Been seeing this meme posted on Facebook and Instagram a lot lately:
While I totally get what this meme is saying (as I have quite a few friends like this … where so much time can go by before seeing each other again but when we do – it’s like no time has passed at all) … I have to wonder – what about the friendships needing a little more effort than a hit and miss hang out sesh? Are they considered high maintenance as opposed to low maintenance?
Let me be clear from the get-go: I am not a high maintenance, clingy friend. Truth be told, I’m that friend who is probably more accommodating than she should be. More passive than should be allowed. The friend who is often seemingly more invested than those on the receiving end.
I’m fully aware that people are busy “living life” – who isn’t these days?! I realize I am not the only person needing tending to in my friends’ lives. I understand that people are not perfect. I know … because I’m not either. Not even close. I comprehend that we are all human and tend to disappoint – even fail each other from time to time. That being said …
When did it become “high maintenance” to expect things of friends? I don’t mean expectations that I can’t even reach myself. No, I’m talking the basics: returning phone calls or messages … you know, like within the week or even MONTH of the initial call/message. The once in a blue moon check-in just to see how a friend is doing. When did those very small gestures (that mean so much) become “high maintenance”? When did being able to rely on your closest of friends in your greatest time of need become too much to ask? When did it become “high maintenance” to expect the other party to carry their weight in the friendship? Especially very tight-knit, deep friendships … ones even closer than family.
When did it become okay to be a flake under the guise of being “busy”? There are 16-18 hours of awake time each day. You mean to tell me that expecting a friend to carve out 2 minutes of their busy 16-18 hour day – for just a hello text (not even necessarily a phone call) … not every day but perhaps once in a great while, makes me high maintenance? Makes me less worthy of a “shout out”?
The hardest lesson in life for me has always been finding out who my friends are NOT. I thought it was a lesson that would get easier with time (and age). However, that’s not been the case. This past couple years has been one lesson after another.
All I’m trying to say is that relationships, romantic and platonic alike, need to be nurtured. Much like plants, some need watering often … others can go longer before needing watering again. It depends on the depth of the relationship. But if you go too long without watering or pruning that plant – it will eventually wither up and die. What a shame.
Today I choose to be thankful for those friends I’ve been blessed with – be it those who are with me for a season of time … or for a lifetime. And to those of you who have had my back, been there through it all as best as you can, … to those of you who have given all you have, given your time, put the effort in … those who know me and my flaws and STILL stick around (lol) – SHOUT OUT to YOU!
(Lord, help ME to be a better friend.)