I am going to ask you to look at your friendships and determine if you are maintaining or just dealing. No matter what type of relationship, it should never feel like a burden or that you are dealing with it. Today we will shed some light on friendships.
With the stress and irritabilities that come with everything else in life, friendships should not be one of them. Between an increase of distance, lack of time, and an even lower patience level, keeping even your closest relationships is very, very difficult. Sometimes, it may seem more like a chore than just being there for a friend.
It’s inevitable that your closest friends will evolve and change, and they won’t always include you in their decisions. You can also choose to evolve with them. But sometimes these changes don’t lead in the direction you’re headed. It’s difficult to maintain similar schedules and likes/dislikes when you’re no longer focused on going to classes then spending time with your close friends. Life is now about getting to work on time, spending 9+ hours with people you don’t necessarily want to be with, and coming home to unwind. Guess what? You get to do that the next day too! You have a routine and your friends have one too. An example of “maintaining” a friendship would be to learn this routine, follow up on work projects/deadlines your friends have, and schedule a time to catch up. If your friends seem aloof or distant, jumping to conclusions won’t help here. Be patient and make an effort to get to know what your friends are up to and inquire about the direction they are taking THEIR life. Support them or don’t, but don’t put stress on either of you to have the same relationship you had in high school.
People can get busy. I get it. We have everything from family issues to relationships to our own personal struggles that are affecting our everyday life. You need to understand that sometimes your friends may need time on their own to sort things out. If they’re coming to you, they obviously want your advice – take it as a compliment. Help them through the lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way, and if they’re a good friend, they’ll help you through yours. Which leads me to my next point, everything I’ve laid out SHOULD be reciprocated. A relationship is a two-way street.
Now, anything I’ve laid out that you’ve thought to yourself, “There is no way I have time to do this or the desire” then this is an example of you “dealing” with your friendship. Like I said, things are more difficult now with the distance, etc. and less convenient because of different work schedules, no shared space like a class, and evolving personalities. If it doesn’t excite you to want to fully understand your friend’s daily grind then it’s time to move on.
So when you go to vent about your friend who’s always bitching about what her boyfriend didn’t do, or that friend who makes silly mistakes you wouldn’t make, you need to think about this: are you dealing with it or are you maintaining it? The way you look at your friendships will determine how you treat the friend in question. If you are constantly bothered, you need decide if the person is worth the ride.
Bottoms up to better friendships,