This week I took the face right off of one of my closest friends. I'm not saying that she didn't need a bit of perspective but I could definitely have handled it better. We sorted it out but not before I lost my shit and it got me thinking about friendship in general.
Probably, some of them won't want to read this next part but this is about me, how I feel and not about them as individuals.
I love my own company, almost too much. Even if I am just lying on the couch doing nothing. I really enjoy the silence and the peace it brings me. So as I've gotten older, I find it more and more difficult to spend extended periods of time with my friends. As bad as this sounds, I like to know that there is an end time. A time where I can go back home, close the door and feel the silence envelope me in a big "welcome home" hug. That being said, I don't think I am a bad friend (I'm sure someone will tell me when they read this if I am). I also love my friends but friendship is hard sometimes and it takes work.
There's a fine line to tread in all friendships I think. When does protective become meddling? When is it ok to say how you feel and what you think? When do you just shut up? In recent months, I think this is more important than ever. Everyone is stressed, tempers are frayed and you need to know when enough is enough.
There are things I am trying to put into practice with my friends, to make sure the time I'm spending with them is as full as possible.
First, off the back of my initial statement, do not charge in like a bull when your temper is up. Just because you have taken something a certain way doesn't mean that the it was meant that way. Take a breath, two if you need it and then ask the person what they meant or tell them calmly that you're upset by something they did or said. I'm lucky to have friends that can recognise and check themselves as well as me.
Another thing I am trying to do is be present, put the phone away. You can text that guy back in an hour or two (because there's always a guy...) I really want to focus on the person I'm spending time with, engage with them and I think the time spent will be more enjoyable. I know I have failed at this one a few times recently and when I look back on it, I'm annoyed at myself. We're all going to have slips though, I'll do better next time!
Check on people! We can all be guilty of letting our pride get in the way. We spit the dummy and say "well they haven't messaged me". Who cares? Put your pride and ego to the side and if you want to speak to them, they're important to you then do it. I have a friend who I literally speak to once every 2 years. When we do, we chat like we only had a beer yesterday and it's great but I would never dream of pulling her up for it or getting annoyed at her. So why do I do it with other people? I have no idea what my friends really have going on in their lives and honestly, sometimes life just gets in the way and people don't realise how much time has passed. So just text or call!
Lastly, support your friends. No, not in something stupid... but I have brilliant, creative friends who have their own businesses, side hustles etc. Why would I not support them in this? Sometimes it could be as simple as sharing something on my instagram or dropping them a message to tell them they're doing great. I know that it's not always possible to buy every product or attend every class but try to do something for them. Even the smallest show of support could make the biggest difference to them!
Friendships are hard, we take them for granted a lot of the time but the reality is, they need nourishment too. You probably rely on your friends more than your family or your partner throughout your life so just show them the support and appreciation they deserve!