked all over.
As you get more mature, the less you’re willing to deal with that sh*t. For me, if someone wants to be a shady f*cker, they can f*cking leave. If someone isn’t going to put the work in to make our friendship sustainable, they can go to hell. I don’t have time for the nonsense anymore. If that means losing friends I had and not making any new ones, then f*ck it. I don’t care.
I’d rather spend my time alone than with someone who makes me feel alone.
Because the older you get, the less you care about making new friends.
I’ve gotten to the point where making new friends isn’t even on my list of priorities in this life. I’ve seen how people can be. I don’t want to be involved in that sh*tstorm anymore. I’m over it. Completely and totally over it.
I’m still a friendly person. I chat it up with people, I hang out with people, I go do things with people, but I don’t really let them in. I don’t tell them secrets. I don’t become vulnerable.
I’m past the point of making a new best friend. I have my family, and I’m completely OK with that. As sad as that may sounds, I’m good. Trust me, I’m good.
When you get to a certain age, making new friends stops being something that interests you. Because you’ve already been there and done that, and it ended up sucking major ass.
Because the older you get, the less you trust sh*tty people.
I’ve been on this earth for a quarter-century, and if I’ve learned one thing, it’s that people are the goddamn worst. When you’re a kid, you expect that people have your best interest at heart. You trust them with your heart.
When you get a little bit older and lot more jaded, you start to see the truth: People are almost entirely self-serving, and no one gives a f*ck about you.
It was astonishing to see so many close friends walk away from me with such incredible ease. That was a cruel eye-opener, to watch the best people I knew abandon me. Luckily, that made walking away myself much simpler.
I toughened up because I had to. You can’t survive this sordid population without a thick skin.
Because the older you get, the less you choose to put anyone before yourself.
When you stop caring about other people and start loving yourself, that’s when things really change for the better. A switch flips somewhere along the road between early adulthood and real adulthood.
You stop doing things to please other people and start doing things to please yourself. A lot of friendships will get trashed by this simple fact alone. Once you stop letting people treat you like garbage, most people don’t see a use for you anymore.
The older you get, the less you stop looking for a ride-or-die friend. Instead, you start improving yourself.
Friends will leave you. You will never leave you. That’s the real sh*t, isn’t it?
Originally Published on Elite Daily