Adulting can be quite the challenge! As we evolve, define ourselves, and discover what drives us, it can have a profound effect on our lifestyles. In turn, our priorities, values, and responsibilities may change drastically in comparison to some of our friends and companions. Adjusting to new roles and responsibilities may consequently onset feelings of being left out of the group. Sometimes, these feelings may fester and take a severe negative toll on relationships. Things like marriage, children, careers, education, or perhaps a loved one falling ill, can shift the relationship dynamic. While it may seem out of whack, and people feeling neglected, it’s about perspective and recognizing different stages of life warrant recognition, understanding and adjustment.
Any one of those major life stages will be a lifestyle game changer. No amount of nostalgia will change that. Recognizing that things have changed, allowing some time to adjust, and communicating makes all the difference. Comparing how hectic our lives are in comparison to another to justify our position in the shift of the relationship dynamic is not the way. It breeds contempt. Acknowledging that things have changed and we are still feeling our way around until we get the hang of marriage, or children, or that promotion, or grad school or succumbing to having to cope with caring for someone who is ill is ALL taxing. Pointing that our circumstance is far more challenging that someone else’s, diminishes their experience and causes a major disconnect. Rather, explaining our experience and asking about the experience of others keeps the platform of communication in tact and the possibility of maintaining support and a sounding board remains.
It may sound redundant, but EVERYONE’S LIFE PATH IS DIFFERENT. Our life paths may be similar at times, but still, different. Our backgrounds, levels of understanding, and perspective will be different. At best, similar… definitely not the same. Therefore, making assumptions of what someone else is going through and judging by the way you perceive it – without taking the time to let them express what is happening in their life will most likely breed contempt and yield fights and fall-outs. Taking some time to understand what is happening and making the effort to “meet our loved ones where they are” can go a long way and perhaps yield reciprocation.
Rejection is the square root of feeling left out. Just because things have changed and perhaps time becomes an issue or frequency in spending time together may be an issue: maybe a new person has entered the dynamic and it upset the pecking order… that doesn’t mean there is one less seat at the round table. Perhaps it may take a little longer for the time and attention that was once abundant prior to the change in dynamic, a good way to compensate is to max out on the quality time we get when we get it. Make sure our encounters are genuine, positive, and supportive of each other. Certainly, any relationship of any sort will have its ups and downs and there will be times where the only way we can make it through a rough patch is adjusting our settings, our boundaries, etc… what we needed out of a relationship at 7 is worlds away from what we need at 27, 37 or 47… Lack of communication can turn a crack into a chasm. Good friends are hard to come by: fight like hell to keep them!
Til’ Next Time!