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Cherie Burbach

What Busy Really Means

By February 19, 2013

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I mentioned in a recent article that someone once told me that when someone tells you they are too busy to do something, it's because something else takes priority over you. This could sound very offensive (and might be depending on the situation), but at the same time, it's a very real definition.

Think about this. If you just had kids, your new schedule will be a priority over friends. If you have a new job, you'll need to get acclimated and friends may take a backseat. This doesn't have to be forever, but if someone tells you they are busy you need to understand that that's just the way it is sometimes.

I'll use myself as an example. As a freelance writer, I value the friendships I have with other writers in my area. I try and attend lunches and get-togethers, but my job takes priority. I try and keep up with everyone and attend events when I can, I make a real effort to clear my schedule and do this, but even with that there are some times when things just don't work out and I can't be there.

The key to determining if a friend is blowing you off constantly and not acting as a friend is how much of an effort they make. Maybe they can't be there all the time. Maybe they try but if you want them to be a best friend, it's just not going to happen. This doesn't mean you can't be friends with them, but you need to decipher what the busyness excuse really means and it probably changes from friend to friend.

Related: Being Too Busy for Friends | Gift Ideas for Busy Friends


February 19, 2013 at 7:47 am
(1) Susan M Baganz says:

I think it depends too on more than one instance, like you referred to with your lunches. If someone is always giving the “I’m too busy” and never initiates anything, then it maybe be that they are really not interested in a closer relationship and as much as that may hurt, you have to accept it and find someone else who has room for you in their life and space for you in their heart. Reciprocity can be a good indicator of true friendship – regardless of busy lifestyles. Personally, If I try and try and try to get together with someone and get the “too busy” comment, I step back and wait for them to decide when and if they ever want to connect with me. It’s just a part of life, not everyone can be your close friend – but those who are will understand. “Busy” with no possibility of connection in the figure is a clue that they are really not that interested.

February 19, 2013 at 10:12 am
(2) friendship says:

Great thoughts, Susan! Yes, not everyone can become our good friends. Some folks just don’t want that, so other things will take a priority. I liked what you said about being busy with no possibility of connection. That’s the key to decide if they want to be friends with you or not.

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