I have learned a lot about friendships over the years. When I moved away from home to study at uni, I began to realise the importance of friends that will always be there to help you through the harder times, as well as being there to enjoy the best bits. Friendships naturally come to an end, often allowing others to begin. One thing that I have noticed on social media over the last year is an increase in the number of people that say you should ‘cut people out’ if they ‘don’t deserve you’, and similar inspirational quotes. I completely agree with this. In fact, at times I may have gone too far.
Here is my advice to you.
After big life changes, such as moving to a new place, it’s only natural to lose touch with people. Keeping lines of communication open, even if it’s to share good news once a month or arrange a weekend together twice a year, is essential. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that it will feel like barely a second has passed between meetings with your good friends, even if it has taken you months to arrange a suitable date and time.
On the other hand, I think it’s generally a good idea to make time for people who make time for you. When you are the person always trying to arrange a meet up or initiating conversation, it can quickly feel one sided. According to social media, this is when you should drop them as a friend. Only put in time for people who put in time for you, they say. I’ve bought into this for a long time. It’s a ‘one strike and you’re out’ type of policy, and it can be quite tempting. We all lead busy lives, and making time for those who don’t value your time can seem like a waste.
Sometimes this has worked quite well for me. Promising to not put in effort any more has seen some people completely fade from my life. It’s a reminder that without my effort, we probably wouldn’t have seen each other for a few years already. With others, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Letting distance appear can sometimes make people realise that they’re missing your company. It’s so refreshing to find out that a person did value your time all along. It has even led to much better friendships with some people.
Now, though, I think I’ve taken it too far on some occasions. When someone has tripped up or shown a lack of interest, I have been tempted to cut them out immediately. If they don’t care about me, then why should I waste my time? At times, I think I’ve been overly quick to judge. Though on other occasions, it has clearly been the right thing to do and has meant less negativity overall. Finding a balance has proved difficult.
I want to make sure that I make the right call in future. Is it their first offence? How big a mistake was it? Is it because of other factors in their life? Can I still trust them? Taking in my past experience, I think I might finally be in the position to judge properly now.
Have you had friendship difficulties lately? What did you do in the end? Forgive or forget?