I know they get frustrated when I disappear, as they perceive it. My situation is complicated by the fact that I live overseas, but still that doesn't answer it all. I don't think you did anything wrong by telling her how you feel. I've had others do that to me, and it has helped me to make more of an effort.
Honestly, I've lost friendships for my lack of contact, and I regret it. And I've been on the other side, too, where I was always the initiator, and I agree, that gets exhausting. It's hard for me to keep up with my everyday life, everyday work relationships, everyday acquaintances and obligations, and find time for my friends who are here, let alone those who are far away.
And yes, I always miss my other friends, I'm sad about those I lost, really sad, I wish I had done it differently.
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It's hard to keep in touch on a regular basis when people are far away, not matter how much I wish I could do it better. I suggest if she's important to you, don't lose sight of that fact. It's really sad to regret close friends who you've lost when perhaps if you continued to be the initiator, you'd still be close. It's not a fair balance, but surely you get something so important from her that you can try to let go of this one thing that really is difficult to let go of. Good friends, I mean really good true friends, are hard to find and harder to keep, especially as you get older.
They're worth keeping, even if sometimes you do more of the work. I'm another of these people, and agree with everything said above: Many of the friends I do this with are such great friends that I know I could speak to them after a looong time off and it'll be like there's been no layoff.
Happened at the weekend - someone I hadn't seen or spoken to for about 18 months popped up on Skype and we had a nice catch up. I can also see it from your side - one of my closest school friends never picks up the phone, but when I phone her about every six months we talk for hours, laugh til we cry etc. I thought about being hurt by it, but figured she's a busy, working mum and I was secure enough in our friendship that I know how much she loves me, that she's thinking of me, even if she doesn't pick up the phone.
And I suppose I know how lax I am at picking up the phone to other people, so I know exactly why she doesn't get round to it. It's that moment when you think "I could call bearette Ahhh we haven't spoken for so long, it'd be a long call. Wrt your specific question about missing people - this for me, at least is about having enough friends locally who can step in to fill that immediate need. Oh, but I should add - with my school friend, I also decided that, since it was important to me not to let the friendship disappear completely, I should just suck it up and phone her every few months, without feeling like I should keep score of whether she'd phoned me recently.
I figure that if I want the friendship to continue, I have to make at least some effort, regardless of her input, rather than just folding my arms and saying "Well, if she doesn't want to talk to me, then fine I see it as a maintenance level of contact! I am also your friend.
Yes, I miss those people. Yes, I feel bad. For me, there's a huge anxiety component to it. I don't make the call, then as each day goes by that I haven't made the call, I get more anxious about how I haven't called yet, which then makes me even more hesitant to call. It's partly the whole "a catch-up call feels overwhelming" issue mentioned earlier, but for me, it's also the fact that the thought of talking on the phone at all makes me anxious.
Once I'm chatting away, it's no problem, but contemplating it, whoo that's dreadful. I agree with the suggestions to find different modes of communication. Many people bemoan the rise of Facebook, but for me, it's been amazing.
I'm able to keep up with people I haven't talked to in years and feel closer to them than I ever did with just the dreaded phone. I would mark all of these answers as "favorite". They're wonderful. I guess I was having a hard time imagining why someone who cares about me would completely stop initiating contact; but I can see, from the responses here, that it's possible.
But for me, family carries some baggage so it can be difficult to talk to them even though they are so important to me and I miss them. I'm actually not a phone person, either, and I don't think alternate communications would help, though she does often mention talking on Sykpe it used to happen a lot. It hurt my feelings when she admitted that we just wouldn't talk if I didn't call And when I think of the support and effort she puts into the friendship when we do talk, plus the fun we have Still, it might be nice to hear, "it's great to hear from you!
But I guess I'm a bit insecure that way. I have friends I don't talk to for months at a time. They are people I care deeply about and love to talk to when we do talk. But in the general hustle and bustle that constitutes life it can be difficult to actually make time to call people overseas, especially if you know they are as busy as you and likely to be scheduling you in for next week when you do call : but that doesn't mean they don't care posted by koahiatamadl at AM on September 9, Bearette, I think you are completely in your right to feel hurt.
I'm shocked by all the people who are justifying why it is OK to treat good friends like this, how 'life gets in the way', how it's too hard. To the general public: It's not too hard. It's laziness. It's rude. Good correspondence has fallen by the wayside, ironically, in a time where communications technology has never been more advanced. Life is short and mostly filled with drudgery - don't let your dear friendships wither on the vine! Instead of flopping on the couch or in front of the computer, send a quick text or email to let the person know you're thinking of them.
Drop a postcard in the mail. Call to catch up when you're walking home.
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You can make excuses all you want, but there really is no excuse. Nurture your friendships if you want to have friends! Has anyone noticed how many threads there are on AskMe about making friends? Here's a tip: keep in touch! Show up. To Bearette: All you can do is lead by example. And I think you were right to let your feelings known. Continue to keep in touch with this friend, although only if it is not a strain for you.
Forge new friendships and continue to keep in touch. You are obviously a considerate and thoughtful friend - I treasure friends like you! Shape up, everyone! I am similiar to your friend. That's why I enjoy text messaging and social networking. I cannot stand talking on the phone.
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And a lot of times I'm too tired to hang out with anyone. I'm just an introverted person. And, well, almost all of my friends are the same way. Some have families, some work full-time and went back to school full-time, some live out of state. Some work nights, etc. It's hard to maintain friendships as everyone gets older.
I see people do it all the time, but some people just don't. I had a friend since I was 15 years old - and about 4 years ago, I moved back to the city where we grew up. She wanted me to go shopping, go to the gym with her, etc. She was confrontational and opinionated. I felt tense around her. I ended up "breaking up" with her.
I just couldn't handle it. So, you know. Don't take it personally. Some of us either need a kick in the ass and not a guilt trip. Giving people guilt trips as opposed to just having a discussion can usually send people far away from you. I've lost a lot of friends over the years because I got exasperated with always being the one to reach out. It's surprising how many people you can lose touch with completely, if you simply wait for them to contact you.
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My assumption was always that if they're not engaged or motivated enough to do some of the reaching out, they're just not that interested in me as a friend. Even just a crappy email. I would count an email with a link to a funny video as "first contact. Do we have fun when we're together? But placing the burden of first contact solely on my shoulders is a great way to get me to stop contacting them.
Frankly, I always assumed this was the point being made - "I like you, but not enough to initiate contact. This thread is a clear illustration of how different people have different ways of dealing with friends.
Personally, I can't even imagine what it's like to really miss someone to the degree that I would get upset if they didn't call. I talk to my long-time long-distance friends when I see them or when I have something to say to them, that's about it. Sometimes that happens weekly, sometimes we don't talk for six months, and that's OK by me. We all have our own lives, so we just catch up when we do happen to talk or see each other. To me, not talking for a while is not letting a relationship "wither on the vine. I would not much appreciate a friend around whom I had to be anxious about whether I was calling the other person often enough.
I have enough work in my life to do without friends who require it.