Have you ever noticed how some friendships can be so easy, and yet, others are so hard? Or how you can be friends with someone for years, never imagining that friendship could possibly end? But then one day your realize it did and you aren’t really sure why?
Friendships end for all sorts of reasons. For some, an issue pops up that can’t be resolved. Or maybe one person moved away making continuing the friendship more difficult. There could also be life changes or a discovery of new beliefs. Of course, I can’t begin to list all the reasons friendships end. In some way or another though, we’ve all experienced the loss of a friendship. If you haven’t, let me in on your secret, ok?
Do you have a friendship that faded away, yet your aren’t quite sure why it happened? I’ve had some of those. And I have a few friends who live states away from me, yet, when we get together, it’s like we were never apart. I’ve also had a few “friends” that slip away because, well, it just seems better for all involved.
Every so often I think about one particular friendship. I wish I could say I didn’t know what happened. But, I’m nearly certain that the decline in contact was due to a mistake I made. Because, for years, this was a friendship that did survive a move across the states with phone calls, emails, and a car ride or plane trip every few years.
It’s almost sort of funny, that with all the social media available these days, our friendship “ended” before staying in touch became so easy.
I remember my mistake. Like it was yesterday. And I remember my apology. Like it was yesterday. And I also remember the friendship was never the same after that.
And then one day, I realized it had been a really long time since either of us had contacted the other. So, yes, I’d have to say my mistake was the beginning of the fall.
So, after a review of my life-experiences, I’ve come up with a few things to consider that might help keep your friendship from failing:
- Take a serious look at the friendship. Are you as invested as they are? Or are you only calling on them when you have some sort of tragedy to deal with? Or want someone to complain to?
- Are you ready to listen? Don’t monopolize conversations and make everything about you. Figure out how to become a listener, even if you aren’t bent that way.
- Help maintain the balance. It’s an amazing thing to have a friendship that is well-balanced. You fill in the gap some days, while she fills in the gap on other days.
- Find a way to be okay when you aren’t on the same page regarding your faith/belief system. You never know how your light can shine and make a difference for someone else.
- Be willing to really look at yourself and discern what your role is in the friendship. On the flip side of this, you want to be dedicated to the friendship, but it’s also okay to not let yourself become someone’s doormat.
- Make time for them… don’t just take their time. It can’t be all one-sided or it won’t work.