I stumbled upon some words recently that I didn’t write… and it touched extremely close to how I’ve been feeling for the past two months, but most strongly in the past few weeks. If you know me well you know that friendship is something I take very seriously, and the friendships I have taken the most time to nurture, cultivate, and keep strong I value very dearly. However I am also very aware that sometimes too much of a good thing can be ruined if it does not get the proper space to breath that it deserves. I don’t promote “friendship in seasons” where conversations only occur if a favor is needed, or as a last resort. Unfortunately many friendships tire out because of that compulsive desire to speak on a daily basis when the fact remains, that speaking every day doesn’t solidify the strength of a friendship. I don’t need to speak to every single one of my friends every day to know that we are still friends. I personally make it my business to keep tabs on the progress and success of my valued friends. I always know when something great is happening in their lives, and when something not so great is happening in their lives. Speaking every day is not a friendship requirement that I value or honor in the least bit.
I think where signals get crossed between people is a lack of clear communication as to what is needed to make a prosperous friendship last. My most difficult feat in these past two months was balancing a life I could enjoy with a life that is filled with a desire to take on every golden opportunity. Because of this I have had to harbor many feelings of resentment and boredom for the sake of sparing feelings. I struggled and struggled with finding the right amount of “friendship time” and the right amount of “me time” that would keep everyone pleased and to say that I’ve been failing tremendously would be a grave understatement. My feelings of resentment and boredom were being matched by feelings of conflict, anger, and what I believe to truly just be a bit of sadness. Text messages are seemingly more sparse and concise, interactions are at an all time low and overall my friends genuinely seem a lot sadder and annoyed due to my absence, which I truly do appreciate. So what is the issue… it seems like a quick fix? Do right, make time for your friends who love you and all should be right with the world? That was the theory I was running through my head for the past few weeks when constantly dealing with the subliminal context of messages and conversations. That was the theory… until I ran into this…
When You Need Space From Your Friends
While we love our friends and love spending time with them, let’s face it: there are times when we need a little space. Maybe you’ve been spending too much time together, or you don’t see eye to eye lately. Whatever the reason, we all need to take a step back sometimes. Here’s how to deal when you need space from your friends:
· Spend time with other people. Or, use this as an opportunity to meet new people and make a new friend. Just because you need space from one friend or one group it doesn’t mean you need to sit around by yourself. Use this as an opportunity to pursue some of the other relationships in your life.
· Hang out with your family. Our families often take a backburner to our friends. Use this time to reconnect with your family members. Hang out with your siblings or help your dad with his weekend errands. Get to know your family better by spending time with them with the goal of reconnecting and creating new memories.
· Set a new goal. Taking a break from your friends is the perfect time to set a new goal in your life. You’ll have more time available to throw yourself in to work or school or whatever it may be that you’re focusing on. Use the time away from your friends for something positive for yourself.
· Enjoy doing things on your own. We often forget that we don’t need to be surrounded by a big group of people all the time. Use this time to hang out by yourself. Go shopping solo or watch movies. Go for walks in the park and take yourself out for coffee with your favorite book. Get used to spending some time by yourself and enjoying your own company.
· Work. Or study. This isn’t very exciting, but there’s probably a big to-do list piling up that you really should get to. Use the time away from your friends to be productive and tackle some projects that you haven’t gotten around to. The end results will be sure to pay off.
· Start a new hobby. There’s probably something you’re interested in that you haven’t pursued because you have felt like you just haven’t had the time. Now is your chance. You’ll have more free time if you aren’t seeing as much of your friends for a while, so use it to do something fun and interesting.
· Stay friendly. This isn’t the time to cut your friends off completely or to sever any friendship ties. Instead you are just taking a bit of a step back. Make sure your friends don’t get the wrong idea by staying friendly and continuing to hang out with them, just do it less frequently and in smaller doses.
I realized it wasn’t business… I realize I’ve been hiding. I bury myself into my work so I can hide the feeling of guilt I feel for needing a little space. We all go through fleeting moments where we need space from the greatness that exists in our lives so we can step back, breath, and truly appreciate the positivity in its rawest form. I know how lucky I am, and appreciate the blessings that have been placed in my life in the form of amazing friends. But every now and then… I just need to take a breath.