How To Not Invest In The Wrong Friendships
I will admit, that I have been the person who invested time into the wrong friendships. Recently, I did a survey of people in my life, particularly friends and came to a harsh realization. I had been investing time and energy into friends that didn't invest the same amount of time into our friendship, so here is how I turned it around .
Resentment Is Contagious: Investing time and energy into the wrong friend breeds resentment. Trust me, this is something I have experienced a lot with one particular friend and I didn't know why I kept on feeling awful about the friendship. But the thing was, they didn't text back ever but when we would hangout, they were always on their phone. I would make plans and she would always bail. And as these things were happening they were causing anger and resentment in me, and it felt like it spread and tainted everything. It also builds anger and breeds negative emotions into your relationships.
Some Friends Aren't Good Friends: Some people aren't a good friends. They maybe great in romantic relationships, always there for family and reliable at work but for some reason they can't seem to pick up the phone or plan a simple hangout. Some people can do a lot of things but they can't be good a friend. We have to accept this because I think, we expect certain things and we get really disappointed when our expectations aren't met.
Calculate Effort: I am not saying you have a tally of everything you do versus everything your friend does. But instead, take notice of what they put into the friendship. For example, when you text them, do they text back or do you get a response within days? When you ask to hangout, do they seem excited? Are they quick to give you days that they are free? All of these are great ways to see how much effort they put in. Some friends want you to plan everything and they show up, others put no effort into it at all.
Are They Interested In Your Life: A good friend is a friend that cares about you and what's going on in your life. A bad friend is someone who doesn't. When you hangout with them, are they constantly only talking about themselves and their issues? Do they look disinterested? Are they always on their phone instead of paying attention to you?. Would they rather be somewhere else? This past year, my grandmother passed away and my father also had a stroke and one of my friends barely ever asked me about it after it happened. Every time we talked, it was always about them. This can be hard, so try and see if your friend shows interest in your life. Because if they aren't showing an interest, then maybe, they aren't the kind of friend you need.
Are They Blowing You Off: Do your friends cancel plans or don't ever secure plans with you until the last minute? Are they waiting for other plans before confirming with you? I think these are signs that your friend is not invested in you. You know the kind of friend that never says yes to anything you plan but then will ask you if your free on the night you had planned something? I literally can't stand those people...lol. Or the kind of friend who is always so busy because apparently, they are the only people in the world who have a job or a life? If you have a friend who is too busy to take part in your life or too busy to have you take part in their life, then you have to say goodbye.
Give Them The 3 Times Rule: A great friend of mine gave me this rule. She said, if you have a bad friend, who never answers your call, text, or is never there when you need them; a friend that lets you down; then give them the 3 times rule. Call once and if they don't answer, call again the next day, leave a message, and if they don't call back, call them again the third time. After the third time, stop! You can do this with texting too. Accept give them three days to return a text. I did this with a friend and they didn't answer three times, and I texted and they didn't respond after three days, so I left it. I realized that I respect myself and my time. I respect those two things enough to say no to any friend who thinks it is ok to not call back, to not text, to not commit to simple plans, to not ask about what's happening in my life, and to any friend who won't put an ounce of effort in. I refuse to have any type of friendship that breeds resentment and anger into my life!
To put it simply, you should want to be friends with someone who wants to be friends with you and sometimes people think they can be good friends and they can't. This is okay but respect yourself enough to move on. You should set expectations so that you are not hurt. You should put effort and time in to people who do the same and care about you. Remember that people only spend time with people they want to spend time with and a true friend no matter how busy they are will make the effort to spend time with you and will value and respect your time.
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*This article was originally published in January 2018*