friends, friendships, relationships, communication

How Not To Be A Terrible Friend in 3 Easy Steps: Step 3

Step 3: Not Waiting For Your Friend To Reach Out

Have you ever found yourself saying, I haven’t heard from so and so in such a long time or so and so never reaches out to get together anymore? I know I have. On the other hand, have you ever sort of confronted yourself and asked how much effort you’ve put into the friendship? Sometimes, it’s a hard question to ask because, truth be told, you’ve slacked and not been the greatest friend. Maybe you haven’t been communicating like you should have. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s okay. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can talk about what you can do moving forward.

In wrapping up this series about How Not To Be A Terrible Friend, this is my 3rd step in learning how to be a great friend, don’t wait for the other person to reach out. If you missed the first one that focused on listening more and talking less (not easy!) then you can read it here: If you missed the second blog where I talked about not neglect your friends when you’re in a relationship or married, you can read it here:

Friendship and the Busyness of Life

We are all busy. I mean, I think it’s just a way of life now for most people, like survivalism in our society. The problem is (actually, there’s lots of problems with always being busy, but I’ll save that for another post) that in the midst of all that busyness, things and people that mean the most to us can get overlooked. This is usually not intentional. I have found that more often than not, the person you are waiting to reach out to you, is waiting for you to reach out to them. It’s not that they don’t want to talk or spend time with you, but they’ve gotten wrapped up in the busyness of life. As a result, it’s super easy to take it to heart, but, again, your friend is likely just doing their best to survive in the craziness of the world.

Why You Should Reach Out As A Friend

Here’s a few reasons why I think it’s important for you to take the first step:

  1. You value the friendship and want to keep it going. Your friendship is fun and/or you can talk to them about anything and everything. You enjoy them being part of your life.
  2. The person may be going through a super difficult time, and you’re not even aware. Most people tend to withdraw when under a great deal of stress. You don’t know if you don’t ask.
  3. If you don’t reach out and your friend doesn’t either, you run the risk of losing a great friendship and for what? Because no one picked up the phone to text or call.

But I’m Always The One To Reach Out To My Friend

As a side-note, I know that, sometimes, you are the only one reaching out. You may feel that you are the one towing the line constantly in a particular relationship. In these cases, I would recommend first, confiding in the friend and letting them know your frustrations. They may not even realize their actions and how you are feeling. If they don’t seem to be concerned, as hurtful as it is, you may need to ask yourself if this is a friendship you want to keep fighting for. It may mean that the friendship has run its course. I know it can be tiring to always be the one reaching out. Remember your time and energy are your most precious resources. You are in control of who you spend both on.

In conclusion, we’re wrapping up this series on 3 steps to being a better friend. Friendships, like any relationship, are hard and take work. As you get older, the number of friends you have tends to decrease and that’s okay. You only need a couple of friends that you know you can rely on and that are truly there for you in the good and bad. This post talked about the communication between friends and how you can’t necessarily wait for your friend to reach out first. More times than not, your friend wants to hear from you and wants to spend time with you. She, like most of us, is probably juggling multiple roles in her life.

I work with amazing women all the time who are struggling to cope with changing friendships as well as other relationships. If you want to chat more about how I can help you to have healthier relationships, let’s schedule your free phone consultation. Email me at [email protected] or call 904-204-9308.

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman. For a free phone/online consultation or to schedule a session with Maria, call 904-204-9308 or email her at [email protected]