I am so glad that this image above really does speak out about what this whole post is about!
In all my years of failed friendships due to my part of not keeping in touch often, I have realized that friendship, like any relationship, is a two-way street that needs to be open, otherwise there is no point. There is someone in my life and they are a person who I was close to when we attended college together and she was eager to hang out with me when I left college. We had monthly meet ups and it was great, we caught up on each other’s life and got to know more about how weird we were. Recently, she has been spacey. Normally, her spaciness is normal because she often doesn’t check her messages, but she has actually not responded at all. I realize that she is busy because she is at the place I had my internship but I still had time to have fun on the weekends. I am getting the “vibe” that she just doesn’t want to hang out and I can’t keep pushing it without putting her off. Maybe I see her more as a best friend than she sees me. I have gotten the push from people who were friends and I never liked the fact that they kept asking because I didn’t want to hang out but wouldn’t say it. Now, that I am older, I know that you can’t push someone into friendship. Just like a road has maintenance, construction, detours, etc. means that it is just like a friendship. I think that I have realized a good way to handle the anxiety and stress of wanting to hand out with friends because I never have before. I still get anxiety when people don’t respond back but I know when to stop…I think. We can just say that it is a work in progress. Tips to maintaining a good friendship:
1. Don’t initiate 100% of the time. This is my biggest piece of advice because it is true. If your friend wants to hang out with you, great, but if they don’t initiate conversation to meet up, that isn’t going to work. Chances are that if you are the one initiating all of the time, it means that they are not willing to put in the effort to make plans.
2. Give them choices. If your friend isn’t one to make a choice or is extremely indecisive, you can ask them what they don’t want to eat or narrow it down to two places you like. More than likely, they will choose one over the other and if they don’t, pick one. You can’t be seen as selfish if they gave you back the choice.
3. Don’t be the one to drive all of the time. Unless you get sick in the car or just like to take control of the wheel, don’t be the one to use your good gas all of the time. It is good to just equally share the carpool time. Of course, if you meet at a location, it doesn’t matter who drives. Also, if the other person doesn’t know how to drive, you can always ask them for a return in favor like food or gas money.
4. Give them time to talk and vice versa. No one wants to be the sound board sidekick to a person for the whole time you are together with a friend. Bring up something that you did or relate to what they are telling you with something that happened to you.
5. Accept them for what they offer to your life. My best friend is awesome and understanding because she doesn’t pressure me to do things that I don’t want to do. I think that there is a fine line in friendship of being someone who gives you that push to do something you are afraid of and someone who puts pressure on you to conform to what they want you to do. My best friend knows I don’t like to party or go to any and invites me all of the time but she knows me enough that I will refuse politely. What is so great is that even though she knows that I won’t go is that she still makes sure to invite me because she doesn’t want me to feel left out. You know you have a great friend when they think about you and how you would feel without compromising who they are as a person. So those are my 5 tips to maintaining a good relationship with someone. What do you do?
-The Mermaid Network