You know that friend of yours that you’ve known forever, that you usually tend to hear from if there’s something going on in their life or they need you, but not too much otherwise? I think we all know someone that fits that description in our friends list, maybe even a couple of them.
You make every excuse under the sun for them as to why they were unable to attend the last birthday, picnic, whatever catch up you organised – or they reschedule you so many times it’s turned into days of our lives… How do you know when enough is enough? There are only so many times you can continue to invite them to everything, send them Christmas cards, send messages for catch-ups before you get disheartened…
It’s a really fine balance between giving them grace for their busy lives/work/kids/other commitments and realising that they’re no longer the same friend to you – that you are to them.
Maybe just think on that one a minute…would they drop everything to drive over and help you out at short notice? I mean when was the last time they wanted to catch up just to say hi, rather than drop their kids off for a play when they have an appt or something else they just have to go-quickly-do?
Let me quantify this statement though – this does NOT include good friends who have been there for you through thick and thin and are just busy with their everyday lives. If they will drive over to your house at the drop of a hat with chicken soup/pizza/cheap wine when you need them – they are in a WHOLE different league and they should be cased in gold (Han Solo style) and put on a shelf!!! These are the friends that when you do catch up, it feels like you were never apart to begin with, there’s no need for excuses or apologies about why it’s been so long between discussions or catch ups…everything is just great!
Only you can decide if the relationship is still equal give and take between you…constantly rescheduling you for better offers or being the last on the help list isn’t exactly inspiring but you’re a good person and you continue to say yes anyway. When does that end?
Well you know what…when you start saying no, or if you can’t do that…get busy – sorry we’re out that afternoon, maybe some other time. Or better yet, can you watch my kids Monday lunchtime…not sure what time we’ll be finished, I’ll bring their pjs so they have some clean clothes after a bath. Seriously these discussions are real!
I really believe that it should be a reciprocal relationship between friends – otherwise you’re just the easy-as free babysitter and hell if you’re regularly looking after an extra few kids – well you may as well open a family day-care and get paid for that effort!!! Sure it might take you a bit of effort to set up – but if you’re great with kids, love setting up activities and making wholesome food, it’s actually a really clever idea!
So I’m trying to make more of an effort with my friends circle, spending more time and energy on the friends who make the effort to spend time with us…and seeing where that takes us. Just because you’ve been friends with someone forever doesn’t give them the freedom to ignore or leave you out of things because they can’t make a bit of extra effort to stay in touch.
So I’m encouraging you to do the same – check through your text messages/FB Messenger/Instagram comments/E-mails etc, and send a friendly hello to someone you’ve been meaning to message for forever…even if it just says “Hi, how are things…I’ve been thinking of you.”
Keep reaching out and sharing the love to those that take the time for you and your family too – those friends are precious, be they new, old or friends of friends you’re not even sure if you’re going to be besties with them yet. Yes, rejection and unanswered messages is tough on the soul – but I’m sure that for every message that’s read, there will be a smile and a good thought about you – with a mental thanks for reaching out even if they don’t get around to replying anytime soon. (I’m guilty of this too, but I’m really trying to be better!)
So spread the love, reach out those feelers and I bet you’ll absolutely make someone’s day! Do ittttttttt! Let me know how you go – would love to hear from you!