We’ve all had to prioritize things before, right? Especially when things get stressful. It helps you organize what is most important or needs the most attention, over those pesky little tasks that feel big in your head but really aren’t. After putting things in order, don’t you feel relieved? You should, at least, a little. Would you believe me if I said the same goes for relationships? Not just your intimate ones, but platonic ones as well.
As I’m “getting older”, I’m starting to realize how my relationships are shifting. Not necessarily in a negative way. As a matter of fact, none of this shifting has been negative at all; I have only become more aware of said shifting. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen before, usually surrounding a big falling out or argument of some sort. In my case, it has been nothing more than time, maturity and location that has brought about a shift in my friendships. It feels uneasy to admit. How do you “fix” something that never really went wrong?
Making friends is no easy feat for me. In a crowd of 100 people, I would probably find no more than five to seven that I’d consider being friends with. Call it a flaw, if you want. I am very particular about the people I want around me, supporting me, and growing with me. I am also very private and I am a creature of habit (I like to stick to what I know). As I grew through college, I have learned that these traits are somewhat of a disservice to my social life and have tried, with some success, to change improve. Luckily, I graduated and I have a handful of darn good ones and one very special one (hey, boo).
Anyway, back to priority. Since graduating college less than a year ago, transitioning into “adulthood” has forced me closer and further from the friends that I have. With some, I am okay with being across the nation and only speaking to them once in a blue moon, while I expect more from others no matter the location. This summer has brought me closer to a few while others seem to float away. I get it, though. Honestly, I do. People grow, they move away, the lead different lives, they make new friends, relationships, jobs, spouses, children, responsibilities…
But just as you would prioritize your responsibilities, you should prioritize you friendship. To be honest, you’ve probably already done so subconsciously. You know which friend you’d never miss a text or call for and which ones you’ll let speak to your voicemail; that’s prioritization. Am I wrong? Relationships (all types) take work. Seriously. I never realized it before, but you have to work at a friendship to make a friendship work. Especially as you grow older. As a kid, you had fewer responsibilities thus more time with your friends.
Which brings me to my next mini point. As you grow older and your responsibilities shift, you have to be aware that you may lose friends if you don’t “keep up” with them. Think of it like the days of Myspace, where you were able to have a “top” eight or twelve. Nothing’s changed, really, except for the fact that you probably aren’t on Myspace anymore.
If you leave with anything today, leave with these three tips:
- Prioritize/make time for your friends.
- Communicate with your friends.
- Be the kind of friend you want to have.
So there. As sweetly as I can possibly urge you to: let your friends know where they rank in your life but don’t be mean about it. It’s the very mature thing to do.
Since realizing the shift in my friendships, I promise to make them better where they need to be. I am guilty of putting my friends in order and sometimes forgetting to catch up with them. I will work on this with you all.
Have you ever had to let a friend know where they “stood” in your life? Do you think prioritizing your relationships is an unfair thing to do? Let’s continue the conversation in the comment section. I’d like to hear your thoughts.