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Being Busy Shouldn't Mean a One-Sided Friendship

Why Time Management Is Important Between Friends


Too Busy

Being too busy isn't an excuse for canceling on your friend.

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Has your friendship become a bit one-sided? Your friendship may start out with one friend in a really busy place in life. Maybe they have a stressful job where they work long hours, they have kids, take care of their parents, and more. Maybe, for a while, they seem to have less time than you do. This happens in a friendship, but shouldn't be a permanent situation.

The Word "Busy" Is Subjective, and Often an Excuse

I once heard someone say that when a person tells you they are too busy to spend time with you, what they are really saying is that their priority isn't on you right now.

Sound harsh? You don't have to take that personally. After all, there are times when other things in your life are going to be more important than a friend. That's when friends need to adjust and either take a back seat for awhile or step up and be more proactive.

However, be careful not to fall into an "I'm too busy" attitude all the time, where you believe your friends are required to cater to your schedule. Life is about balance, and if you consistently tell friends you're too busy, they will eventually walk away. You can't have a friendship when only one friend is participating.

Getting Used to Being Too Busy

The busyness excuse can work for a while when it's genuine. Suddenly you have kids or a new job, and you need to adjust to your new life requirements and schedule. Eventually, though, you'll figure out ways that you and a friend can see each other.

Perhaps your friend can come to your house during a family dinner, maybe you can run errands together, or talk on the phone late at night when you have twenty minutes before bed.

You'll eventually make adjustments in your schedule, but if you still think your friend should always be the one to come to you or make time for you, your friendship will eventually hit a rough patch. Never get assumptive with a friend to the point where you believe your time is more important. Your schedule might be different, but their time is just as important as yours.

Have Your Replaced This Friendship With Something or Someone Else?

If you feel angry toward your friend because they just don't understand your life right now, ask yourself if perhaps you have stepped away from the friendship on a more permanent basis. Your friend was probably patient for a while, but eventually you'll need to decide if your commitments or new friends have begun to take precedence over your old friendship.

It's not unusual, for example, when someone has children to begin to form friendships with other parents. If you're spending time with them and not nurturing your old friendship, your friend may just move on to a friend who can devote time to them.

However, old friendships don't need to end just because your life changes. Keep communicating properly (talking and listening) with your friend to make sure your relationship stays as strong as it can be right now. Friends will understand when your life changes. What they shouldn't have to understand is why they need to keep a friendship going when you appear to lose interest.

Examine What Kind of Friend You Are

Self-awareness can help you identify times when you've acted selfishly with a friend. Have you asked them to come to your house for a party, for example, when you haven't made time for them? Or have you been upset that they weren't available to talk, when in fact you haven't picked up the phone in a long time yourself?

Take a look at how you behaved. It isn't just being busy or having a full life, it's how you are coming across to your friend. Your friend wants to stay in your life, and that's a blessing. Don't push someone away because you feel more important than they are. Everyone is equal when it comes to friendship.

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