As we get older we all go through the vicious cycle of meeting new people and unfortunately seeing them leave our lives prematurely. I, for one, used to get extremely distraught when I had a falling out with a friend or lost touch with someone close to me. I would rack my brain trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to cause the relationship to deteriorate. When I got to college, I eradicated that mind-set completely. Losing friends is just a natural part of life that every person should get acquainted with. The people I surround myself with are people who have made an effort to show me I am important in their lives. If someone is important to you, you make the time for them and keep in touch with them. This is a concept that I had to learn the hard way.
I remember having an argument with someone in the past. They tried to throw me the justification of “I just didn’t have time to hit you up.” That is not a sufficient excuse. There is 1,440 minutes in a day and you’re telling me you couldn’t find one free minute to call or text? As annoying as it is to call, text, Facebook, or tweet friends and not hear back from them, take it as a sign. If someone really wants you in their life, keeping in contact with them won’t be a complex task that causes you to travel to the ends of the world. When you’re younger it’s nice to feel like you have a large group of friends. But I’d take a few close friends that really care about me over a group of 30 people that are acquaintances, frenemies and semi-friends, any day. Quality definitely trumps quantity when it comes to friends. Life isn’t a popularity contest like when you’re in high school; it’s hard to find real friends these days. Loyalty, trust and respect are dying art forms, especially when it comes to friendship. Sometimes it’s hard to let someone go when you’ve put in years or even decades of friendship but if the person is A) toxic to your life and your well-being B) is not concerned about you and your well-being and C) doesn’t make an effort to check on you and keep in touch, then perhaps the friendship has reached its expiration date.
Many of us are familiar with the adage about people being in our lives for a reason or a season. No matter how hard it is to let go, people change and grow and unfortunately people grow in opposite directions. I have reached the point in my life where I no longer see the need to hold onto people that make no efforts to make me a priority in their life; if you really care about someone you will do everything it takes to keep them in your life. Cherish the true friends you do have and if you want someone in your life, make sure you show them that you do. I’m not an advocate for burning bridges; you never know when and if you will need someone in the future. But it’s futile to put effort into a friendship when the other party does not value you as a friend and doesn’t care to keep you in their life.
Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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