Make the fucking effort!

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LogoJPGI get it. We live in a fast-paced society that is always pulling us in different directions. We’re having to take the kids to school, work, play, maintain relationships and we have to do them all simultaneously because we only have a few hours a day to do it all. So we’re all incredibly busy.

Busy.

It’s not a word I particularly love because I’ve seen and heard it used so many times as an excuse not to make the effort and I’ve had enough of it.

I’ve had enough of us not making the effort to keep our friendships strong. To maintain fulfilling relationships. To prioritise each other.

When we stop making the effort with each other, it’s hurtful.

When I told everyone I was coming back to the UK, friends said that we should meet up. They lovingly said that I was welcome to stay with them as it would be lovely to see me. The catch? They don’t live anywhere near me. Nothing wrong with that because it’s nice to get out of town and explore my country but every time they expect me to visit them (knowing they will not return that effort), I feel unloved. As though I, and our friendship, are not worth making the effort.

My mum has had the same issue throughout her life too. Always the one to call first. Make the plans. Make the effort. And it makes us sad.

Don’t let me confuse you. I love my friends, I do. But I fear that perhaps I love them and our friendship a little more than they do (let’s hear it for the highly sensitive people and borderline personality disorder people who make stronger connections) which is neither of our fault but it is unsurprising, therefore, that I would feel hurt.

And I’m tired of everyone hurting. I have several friends in my life that feel the same way about their friends and I wish we would all realise that we are not as busy as we profess to be and even if we are, that we need to make the effort for the people in our lives regardless.

We do lead busy lives. Truly. We live in, possibly, the most fast-paced society any generation has seen before but that doesn’t mean we need to lose the sense of what’s important in life i.e. good relationships.

I had a friend who, a couple of months ago, was going through a very difficult time. So, without warning or necessity, I sent her a card in the post to let her know how awesome I thought she was and that I was sorry she was going through such a difficult time. It made her cry because she felt a little less alone with her thoughts and emotions. What did it cost me? A couple of dollars and the effort of writing something heartfelt and popping it into the post box on my way to work. In the grand scheme of things, my effort was minuscule and yet, in that moment, it made my friend feel so loved and that warms my heart.

As I said above, we live in an incredibly busy society and we’re always glued to our phones. So are you telling me you really can’t find 30 seconds or a minute throughout the entire day to text a friend and just say ‘hi’.

You know that famous quote ‘every person is fighting a battle we know nothing about’? Now imagine how impactful and loving one small text to say hello could mean to a person struggling in their own silence?

I have a couple of friends that randomly say ‘hi’ or share a funny link with me on Facebook or text and I love that so much. Know why? Because it’s nice to know that my friends think of me without prompt. Isn’t that what we all want? To know that we are being thought of and loved without reason or question.

I’m not saying that I’m an angel. I’m human which means that sometimes I read messages, get distracted and completely forget to reply but on the whole, I’m the person who messages first.  And since I’m a highly sensitive person, I have to admit that it’s getting harder and harder to push away that feeling of not being loved or cared about; that I am not worth the effort.  However, I am aware that a lot of these issues are my issues because I’m a highly sensitive person and not everyone views friendship in the same regard as me.  I care about minute details; others don’t.  That doesn’t mean that they are bad people or that I’m the ‘better’ friend; it simply means we are different but at the very core, every relationship is about balance.  And though it’s difficult we should never be too selfish OR too giving for it hurts one, if not both of us simultaneously.

Despite everything we say and do in this world, we are insecure. We all want to be and feel loved and appreciated by our friends and relationships no matter the bullshit we tell ourselves and each other. We crave connections and when they are non-existent or imbalanced, we are in pain and no-one deserves to be made to feel that way.

Maybe I have unrealistic expectations of what relationships mean or perhaps because I have been through so many dark times, I hate to think of others struggling in silence but whatever the reason, I can’t stop making the effort even if others don’t but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t often hurt me in the process to do so.

3 Comments
  • Kirsty

    Reply

    Completely with you on this. So many examples. People make choices and prioritise. No one is too busy…they’ve set their priorities. That’s fine…just be honest about it. There is a ‘busyness’ competition going on. I choose not to get dragged in.

    • Toni

      Kirsty – Perfectly said! There is definitely a ‘I’m busier than you’ mentality sadly :/

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