Every 5 Years I Change a Group of Friends

I started to notice the pattern: I change a group of friends every 4-5 years.

This is the 3rd time it’s happening, yet every time, I feel awful. I questioned myself, was it the way I behave? Is there anything I can make improvement? Am I not good enough that’s why nobody stays?

This time, at age of 30, I finally came to realize it’s the most natural thing to happen.

1-2 years back when I was 28-29 years old, I started to feel uncomfortable in my usual peer group.

1. Different interest

I noticed when I was in the group, we usually gather at café, I wasn’t listening full-heartedly to their stories, I also found myself checking out my watch frequently. We talked about recent news, recent well-being, various small talk. We do things too, sometimes we gather at a house and play board game. The problem is I don’t enjoy Jenga and Mahjong at all. I also watched a different genre of TV series from the others. They enjoy Chinese and Korean drama series, which when I tried I’d just fall asleep. These are things that simply don’t excite me.

They don’t drink alcoholic beverage either, and they enjoy the beverage I have an opinion with, bubble milk tea. Their lifestyle wasn’t bad, its just not fitting mine. Like trying to put a cube into a round hole.

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When I was hanging out with the girl group, I had the urge to rush home to practice piano or even work on the laptop. I feel like I can be more productive else where.

It is not wrong, to have new friends

Hanging out with the new group, we have our small talk over beer, do stuff together over the weekend. We go diving, swimming, golf, cook at home, hiking, gaming (I don’t play video game but I’ll play Duolingo when they MBL), fixing stuff, trying out new things, and of course, more beer time together.

When we do talk, it’s over lunch or dinner. The girls in the new group don’t eat little, they eats a normal food amount, which makes me feel less alienated. I can’t share a salad. I need a salad plus a bowl of rice, on my own.

They don’t mind if I read my own book, while if I do that in the old group, I look like I didn’t care and not paying attention like everyone else.

2. Different goal and personalities

At age of 30, most people are settling down. It’s not like I’m not settling down myself, I got married when I was 29. I planned for our wedding too, turns out I have different opinions with the other girls. I don’t fancy a grand wedding like others do.

The new group however doesn’t care how I want to organize the wedding, all they did was support and offered help.

The new group is more adventurous than the first. Diving, snowboarding, outdoor activities.

3. The Art of Invitation

This all happened after an Instagram post, I noticed my old group hangout without me, and it wasn’t the first time. I felt hurt at the first few hours.

When I calm down and came to think of it, I can see from their point of view why wasn’t I invited.

They detected that I’m not being myself during the gathering.

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I was actually feeling unease to respond to their invitation. If I’m not going, I feel like I’m not cooperating. If I’m going, deep down I know I wouldn’t enjoy.

  • The Zen story

I came across the story about a crying woman. She cries all the time. The villagers asked the old lady for the reason. The old lady said she has 2 daughters, Ella was selling umbrella, Sheren was selling shoes. When it’s sunny day, Ella couldn’t sell her umbrella; when it was rainy day, Shereen wouldn’t have any sales because people were unwilling to step out of their house.

The villager laughed and said, “No! You should think the other way! When it’s sunny day, Shereen would sell many pairs of shoes; when it was rainy day, Ella would make a great sales on her umbrella.” Ever since then, the crying lady smile every day.

I was in the situation of the old lady. If I’d just see things a bit differently, I’d feel much better. The weather wasn’t something up to my control, let’s just be grateful of the joy the new group is bringing me, and still enjoy the on-going friendship with the old one.

When I am 35 years old later, I should feel calm for another friend change. Which is only another 4.5 years from now, I should really appreciate what we are having right now.

Have you ever experience the same? Let me know by commenting below.

Are you feeling scared and having doubts to yourself every time it happens?

liew.onemachine@gmail.com

Author: Dona Liew

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