“Dear Sindi, I have been friends with a group of ladies for about 8 years we met when we were in varsity. Fast forward, we are now working and for the most part, we keep in regular contact. We usually meet at least once a month for drinks or a movie to catch up. The issue is it’s been six months and I have not seen the girls. I have no idea what’s wrong with me, it is like all of the sudden, I cannot text back, it’s not that I do not want to reply, but I don’t or I can’t. I have a feeling that I might lose my friends, this past weekend they got together and they didn’t invite me, I saw everything on social media. I feel down, I don’t want this to be a classic case of a one-sided friendship. A lot of things have been happening in my life, including trying to figure out my place in this world. I don’t want to lose my friends, but I have no energy for friendships. Am I a bad friend for not reaching out? I feel like a bad friend. If anything please tell me how to stop being a bad friend. Sigh”… Amanda, Cape Town.
Her Darling Life
I can already hear the conversation that you are having in your head, you are most likely saying to yourself ” I am a bad friend” or “Am I a bad friend for not texting?” Girl you can relax, I have the answers that you are looking for.
7 Things to know when you feel as if you are a bad friend for not reaching out
No, you are not a bad friend for not reaching out, life can get in the way of friendships because the older we get the harder it is to keep checking in on our friends constantly. You need to find a balance between maintaining your friendships and everything that goes on in your private life.
Your friends understand the person that you are
You might not be aware of this, or maybe you choose to ignore this but I will tell you a secret, your friends KNOW and understand the person that you are, and wooo, they fully accept you.
If you have been friends long enough and hang out with your friends consistently I am sure from your side you would have figured out the personality type of each of your friends. So you know which one is outgoing, which one is creative, and in your case, your friends know that you are somewhat of a shy person who is sometimes a hermit.
You are an introvert
When you are an introvert people can misunderstand your communication and take it as mean girl energy, something like ” Oh she doesn’t want to hang out with us” Some of your friends even though they might not say it, could be thinking that you are mean. But it’s not you but the way your DNA or genetics are wired, there is essentially nothing that you can do about it, sure you can improve it, but once an introvert, always an introvert.
Being an introvert can make meeting friends such a hassle, sure you love to get together, but not really, but what can you do about it?
Why being an introvert can lead to problems
Oh, this can lead to a myriad of problems, being cooped up in your world when you have active friends, not just online friends reaching out is a recipe for loneliness, I am sure that you know about the loneliness pandemic, don’t let that happen to you. I know it’s hard, but send that text message to your friend, it doesn’t have to be a long paragraph, a simple, Hey friend, I hope you are well, will do.
Friendship tip: Make the effort and arrange a friendship date with the girls, nothing over the top a little get-together is fine.
You have been a good friend
If your friends reach out to you first, congratulations, it’s evidence of what a good person and friend you are, your friends like you. No friend or so-called friend would reach out to anyone unless that person has had a significant role in their life.
Friendship tip: Just because your friends know that you are a good person, doesn’t mean you cannot make the effort, try and deal with your lazy communication in such a way that your friends will still know that you are there for them.
Your life is changing
Everyone has something going on in their private lives, you might have a lot of schoolwork, or be busy at work. I know a lot of young adults struggle to have a better work-life balance and in turn suffer from a poor work-life balance. Maybe you are trying to land a promotion, that’s awesome but don’t forget to stay in touch.
You can still check yourself
It’s one thing to know that you suck at reaching out but it’s another to sit back and watch a series of desperate housewives and completely ignore the problem, wait, I do that not you. Seriously, get yourself together, you don’t want to look in a few years and realize that you were busy wrapped up in your world with your issues and you were too busy to spare a thought for your friend, you might not have any friends left.
Its the name of the game
It’s the nature of friendships, this happens because our lives go through different stages. If you are engaged to be married, your focus will be on creating your new life, the same goes if you move to a new city for school or work, your focus will shift from friendships to what makes you happy.
You have time to make it up
Girl that is why I am here, I am a friendship couch, so you are in the right place. You can still make it up to your friends. A good idea would be to try and do something simple why not arrange a date night film with the girls? You can binge the 50 first dates stream or even better you can watch magic mike last dance, I know I am a sucker for nice bodies.
In the end
Lose the guilt but make a little effort, what happens if your friends start feeling abandoned? We know that making friends in your 30s is hard these days, yes you are busy but a little effort goes a long way.