How to cope when you're not over partying but your friends are
There was once a time when a Friday night was not complete without a dancefloor and a lot of tequila.
But with the weekend in touching distance, what do you have planned? Will there be a chicken shop at 2am, or have things got a little bit, well, tame?
There comes a time when friendships naturally change – the love is still there, but your lives are diverging. And while your circle of friends is still in tact, your lifestyles and preferences may have shifted.
Millennials in particular will understand this change. Some are single, living in house shares and no stranger to the dancefloor, while others have settled down, perhaps already parents.
And of course, no matter your relationship status or age, there’s the age old introvert/extrovert divide to contend with too.
But for those of us that just aren’t ready to stop partying yet, what can you do?
Alison Blackler, a mind coach, says it’s key to not take your friends’ changed social preferences personally – even if it can sometimes feel that way.
She says: ‘As humans, our emotional brain can be running high in these kinds of situations and we often feel rejected.
‘It can be common for friendships to change over time and holding onto how it used to be, can be uncomfortable.
‘Managing disappointment is an internal thing. So often we blame someone else for the feelings of sadness, isolation or in fact loneliness.
‘It is fine to feel disappointed initially when something or someone has changed but the power is in working out what you can do to help yourself.’
The first thing to do is compromise and accept the friendship dynamic might not be exactly what you want it to be right now, though that doesn’t mean it isn’t still valuable.
Alison explains: ‘Friends who have children or are in relationships still need to see the benefit in spending time with their other friends.
‘It is not healthy for them to give up on their friendships, and I would say it is important that you help them see this.
‘Some people fall into the trap of thinking they haven’t the time or energy for “time for them”, and a good friend can encourage this.’
So if hitting the club doesn’t appeal, maybe a pub lunch will. Try to meet in the middle and explain how you’re feeling to your friends.
You might also want to expand your network and find people who are at a similar place in life as you.
Alison says it’s important our circle includes people like this.
‘Finding a new tribe for new experiences is definitely an approach,’ she says.
‘It’s not that you’re turning your back on your old friends, but finding new people who are in the same stage of life as you will naturally give new energy and direction.’
You could start new clubs, attend meet ups, and look for opportunities to cross paths with new people.
Is there a person at work you’ve always clicked with and wanted to get to know better? See if they want to go for drinks one day and go from there.
Another option is to go out and do things anyway, even as a solo person.
Thanks to TikTok, solo outings aren’t so taboo now, with many content creators documenting the things they do alone – from getting a coffee to going dancing.
‘Believing that you need someone else to do things with is not actually true,’ says Alison.
‘Giving yourself the push and permission to try new things on your own means that you are in full control,’ she says.
‘It means that you are not waiting for someone else or getting frustrated if they let you down.
‘It can be really hard to try something new alone, feelings of anxiousness are normal, although with some self-talk and encouragement – you can do it.’
That gig no one is up for? Get a ticket anyway – you might just get chatting to someone next to you.
It’s true that as an adult it can be hard to make new friends, but new experiences shouldn’t feel locked off just because your mates aren’t feeling it anymore.
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