If you’ve been working on yourself for a while, you’ve probably started to notice it.
At first, it was subtle. You stopped wanting to do some of the things you used: going out less frequently on the weekend and going from keeping up with friends on social a few times a day to a few times a week.
Then, maybe you started to feel distant to someone, a close friend or even your partner. The energy started to die down and you stopped feeling the same around or about them.
Personal growth is a necessary part of life if you want to realize your best self. But the path to peace and happiness is riddled with unexpected challenges.
One of those is the most unexpected and discomforting of all: people you were once close to you begin to feel distant from.
You feel great about yourself, know who you are (more than any other point in your life), and where you’re going. But some people were never meant to travel there with you.
Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.
– John Lennon
If you’ve started to feel that way about someone, here are six signs you’ve outgrown them.
1. Your values now seem to conflict or simply don’t align
Before, you might have agreed on most things. Now, one or more critical differences have sprouted up between the two of you.
Perhaps it’s how your perspective has changed on money, success, an opinion about the world or a particular group, the desire to move on from where you’ve grown up all your life, or to step away from the group of friends you’ve both shared for some time now.
Whatever the issue is, something fundamental has shifted within you that has changed the way you see the world. And that shift has caused a change of values that has resulted in a rift between the two of you.
2. Conversation feels unnatural
With this shift in values and ideals comes another noticeable sign: conversation feels awkward, forced, and generally unnatural.
Where before you had many “touch points” in conversation– things you both enjoyed talking about, agreed upon, or were interested in– now there’s little to nothing left.
Conversation is startlingly foreign, like the two of you are strangers on the street thinking of something the other might respond to.
3. Things you used to do together no longer entertain you
Maybe you used to binge-watch a certain type of T.V. show. Maybe you used to play video games. Maybe you would go out every Friday night to clubs or bars.
Whatever the activity is, there might be something which both of you enjoyed doing with one another that just doesn’t entertain you any longer.
Maybe instead of playing games or go clubbing you rather write, get outside in nature, or just try something new. Maybe you’re tired of the same old things and you want to experience all that life has to offer. Maybe they don’t feel like going anywhere at all.
4. You hold back from sharing with them because you feel they’ll criticize you or simply not understand
If you’ve noticed this sign, you’ve probably already opened up a few times recently and it didn’t go so well.
You want to talk about other things now. Things you’re doing. Things you’ve learned. New things you’ve experienced.
All of these are, they feel– subconsciously– an attack on their comfortable way of life.
They don’t want to admit that they’re comfortable, that they’re not living up to their own expectations, and you’re increasingly becoming a thorn in their side which keeps aggravating an already sore spot.
If every time you share something with them they either criticize or simply don’t understand where you’re coming from– and you’ve consequently stopped sharing with them as often– that’s one of the best signs you’ve outgrown them.
5. There’s more tension than before
Sometimes, it’s hard to put your finger on exactly what is giving you the feeling that you’re now more distant from the person than ever before. The feeling that the two of you just aren’t on the same wavelength any longer.
If you think you may have noticed little signs here and there but are unsure, look at how the two of you interact now compared to before: is there a general increase in tension? Do you seem to annoy one another more often even for the smallest things?
This isn’t exclusively a sign of having grown apart from someone. However, it’s a sign that you should look out for in tandem with the others on this list.
6. You have no desire to spend time with them
This obvious division now sprouts into something else: you no longer desire to spend time together with the person.
The obvious difference in values, ideals, and interests; more frequent criticism; increased tension; and lack of joy in each other’s company have all compounded to siphon away all desire to spend quality time with the person.
If you can’t quite put your finger on exactly how you’ve outgrown the person, but you suddenly have no desire to spend time with them any longer after a period of intense personal growth, that’s a good sign you’ve outgrown them.
No matter what signs you begin to notice, be respectful and understanding of the space that’s being created. People have to be properly motivated to create change and timing is critical, so it just might not be their time yet.
Don’t hang around if you feel you’ve truly outgrown the person, especially if they’re toxic or you believe they’re holding you back in some way. But understand that they’re still a human being with their own pain and struggles and move on in a way that is best for both of you.