Change is inevitable. They say a friendship can experience a change after 7 years for multiple reasons but for some, this could happen much sooner than expected.
It’s not uncommon to be blinded sided when you notice your friend acting differently and more standoffish than they normally would.
Depending on the situation and careful analysis, you’ll start to wonder, why do friends change?
Different views, interests, changing tastes, and behavior play a huge part. As people grow older, they become more experienced with situations and other people that broaden their knowledge of the world. Ultimately, they may now have different views or interests from you and the relatable things you once shared are no longer relevant.
If you’d like to delve deeper into this, here’s everything you need to know as to why friends change and what you can do about it.
1. Different views and changing tastes
Depending on where you are now in life (growing up, moving to college, working somewhere else), you too must have had other experiences apart from your friend where new thoughts and ideas pop up.
Stuff you used to like isn’t as important as they were back then and your friends are bound to experience something similar.
Shared experiences are what make you good friends with each other but when this dissolves, so does a friendship unless new relatable experiences are created.
2. Becoming preoccupied with other stuff in their life
Growing apart is natural when you no longer have time for each other but it boils down to choice as well.
To give your friend the benefit of doubt, it could be possible that your friend just doesn’t have time anymore for you.
It’s a sad reality but when friends start to get involved with other people romantically or are too busy with their work and career, it’s not uncommon to feel like your friend has changed.
In fact, unlike with family or romantic partners, friendships generally take the backburner and someone who you were once incredibly close to, you may not even hear from them months from now.
If you’re experiencing a ‘not so nice’ behavior from a friend or they aren’t treating you with respect, it could have been that they are just jealous of you and this is one of the main reasons as to why a friend could change.
For example, if something great is going on in your life, you’ll notice a change in your relationship and your friend may start acting strangely.
This could very well mean that they developed a sort of unhappiness to see you succeed rather than share this joyous experience with you.
In this case, when a friend is jealous of you, it’s important to try to determine if this jealousy is simply a petty thing that you can move past.
However, if it proves that your friend’s jealousy is beyond your friendship, taking a break for a while will be better.
4. Physical distance
Friends could easily change when you’re no longer in a physical space as them. You’ll find that many high school friendships eventually fade away when one has to go to college or move to a new town and there you’ll usually find a new set of friends.
When you’re no longer in contact with a friend, the distance makes it harder to maintain a friendship. You can’t hang out in person anymore or catch up with each other. Talking on the phone and messaging isn’t quite the same.
It won’t be a surprise if your messages are left on read and you never hear from them again.
As they experience new places, people, and things, eventually they start to notice a change in their personality and views.
It’s just something that can’t be avoided.
5. They find new romantic partners
As mentioned before, when a friend becomes too preoccupied with life and other people, they usually have someone else that takes the first seat and you will notice a change in them especially when they start dating someone new.
This becomes more evident when your friend gets married because this means they have more responsibilities and the things they used to do in the past with you are no longer something they would do now.
With more time they spend with their significant others, they discover new relatable interests with that person rather than with you.
6. Possibly not a real friend
It’s highly possible for you to feel like your friend has changed drastically when they no longer treat you the same way.
This could mean two things: they don’t like you or they were never a real friend in the first place.
Fake friends aren’t as easy to spot when you’re the one who really likes hanging out with that person.
These fake friends can make you think that they do like you when in fact, they were just using you for something.
So, if you find yourself feeling confused as to why your friend has changed when they can’t get anything out of you, this may be one of the reasons.
These kinds of friends are not worth you spending your time, energy and feelings on.
7. An opportunity to learn a lesson
Being in a friendship is a choice that you make and sometimes, having many various friendships in life will influence you in a specific way.
It gives you the opportunity to learn from good and bad experiences so that you grow in life. You can also use these experiences to prevent future mistakes.
The one thing to remember when dealing with a friend who has changed is that it doesn’t have much to do with you but rather that person themself.
Because of situations and time, your friends changing is not a reflection of who you are but rather an opportunity to accept that everything in life will experience some sort of change.
Whether that’s good or bad, you can learn something new from this and meet other potentially great people that will have a positive influence in your life.
It all depends on how you choose to look at this new change.
How To Cope With Friends Who Changed
Find out what’s wrong
If it’s really bothering you as to why your friend suddenly changed, try asking them in a non-confrontational way.
It could be something along the lines of, ‘hey, is everything okay? You haven’t been like yourself lately’.
You don’t want to come across as if you’re fighting or accusing them but rather being generally open about what’s been going on and how you’ve been feeling.
This can help give you closure, knowing that it might have been something silly or not. The thing is though that you never want to focus too much on the reasons whether it’s good or bad.
Accepting that friends change is quite a normal occurrence that happens to many people and this will help you deal with the situation better.
Focus on yourself
Obsessing over situations, like why friends change or why they don’t like you anymore, aren’t in your control. It’s certainly not healthy or productive!
If your friend has changed and doesn’t want to continue the friendship for whatever reasons, take it in your stride and focus on yourself instead.
The last thing you want to do is blame yourself in any way or continue beating yourself over why they have changed.
Find new activities and hobbies that you can enjoy by yourself and meet new people if possible.
This way, you’ll be able to learn more about what you like and broaden your view of the world.
Eventually, you will find someone who shares the same interests and views as you.
Try to be positive
If you haven’t found out what’s going on with that particular friend yet, try to look at things in a positive light. It could very well be that they are too busy to spend time with you or help you out.
Rather than jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst, think positively. If all works out, that’s great. But be sure to not let this affect your confidence or self-worth in the process.
Especially, if you feel incredibly hurt that this person who you trusted and enjoyed spending time with has changed.
Give it time
Like with everything in life, it’s best not to make hasty decisions or rash moves when attempting to find out why your friend has changed.
When you give it time, you allow yourself to think properly rather than acting out emotionally.
In fact, you’ll be able to come to the conclusion if this friend is worth your time and energy.
At the end of the day, time heals all wounds so allow it to simmer on low heat.