It’s annoying. It’s rude. It’s down right disrespectful and you’re pissed off, so you should be!
You’ve texted, you’ve called, you’ve Facebook messaged, Whatsapped, Snap Chatted, Christ, you’ve even Instagram messaged that elusive friend who just never seems to find the time to get back to you. You bump into them in the street, the excitement bubbling up inside of you. You’re finally going to find out the big mystery that’s kept your main gal from simply sending an emoji. Then you get hit with ‘sorry, I’ve been busy’.
Home-slice, you don’t know what busy is! You mentally reel back through all those times you reached out to them after a long day at work, your family falling out with you, your boyfriend arguing with you and some stranger flipping you off on the motorway. Busy. Aren’t we all! You’ve been juggling responsibilities and managing priorities like every one else. Heck! You’ve been contemplating getting caffeine patches because your favourite mug keeps getting abandoned half full.
You don’t sit on your behind all day contacting every tom dick and harry. You don’t take afternoon naps and you certainly go to work. Oh, don’t you know you do that. So why when you’ve specially selected this person to speak to they give you the cold shoulder?
It’s natural as we get older, we have more commitments, we have diverging lives and it’s something we all have to adapt to. However, this isn’t a smooth transition for everyone. Is it wrong to expect friends to always be there?
There is a key distinction that needs to be made here. We’re not talking about low maintenance friends. The low maintenance friends for those of you who are not clued up on my personal vocabulary are those friends you can call up anytime out the blue and just pick up a conversation that you left off on a month ago. They’re friends you can just swing by their house to see them and they’ll wedge you in between their parents on the sofa and stick a glass of wine in your hand because they always have time for you! They’re the friends you can randomly text and say ‘Gal, u can see ur nipples through that top’ and they know exactly what Insta pic you’re referring to and laugh about it. You make time for each other when you have the time. You’re there for each other when its needed. Basically your friendship operates on an open door policy. Then there is the MIA friend.
The Missing in Action friend texts you when they want something like they need their boyfriend to see they actually have friends. They call you when they’re upset but never ask about you. They may even have a trigger where you can expect them to vanish without a trace. Normally a new boyfriend, a new group of friends or a new job. They complain others pick on them unfairly and you feel guilty for wanting to ditch them too but should you?
Now personally I have a threshold. I will be understanding, I will be supportive, I will try my very hardest not to be childish and haemorrhage friends for fickle reasons. I’ve reached out, brought flowers and patiently waited. That being said my limit is this-
“If a person is making you feel bad about yourself by their behaviour consistently and you feel that you will be happier without them then cut them loose”.
People will reach this limit in different ways. Maybe not at all but that is the philosophy I live by. It might seem silly to people that a person would feel bad about themselves just because someone is being flaky but it’s not silly and I’ll tell you why. Feelings matter. The way I feel matters, the way you feel matters and feelings should not be undermined by comments like. Don’t overreact. You’re being sensitive. Those are just code words for “I don’t want to deal with your feelings right now”. It feels crappy to be rejected, it feels crappy to be ignored, it feels crappy that someone who you thought was close to you turns out not to be. It feels personal why wouldn’t it?
It’s happened to me, It’s happened to a few of my friends. I don’t advocate ditching your friends for nothing. A lot of people go through depression, anxiety, stress and other issues which may make them distant for a while and need extra support. I’ve been there. All relationships are a balancing act. Sometimes we need to lean on our friend’s shoulders and sometimes they need to lean on ours. It’s hard to recognise when to cut the cord and it shouldn’t be a snap decision. I’d also like to point out that ending friendships also shouldn’t mean that it’s suddenly okay to start dragging your old pals name through the dirt or sending them hate mail.
In the words of the poetry that is spice girls:
I won’t be hasty, I’ll give you a try
If you really bug me then I’ll say goodbye.