If you don’t want to lose friendships as you get older, say goodbye to these 8 behaviors

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Growing older comes with a lot of changes, including how our relationships work. The unfortunate truth is that not all friendships are built to last a lifetime. However, there are some behaviors that can accelerate the downfall of these relationships faster than necessary.

So basically, if you don’t want to lose friendships as you grow older, there are certain behaviors you need to learn to let go of.

In this article, I’ll guide you through 8 behaviors that could be sabotaging your friendships without you even realizing it. As we move along, remember that it’s never too late to change and nurture your relationships. Let’s dive in!

1) Avoiding difficult conversations

As we grow older, our lives become more complicated. And so do our friendships.

One of the most common behaviors that can harm friendships is avoiding difficult conversations. We often shy away from addressing issues or misunderstandings because we fear conflict or don’t want to rock the boat.

But here’s the thing: Conflict is not always bad. In fact, it’s often necessary for growth. Avoiding difficult conversations only leads to misunderstandings and resentment, which can ultimately damage your friendship beyond repair.

So, if you want to maintain your friendships as you age, it’s crucial to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. Address issues openly and honestly, and encourage your friends to do the same. It might be challenging at first, but with practice, it becomes easier.

Remember, true friends value honesty and openness. And they’ll appreciate your efforts to keep the friendship strong and healthy.

As you grow older you should also become more mature to deal with these conversations too.

2) Taking your friends for granted

There’s a saying that familiarity breeds contempt. In my own journey of life I learned this can be all too true.

Years ago, I had a close friend. We were inseparable. But as we got older, I started taking our friendship for granted. I’d cancel plans last minute, forget birthdays, and often prioritized other things over our time together.

It wasn’t until he confronted me about it that I realized how my behavior was affecting him. He felt unappreciated and undervalued – and rightfully so.

From that point on, I made a conscious effort to show my appreciation for him and our friendship. I started making our plans a priority, remembering important dates, and just generally being more present and attentive.

The change in our relationship was remarkable. Not only did it strengthen our bond, but it also made me realize the importance of never taking your friends for granted.

So, if you want to keep your friendships intact, always remind your friends how much they mean to you. Show appreciation, keep your commitments, and never take them for granted.

3) Not giving them space to grow

As we age, change is inevitable. We evolve in our careers, families, and personal lives – and so do our friends.

Sometimes, people may feel threatened when their friends start to change or evolve in ways they don’t understand. They may cling to old memories and resist accepting their friend’s new identity or lifestyle.

Instead, it’s essential to give your friends room to grow and change. Embrace their new interests, support the changes, and accept that they might not always be the same person you’ve known for years.

In doing so, you’re not only fostering a healthier relationship but also encouraging personal growth for both yourself and your friend. After all, change is a part of life, and accepting it can make your friendships stronger and more fulfilling.

4) Neglecting communication

Life gets busy as we age, we get caught up in our jobs, families and other responsibilities. And sometimes, these commitments can cause us to neglect communication with our friends.

This doesn’t mean you have to talk every day or every week. But letting months or even years pass by without checking in can strain the relationship. Friendships, like any other relationship, require regular nurturing to remain strong.

In this digital age, communication has become easier than ever. A quick text or a call can go a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship with your friends. It shows them that despite your busy schedule, you still value and care about them.

So make sure to maintain regular communication. It’s a simple gesture, but it can make a world of difference in preserving your friendships over time.

5) Being overly critical

As we mature, we gain more life experiences and in turn, develop stronger opinions. But there’s a fine line between sharing your views and being overly critical.

While it’s natural to want the best for your friends, constantly critiquing their choices or decisions can create a strain on the friendship. Nobody likes to feel judged or belittled, especially by someone they trust and care about.

Instead, strive to be supportive and understanding. If you disagree with their choices, express your concerns in a respectful and compassionate manner. Remember, it’s not about proving who’s right or wrong but about providing a safe space for honest and open discussions.

Letting go of overly critical behavior can make a significant difference in maintaining your friendships.

6) Holding onto grudges

Friendships aren’t always smooth sailing. Disagreements and misunderstandings are bound to happen. However, holding onto grudges can cast a long shadow over your relationships and prevent them from flourishing.

The act of forgiveness isn’t just beneficial to the person you’re forgiving, but also for your emotional well-being. Carrying around resentment or bitterness can be draining and hinder your ability to enjoy the friendship fully.

Letting go of past hurts doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning the behavior. It means choosing peace over conflict, understanding over anger, and love over resentment.

So, if you want to maintain your friendships as you age, practice forgiveness. It’s a gift you give to yourself and your friends. After all, life is too short to hold grudges, especially against those who matter most to us.

7) Failing to reciprocate effort

There was a time in my life where I was so caught up in my own world that I failed to see how one-sided some of my friendships had become.

I had a friend who would always reach out, plan get-togethers and check in on me regularly. But I rarely reciprocated the effort. It wasn’t until she pointed it out that I realized how unbalanced our friendship had become.

Friendships are a two-way street. They require mutual effort and involvement. It’s not fair, nor sustainable, for one person to be doing all the heavy lifting.

Return calls, initiate plans, and show interest in their lives. It’s these small acts of reciprocity that truly keep a friendship alive and thriving.

8) Forgetting to cherish the bond

Above all else, it’s crucial to remember to cherish your friendships. These relationships are unique bonds that enrich our lives, offer support, bring joy, and help shape who we are.

As we age, we realize the importance of quality over quantity. It’s not about how many friends you have, but the depth and quality of those friendships.

So, always take time to appreciate your friends. Celebrate the good times, support each other through the bad, and never forget the value they bring to your life. In the end, these relationships are some of the most precious things we have. Cherish them.

Friendships are a journey

The essence of friendships lies not in perfection, but in the shared journey of growth and understanding.

As we age, our friendships become less about shared interests or common backgrounds and more about mutual respect, understanding, and emotional support.

So as we navigate the challenges of maintaining friendships while growing older, let’s remember that it’s worth overcoming the hurdles. After all, these relationships form an integral part of our happiness and well-being.

Let’s strive to be the best friends we can be – forgiving, supportive, present and appreciative. In doing so, we’re not only enriching our own lives but also contributing positively to the lives of our friends.

In the end, losing friendships as we age isn’t a given. It’s often a result of behaviors we have the power to change. It’s a journey worth traveling for the cherished bonds that await at the end.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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