Relationship Laziness

I came across this article on Water Cooler Wisdom about Relationship Laziness that really struck a chord with me. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my own little world often, especially when it comes to friendships, inside and outside my workplace. Especially this part:

People don’t want to feel that you’re talking to them, or hanging out with them, out of convenience.  They don’t want to believe that if they stopped taking all the initiative, they’d never see you again.  They want to know that you care enough about the relationship to think about it on your own and ACT, without constantly being prodded. 

I’ve had friends in the past who simply stopped taking all the initiative and I’ve allowed those relationships to drift away. At the same time, I’ve also been on the other end, where when I stopped taking all the initiative a relationship withered away. Sometimes, that’s just life. People come and go from our lives all the time, we drift apart with different interests, etc. But other times, you discover that the other person really didn’t care enough to act, or think about the relationship on their own. That can be a pretty hurtful thing to experience.

I’m reminded of one particular friend back when I switched jobs a couple of years ago. She was a good friend of both Angela and I, and her actions at the time I left made it obvious that she seemed concerned that we’d simply disappear on her now that she and I weren’t working together any longer. I remember thinking to myself, first, that she was just being silly, of course I’d keep in touch, and we absolutely have. On the other hand I thought, you know, I don’t want to be the friend that people worry is going to disappear on them. I want the people I care about to know that I care enough to not get lazy on the relationship. I want to keep in touch with people, and spend time with them when possible, not just when I’ve got nothing else going on.

Still, it never hurts to get a good reminder of that like this article. 🙂

(Link first seen at Lifehacker)

Tags: Relationships, Friendship, WaterCoolerWisdom

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  1. I have found myself in severa relationships where I felt like my friend just enjoyed “collecting friends.” This may sound strange, but that’s the conclusion I came to. I don’t know if it’s some hold-over from high school–a wish to be “popular,” or what it is. But, these people had a LARGE circle of “friends,” but really weren’t very close to any of them. Some of us, who were temporarily in the circle, tried to really be there for them, be close, caring and connected, but these folks don’t seem to want anything like that–maybe it’s just too scary to get that close, I don’t know. For me personally, I’d rather have a small circle of close friends that I can be involved in a deep connection with than look popular with a bunch of acquaintances. Whoo, long comment, guess this struck a chord!

  2. marj, that doesn’t sound strange at all, For an online equivalent, “collecting friends” is a great way to sum up this current Facebook madness and exactly the same thing happens, they want a big numerical total of Facebook friends then don’t want any closer ties with them.

    Two friendships finished last year, one before my vacation abroad. Ex-friend #1 was someone I knew personally for more than a decade, and sparing you the very dull details, he deliberately sent his last ever email on my birthday, which is a pretty unsubtle way of saying “go away” to someone. I’ve deleted all his emails, I had a reason to send one to him last week knowing I would never hear back, but other than that, have resolved never to bother with him again, I’m too busy working on me.

    Ex-friend #2 was a friend of a friend and I should have seen the warning signs when he brought along his work colleagues as a shield to run interference at what I thought was a general catchup with someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. So I guess maybe there had been some laziness on my part there but he did his midlife makeover nonsense and must have decided that I didn’t fit into his future any more. At least that means I’m off his spam list asking for charitable donations now.

    Summing up, if someone’s giving me too much contact or not bothering to keep in contact at all, those two extremes are the reason I would retreat from a relationship especially whilst healing. You need that happy medium in the middle for all platonic relationships in my view.

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