Especially When It’s Difficult

February 6, 2023

I love to be around people. However, that occasionally conflicts with my friends’ flakiness.

It’s clear that merely existing is sometimes stressful, overwhelming, and tiresome. And these reasons often lead to people cancelling plans. A lot of people feel solace in cancelling.

Spending time alone because we feel stressed, overwhelmed, or tired may be working against us. But being around others, especially when it’s difficult, can drastically improve these feelings.

Perhaps there is a misconception that we should be at our best when around people we love. This might be an imagined expectation that our friends don’t necessarily have of us. (I don’t expect this of my friends.)

This is not to say we should rely on our friends to be our personal therapists. (Please go get your own therapist.) But being in the company of those we love lets us relieve the stress, decompress from being overwhelmed, and relax from being tired.

Our relationships with other people is what we have in this life. It’s worth sharing the time we can with each other because we can connect in ways beyond being “good” all the time. We all feel shitty sometimes, so it might be a good idea to let go of the notion that we can’t feel shitty around people we love. Maybe being around those people is what can help us most efficiently move past feeling shitty.

Cancelling plans is too easy. You don’t have to see someone’s face. You don’t even have to call them. A text message allows anyone to cancel just a moment before an obligation. But this leads to distrust and disappointment. Failing to meet commitments to others has consequences: it makes you untrustworthy.

Every time a flaky friend makes a new commitment, I feel uneasy, like they could cancel at any time. Commitment is suddenly negotiable. But I can’t give people room to do that anymore.

I want my friends to show up for me, and I want to show up for them.