On Maintaining Friendships IRL + Online

Friday, June 8, 2018


According to my beloved agenda and a quick Google search to confirm, today is Best Friends Day. What Best Friends Day actually entails, I do not know, but I'm going to take the opportunity to talk about my complicated relationship with friendships, which really all just comes down to my issue with maintaining them. This isn't an advice post by any means. If anything, it's probably a What Not to Do When You're in a Friendship kind of post. We've talked about my communication issues when it comes to texting, now we're moving onto how it affects my everyday relationships! Exciting stuff!

I'm going to make a Niall Horan mention right here just to lighten the mood a bit. It has nothing to do with the post, I just wanted to neutralize this situation before I dive into the body of this post, which could reach pathetic levels, but hopefully serves as some sort of catharsis. At least I'm aware that I'm a shitty friend, right? That probably doesn't make it any better...


Calling myself a shitty friend is probably really unfair. I can't judge my own level of friendship. But I feel like I do things that would categorize me in the "not so friendly" category that I'm completely aware of but can't seem to change. Is it because I don't want to? I don't know how? I've genuinely convinced myself that I legitimately don't have enough hours in the day even when I do? The world may never know the actual answer to these questions because I myself don't wield any of the answers. 

When it comes to maintaining friendships IRL, I struggle. Kind of. Let's backtrack a bit and go through my history. I've always had "groups" of friends, but never for long periods of time. I went to a different high school than most people in my middle school did, so slowly our friend group dissolved because, well, it's hard when you go to different schools and are busy, right? And then I had another group in high school and for one reason or another, we drifted when I moved to Cleveland for college. Maintaining and growing friendships with distance is rough. If your friendship wasn't strong before, you're playing a risky game. Or maybe you're not if you know how to communicate properly via text and phone calls and Skype. I mean, it is 2018, the technology today allows for long distance friendships to still flourish much easier than they could a decade ago.

And yet, despite all of the technology, I struggle, hard. Friends, if you're reading this and are nodding your head, I get it. I support it. I mean, I'm pretty self-aware and my goal every year is to get better at texting. I mean, I read all of the messages because I hate notifications and they stress me out. But I fall into the trap of "I don't have time to answer this message the way I want to at this moment so I'm going to put it off until later and WHOOPS, later has become a week I can't possibly respond now!" This, coupled with my chronic fear of bothering people and taking up their time is a deadly duo. When I do have the time, I get the worry in my head that I'm going to be bugging them and wasting their time. SMH, am I right?


I don't know if I can declare the biggest issue when it comes to communication, but a big issue I face is that a lot of my friendships are strictly via the internet. We live across the country, state, globe from each other and the only way to communicate is via text and FaceTime and all of those technological advances that I forget to take advantage of. For someone who spends more of her day on her phone and the internet, my excuses are pretty bleak, eh?

Friendships are like flowers. Delicate flowers. I don't know what delicate flowers are as I am not a botanist and kill anything that has roots, but that's what a friendship is, right? You have to tend to it and nurture it and not just ignore it until you come back to it months later only to realize that it's dead and you were probably the one to kill it.

That got...dark. 

So...

On a happier note...

Is there any getting brighter from here? I'm not quite sure. This post wasn't supposed to be such a bummer, but you know what, sometimes I just have to be open and honest. I'm working on it, but I'm not perfect (I mean, y'all have seen my skin, right?). Some people are just really good at being friends. They're loyal, they're communicative, they don't leave you theoretically on read for weeks (I can't keep my read receipts on, I read every message I just don't respond).

There's a lot of pressure in society to have the most friends and a ton of best friends, but honestly, it's okay if you don't have your "group" or that one friend that you tell every little secret you have to. That's a lot of pressure on yourself and it's not the reality for everything.

I grew up wanting huge groups of friends (squads, as the kids today would call it) and literally yearned for one for years and years. And now I'm 22 and just trying to keep my current friendships alive while I live in a city that is somehow so full of people but still hundreds and thousands of miles away from the friends that I'm trying to keep in touch with. The irony is TOO REAL.


Shirt: Isabel Marant (via Cleveland Consignment Shoppe)
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Old Navy (similar here)
Sunglasses: Miu Miu (same style, different color)

4 comments

  1. I relate to this so much. Sometimes, I don't mean to be a bad friend and withdraw, but I seem to enjoy my "me" time more than I care to admit. In fact, I was saying to my boyfriend the other day that my favorite thing in the world is when I have plans with a friend and they cancel at the last minute because then I'm not the bad guy and I don't have to go outside. On the flip side, I have one best friend I've known for for over 15 years and she is just as casual about hanging out and talking as I am (lucky for me because she lives on the other side of the country). She's really understanding when I don't respond right away because she's bad at responding right away too.
    Wow, this comment ended up being long and way too honest about how horrible I am at friendship..
    On a sartorial note, I really love this basics with a twist outfit! Your blouse is my favorite!!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My "me time" is sacred and sometimes I just don't selfishly want to give it up. I'm trying to get better about saying "yes" and staying in the know/feeling conversational, but I just revert back when I'm feeling particularly burnt out. We're definitely in the same boat! But also thank you! I always forget I have this blouse and I need to start wearing it more!

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  2. Girl this is so real! I’m lucky enough to go to college with some of my high school friends, which has made keeping those friendships much easier. But as each year goes by I see my friendships changing - I’m trying to recognize the beauty in a relationship as it was, even if it doesn’t last forever.

    xoxo, Cecilia // sunnysidececilia.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Friendships are definitely ever-changing, whether it's for the better or the worst. But I love what you said! It's easy to dismiss an old friendship, but just because something ends, that doesn't mean we have to hold bitterness towards it. :)

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