Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to my engagement when I’m with others. I notice the little (or big) things that people do that disengages them from their present company. And I take note, because there’s nothing worse than making someone wonder why they chose to hang out with you. After all, friendship is a two way street.
Certainly, there are reasons to be distracted when you’re with others. And good friends understand that. They’re there for you and they support you. But being a good friend doesn’t mean that you should always get a free pass in and out of someone’s life when it’s convenient.
It’s Not Me. It’s You:
1. Your Phone
We all have that person in our lives (best friend, spouse, significant other, coworker) who just can’t leave their cell phone alone. Obsessively checking it every few minutes. Nodding at the conversation you’re trying to have with them as they thumb through Texts, Instagram and Facebook. It’s annoying.
It’s easy to stifle the urge to look at your phone if you keep it in your purse or facedown on the table. If that little light up feature makes you itch to check your Facebook, well then you’re obsessed with Facebook and should consider deleting it from your phone.
I’m certainly guilty of wanting to Instagram everything, but it’s really about moderation. Make me, not your cell phone, the focus of our time together. A good rule of thumb: look at your company more than you look at your phone.
2. Your Attitude
Venting is super important but it can also can be depressing. Let’s keep the conversation lively, and try to avoid word vomiting all the bad things that happened this week. While I love you and I know you love me, I think we’ll generally be happier if we focus on the good things that are always happening and worry less about the one time a coworker stole your apple from the community kitchen. Instead, let’s talk about the new project you’re working on or the funny thing your kid/husband did. Let’s swap married/single life stories and reminisce about the last time we were together.
3. Your Willingness to Make Plans and/or Keep Them
This one is big. If you stop trying to make plans with me, I will stop trying to make plans with you. If you leave our gatherings early or always have somewhere else you need to be, I’m going to stop inviting you places.
The point is, we’re all busy. We have to make time for the people who matter. Kind of like making the time to eat well, workout and enjoy Instagram. If your free time is currently limited by circumstance – I get it. But don’t waste my time by pretending you want to hang out only to leave early to fulfill other obligations. If I’m dedicating time afternoon to you, I expect the same consideration in return.
Being a good friend or companion is really important to me – I want the people in my life to know they’re valued. It’s obviously an evolving process, and I’m more than guilty of #1, 2 and 3 listed above.
It’s an evolving process; but I can say with certainty that I’m always working on my relationships and I don’t expect them be awesome all on their own. Because good relationships ARE work.
Tell me, are you addicted to your cell phone? Does it bother you if someone skips out on your plans? What’s your biggest pet peeve?