Stopping Friends Becoming Foes

Friendships are a funny old game. I don’t think I’ve ever really been very good at them to be honest. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine decided to ‘break up’ with me, if you will, citing my truly sucky friendship skills. She was right, to be fair – I have not been the greatest amigo. It’s a sad loss, but one that has been rather sobering for me. While there’s nothing I can really do about the loss of that friendship, there’s still time for me to learn some lessons and buck up my ideas, so what have I learned?

I’m Selfish

Not in terms of material goods, I don’t really care about all that, but I am just very wrapped up in myself and what I’m doing. It’s not intentional. When I started this blog, four and a half years ago, with the intention of someday making a living from it, I knew it’d be a grind. And that’s what I do; hustle, hustle and grind, pretty much all day every day, to make this newly carved out career work. I love it, but I do it to the point that when I’m not working, I feel bad. Meeting up with friends, relaxing and having fun is all programmed in my head as stuff that will almost be to the detriment of what I’m trying to achieve. This, of course, I now realise, is bollocks. When I do take the time out to meet up with friends, I always come away feeling refreshed, renewed and happy. Lesson: I need to get out of my head and allow myself to spend time with friends.

Not Everyone Thinks Like Me

Should be a fairly obvious one really, but easily forgotten. For me, probably because of the above mentioned selfishness, I can go for ages without communication with friends and when we do eventually remember to text or go out, everything is just as it should be. But I need to remember that it’s not like that for everyone. Some friends require more, as they should. Obviously, when it crosses the line into them sucking the very lifeblood out of you, that’s a different issue, but being more engaged is not a bad thing and in the case of some friendships, is a must. Lesson: Must remove head from own ass.

I Hate the Phone

Seriously, considering I communicate for a living, I’m pretty crappy at it. I loathe having to pick up the phone and make a call, work, social or otherwise. I’m just not going to be the girl who will call you for hour long chats. I can’t do it. I’m getting better with texts, when I remember to send them. The monthly text and minute usage on my phone goes largely untouched whereas I usually always go over my internet allowance – that speaks volumes really. But again, gotta work on it – some friends need the phone call and it sure ain’t gonna kill me to make it. Lesson: Phones are not scary.

The Shell I’m In? I Gotta Step Out of It

I’m essentially quite a solitary person. I’ve never been the type to have ‘best friends’ who I must be with at all times. I have a few close friends and a lot of acquaintances. I am very happy in my own company. I don’t need to be around people all the time. Though I can now recognise that this is all well and good, however a few years ago, it lead me on a very slippery slope into some not so great times where I literally isolated myself from the world, refused to go out, wouldn’t answer my phone, had groceries delivered so I wouldn’t have to go out – the less human contact, where I’d actually have to try to explain what I was going through, the better. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these people may actually be concerned and want to help me, that I could even ask for help. My solitary nature makes me feel I have to carry it all on my own, but I’m realising now I have to step out of that and let people in. Lesson: Human contact is good!

In the couple of weeks since that friendship ended, I have reached out to friends more, touched base, sent random texts and met up with people. While it’s regrettable that a friendship had to end for me to get the point, I can only be thankful to that friend for teaching me the lesson.

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