You’re in a friendship or some type of budding relationship, you claim “life happened” and you put the other person on the back burner of your life. There’s a saying I saw somewhere on the Internet, it was something like this: “When someone treats you as an option, stop treating them as a priority.”
What that means to me is when a person begins a slow fade from my life, for whatever reason, I allow them to go. If the friendship or relationship is worth keeping … effort, motivation, time, and communication should (in my opinion) be reciprocated.
People will tell you, “I have a lot going on. I can’t think about this right now.” I tell them “take all the time you need.” My saying that doesn’t mean I’m waiting by my phone for them to call, text, or email. Sometimes it’s “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” for me that’s when communication is ongoing though actual in-person visits are lacking. For me, the lack of communication leads me to “out of sight, out of mind.”
The person finally gets their life together: resets their priorities, comes around, texts, calls, or emails. Aside from an apology for being gone they act as if the friendship or relationship will simply pick up where it left off prior to their disappearance. They don’t realize that their decision to exit my life, however briefly, left room for something or someone else to fill that space.
The person sometimes acts as if I was wrong for not waiting. Was I supposed to wait for someone to return my messages? Was I supposed to wait, not knowing how long that person needed to get themselves together? Was I supposed to put my own life on hold while they sorted out their own?
People forfeit their rental space in my life when they exit my life. If there’s room for them when they return, we start over from scratch. It’s unrealistic to think you can pick up where you left off when you left off with a lack of communication and were treating the friendship or relationship as an option.
Don’t be upset when your space is no longer available. You volunteered to give it up when you left. Own your decision. Own your choices. Also, own your actions and reactions.
Hopefully, this article provides a life lesson to those who may lack effective communication skills or feel they have trouble balancing “life” with friendships and relationships. I firmly believe that communication is paramount. Let the person in your life, if you claim he or she is important to you, know what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. Not only that, but also have genuine concern for how they’re doing. One-sided friendships or relationships aren’t friendships or relationships, they’re something you convince yourself are priorities when it’s convenient for you; something you dismiss when you decide to give it up. When you let something go, be prepared for it to remain gone when or if you choose to return.
Treasure those you say you care about. The door you closed on your way out, may likely remain closed. No ill feelings or harsh words toward you. The person you left or shut out has simply moved on and continued to live their life in spite of your absence. Good for them. And, good for you for realizing you closed the door. Good for you for recognizing some valuable life lessons.
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