This weekend marks National Women’s Friendship Day and I felt it was appropriate to examine our relationships.
Most people would quickly preach that marriage takes work. I think we could easily say “all relationships” take work. Friendships take work too. And you have to decide if it’s worth the work to maintain that friendship.
There are different ways that I put effort into my friendships, especially since my friends and sisters are scattered throughout the U.S. I would be pretty upset with myself if I hurt someone’s feelings and would not intentionally try to upset or disrespect someone I considered a friend. I admit I have moderate-high expectations out of friendships and this is my own issue to deal with. Let’s consider the following:
When would I consider myself being a bad friend?
- If I fail to recognize a birthday without a text or Facebook post. If you are active on Facebook, birthday reminders are the best! I’m sorry but I think Facebook posts from your closest friends that only say “Happy Bday” are pretty lame. If you put effort into your other posts then put a damn emoji or something!!
- Constantly flaking on plans. A few cancellations are understood but being a constant flake is a drain. Don’t be surprised if your friends give a snarky comment when you FINALLY show up! Haha!
- When meeting with friends, all I do is complain or make faces. Are my conversations all about complaints or problems? Negativity is toxic. A negative or toxic friend is less likely to be empathetic or listen to you in your time of need. What kind of friend am I if the people closest to me feel that they can’t talk to me?
- Do I try to one-up you all the time or act like my life is worse than yours? For example, if you comment about a problem with your kids’ school is your friend’s response meant to make you feel bad or shut you up? Or does your friend offer a similar story that could solve your problem? If your friend replies with “At least ________” then he/she may be trying to one-up you. Beware.
- Not giving advance notice about events, important social functions, etc. Short notice happens from time to time but don’t cop an attitude when you give someone late notice and they can’t attend. Don’t give friends a guilt trip either. Not cool.
- Failing to ask my friends “What’s going on”, “How are you feeling”, “How’s school/work”, etc. Do I walk in and only talk about myself? Do I listen to them or ask about their life or interests? In my opinion, a friend who doesn’t ask these things may be a hater. Beware again. You don’t have to have something in common to show you care. I don’t have kids but I make sure to ask my friends about their kids and their interests.
I understand that “stuff happens.” When we are going through a rough time in our life we may be withdrawing from our friendships more than adding value to them. As Gretchen Rubin states in The Happiness Project, “No deposit, no return.” But if we’re a crappy friend during the good times, don’t be surprised if people aren’t too receptive when you’re struggling.
Keep a balance.
Act like the type of friend you would want.
And if you notice that your friends apply to this list more than you, maybe its time to re-evaluate those relationships.
Special hugs for my friends and sisters near and far. I cherish our relationships and the efforts we all put into them. Miss you all!
Happy National Friendship Day!
Reach out to a friend you haven’t heard from in a while.