20-Something Friendships

When do you give up on a friendship?

I have a couple of friendships that are slowly becoming more and more one-sided. If one person puts in all the effort, when does that person decide to stop? If I can call or text you and pick up where we left off, it’s probably a solid friendship. But if you never bother to pick up the phone to initiate conversations with me, why should I continue to try?

We’re at points in our lives when we are all busy. We’re trying to figure out our lives, what we want to do and who we want to be now that we’re not in school. We all have a million different commitments tugging us different ways that force us to decide how we prioritize. So when you’re no longer a priority in a friend’s life, should you take that as a hint? Or should you understand? There have been people that you naturally fade away from, but sometimes it isn’t mutual. And then what?

In our society of social media, we feel like we’re always connected. We can see your posts and pictures of your life events and we feel like we’re staying in touch, that we know what you’ve been up to. But if we haven’t taken the time to actually talk to that person, to reach out and say “Congratulations” or “How are you doing?” then how connected are we really?

Emojis and status updates are not substitutes for hugs and conversations — face to face, eye to eye, real, and open conversations. We’re so afraid of being in an awkward situation that we avoid almost any situation that might possibly lead to any sort of discomfort. Sit with that discomfort. Look each other in the eyes and allow yourself to just be with someone. What are we so afraid of?

There are a lot of issues with the world we live in today. There are plenty of scenarios for us to be scared of. Maintaining friendships shouldn’t be one of them. If the only way you can see your friendship with that person is via Facebook, there might be some repairs to be made.

Spend quality time with the people you care about. Turn off your phones. Ask them how they’ve been, but more importantly, actually listen to what they have to say. Don’t spend all your time talking about just one of you. They’re your friend for a reason, don’t let them slip away. If the only time you talk to this person is when you need something, you aren’t giving them the best of yourself, and they deserve better.

It takes effort to maintain a friendship. Who is worth the effort to you?

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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