4 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Friendships
02 Mar 2022
Friendship offers various benefits. For starters, it reduces social isolation and loneliness, leading to improved mental health. Likewise, hanging out with your friends can help you reduce stress and prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases. Research also shows that stronger friendships help people navigate life’s challenges easily. Despite these perks, you may be sabotaging your friendships by doing certain things. That said, here are some ways you may be hurting the quality of your friendships.
Spending less time together
Indeed, it’s understandable that you’re very busy. Family life, studies, career, etc., can take a huge chunk of your time, limiting how much you hang out with your friends. You may notice that your coffee dates or game nights have been reduced, or you don’t organize activities you once shared. However, spending less time with them can cause you to drift apart from them. What’s more, it can trigger loneliness, especially when you need someone to talk to. That said, taking deliberate efforts to meet up with your buddies makes sense. While it may seem daunting, you can achieve it with the right steps.
Thanks to technological advancement, you can easily reach out to them. Keep in touch regularly via a text, phone call, or video chat. This will help them understand you still care about them. Likewise, speak with them to determine the right time to hang out weekly, and ensure you clear your schedule, so you don’t cancel last-minute. If possible, plan a road trip with them, or enjoy a game or movie night together. Meeting up for lunch if they’re closer to you will prove helpful, so keep this in mind.
Spending too much time together
While it’s advisable to spend time to keep your friendship alive, being together every time can destroy it. Spending too much time with them can increase the chances of getting irritated with each other. Likewise, you can easily get bored and feel choked. It becomes worse if your friends are possessive or your friendship comes before other things in your life. Therefore, it makes sense to evaluate your relationship to determine if you need a break. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be the end, as time away from each other can save your friendship.
You can determine how much time you can spend together without going overboard. You can also create time for activities you enjoy while limiting time for mundane things. This will make you and your friends excited about meeting up. If you both become annoyed with each other, having a conversation will help.
Shutting your friends out
It’s not unusual to want to be alone when going through challenging times. However, shutting everyone out and self-isolating may not be ideal. Isolating yourself may cause you to think more about your situation, leading to increased depression and loneliness. Therefore, prioritizing your relationships becomes critical in this situation. However, avoiding your friends because you feel like a burden may ruin your relationship. They may not be aware of what you’re going through and assume you don’t want to hang out with them anymore.
That said, you want to inform your friends about what’s happening in your life. It may seem challenging to be vulnerable, but your true friends will want to help you. For instance, your friends can support you on your alcohol treatment journey if you have an alcohol-related issue. Likewise, they may have the solutions you’ve been looking for, so keep this in mind. As a tip, explain to them why you’ve been distant to diffuse any tension. Afterward, let them in and be open to their help.
Not appreciating their efforts
A Harvard Medical School research revealed that a lack of solid relationships increased premature death risks by 50%, greater than physical inactivity and obesity. This reiterates the importance of friends in your life. They brighten your countenance when you’re down and boost your confidence. They also accept you for who you are and stand by you through tough times. Therefore, it makes sense to appreciate them from time to time. Do you thank them when they do nice things? Do you tell them how glad you are for having them in your life? Taking your buddies for granted can cause them to lose interest in you.
You can show your appreciation by being there whenever they need your help. Sending thoughtful texts can put a smile on their faces, so keep this in mind. You can also surprise them from time to time with personalized gifts for the best results.