If You’re The One Always Reaching Out to Your Friends, Are They Really Your Friends?

That’s basically the question this guy is asking:

Just wondering, since I’ve never understood this and got an idea that maybe some people here could help me understand. I value my friends, and I regularly ask them (once every few weeks) how they’re doing. We’ve been friends a long time, over a decade with each of them.

Q1: Now, to me that’s a way to show that I care about how they’re doing. However, a few of them never do this back. Literally if I wasn’t in contact, I’m not sure how long it would take for them to even become aware. Haven’t tried it yet, I’m not sure I’ll like the result. I’m not clingy, everything is normal, we are fine, and still. Does this not mean that they just don’t really give a shit? Or can this be something else? I’m starting to have feelings that maybe I need some better friends.

Q2: When someone messages me, I have been taught, it’s polite to respond. However, occasionally when messaging people who I know aren’t busy at the time (and even if they were, they could do this afterwards) they simply don’t respond. The same people who I think are my friends and whom I believe feel the same. To me, it’s just plain rude not to respond at all. Can there be another explanation for this (aside from being busy, it’s not the case with these people all the time, year in year out.) Now just to make it clear: they respond if I ask them something directly, but if I just comment on something, make a joke about last night’s funny incident or whatever, occasionally with a few of them there’s nothing.

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I’m a bit confused. The sentence “it irks me” feels fitting, not a native English speaker. It’s this little nagging feeling that makes me think that “shit, I might actually have some pretty poor friends.” But I’d like it to be something else. I value my friends and I show it to them, but occasionally I’m left feeling like they’re just selfish and only care about themselves. Yet when we hang, that is not the impression I get. It’s so paradoxical and I can’t figure it out, as I apparently cannot find any rational reasons for these behaviors.

It sucks but I actually am feeling like because I’m the one doing all the work, I also get none done back. I feel that if I stopped they would either think I don’t care about them anymore, or it would be revealed they never did. Also a little chance they might wake up and start being more active. But I don’t understand this concept – I have to act selfish for me to be appreciated? How does that even work, doesn’t make any sense.

tl;dr – Some of my friends act passively/ignorant and it’s making me feel resentment and doubt.

I can relate to this because I have been in this situation. I didn’t hesitate to reach out to anyone I was interested in meeting and I made a number of friends that way. We’d talk on the phone and we’d chat fairly regularly. However, I started to realize that I was almost always the one reaching out. Sure, we’d generally have good conversations, but I was the one making it happen. If they valued me as a friend, why weren’t they reaching out?

With many of those friends, I then STOPPED reaching out to see what would happen. So, how did that experiment play out? For the most part, those friendships dried up. Does that mean they weren’t really my friends? What I later realized, sadly, was that they really were my friends.

So, why did I always have to be the one to reach out? Because friendships aren’t always exactly equal. Because people have different strengths. Because people get into patterns of behavior. Because some people are more proactive and other people are more reactive. Because there are different levels of friendships.

Point being, at the end of the day, yes there are some friendships that will only continue if you are the one reaching out — and that’s okay. If the friendship is worth it, just make peace with it and don’t worry about who’s reaching out to whom first.

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John Hawkins
John Hawkins created Rightwingnews.com in 2001; built it up to a top 10,000 in the world website; created a corporation with more than 20 employees to support it; created a 3.5 million person Facebook page; became one of the most popular conservative columnists in America; was published everywhere from National Review to Human Events, to Townhall, to PJ Media, to the Daily Wire, to The Hill; wrote a book 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know that was at one point top 50 in the self-help section on Amazon; did hundreds of hours as a guest on radio shows, raised $611,000 in a GoFundMe for Brett Kavanaugh’s family and has been talked about everywhere from The New York Times to Buzzfeed, to the Washington Post, to Yahoo News, to the Rush Limbaugh Show, to USA Today. After seeing the unjust way that Brett Kavanaugh was treated during his hearings and how a lifetime worth of good work was put at risk by unprovable allegations, John Hawkins decided to create a men’s website. Welcome to Brass Pills!

 

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