It can become difficult to manage a friendship or deeper relationship when there is no longer even footing – someone becomes a competitor or a superior – or that common friend has a falling out or the roommate stops being responsible.
It doesn't hurt to have a straightforward conversation about what changes in the different circles where you and the other person interact when relationships change. It requires an effort on your part as much as the other. Are topics off limits? Did the friendship feel “even” before? If so, how do you maintain that when the circle you are in is friends and not something professional.
It's also important to remember that these changes may not be easy at first and perceived wrongs should be addressed rather than letting them build up. Doing so can show a maturity needed in these situations, but it also prevents difficulties in one relationship with that person from becoming an issue in the other relationship you have with that person.
Also, remember that any difficulties in the professional or more business relationship probably shouldn't be a topic of conversation among friends. It's also important to remember that it may not be possible to maintain a friendship with a professional relationship, but that doesn't mean respect and courtesy are also lost.
Just as everyone makes friends in different places, everyone loses friends, or the level of friendship, and these changes need to be handled in a way that maintains the other relationships. Yes, it's a 2-way street, but by acting with the best intentions you will have put in the necessary effort, which can then influence the other.
This topic of the week was written by Brian Swope, MFT