Okay, I’ll admit it. I haven’t always been a good friend. Maybe it’s because I lived in the same city from age 9 to 20, and didn’t really have to worry about meeting new people or keeping relationships going. The friends I met in elementary school grew up with me and were always there.
But as life went on and I moved away, I didn’t do a good job of staying in touch. For some reason I always felt people needed to stay in touch with me. And if they weren’t calling or texting me, then they were no longer interested in being friends. I don’t know why I had such a warped view of how friendships should work.
When it comes to my emotions and feelings, I have always been closed off, only trusting my mother with my inner most thoughts because I knew she would’t tell anyone. Trust has essentially been a major factor, which is the reason I have always kept my circle small. Even then some within the circle were not always privy to the ins and outs of my life. Over time, as friendships changed and ended, I became more closed off–never contacting anyone. Yet, I always ended up feeling hurt and upset when I saw (online) friends doing things without me. “Why didn’t they call me?” I would ask myself. Never once did I consider how I hadn’t reached out to them or how I hadn’t invited them to do anything with me. It was always about who wasn’t including Tamika, instead of Tamika doing her part to include others.
In recent years, I have formed some really great friendships that have been easy to maintain. When I think about how easy things are now, I wonder why it was so difficult in the past. The only thing that came to mind was something I remember reading in the bible many years ago. Loosely translated the verse basically says, in order for me to have friends, I have to be a friend first. I used to do the opposite and that’s why friendships were so hard.
The simple act of sending a quick text to ask how someone is doing, or letting my friends know I care is so important to me now. My new attitude regarding this subject is not based on the fact that I want a bunch of friends so this is why I’m being friendly. No, it’s about the people in my life being important to me and me cherishing these relationships. So even if I’m always the one to initiate a dinner or outing, I’m okay with that. If they decide to accept or decline, I’m okay with that too. It’s about me doing my part to be a friend first, rather than waiting for someone else to make that first move or maintain the friendship.
I can’t ever go back to waiting for friends to reach out to me. In the past, when I was waiting for them, they most likely were waiting for me. And the only thing waiting brought about was distance, which ultimately led to the end of friendships.
Latest posts by Tamika Burgess (see all)
- I Want to Get Married - October 18, 2017
- I Broke Up With My Toxic Friend - June 25, 2017
- My Natural Hair Journey Reminds Me That I Am Beautiful - May 24, 2017