One of my big pet peeves in friendship is that I am always the one to make an effort… I have usually not been on the receiving end of a friend calling or e-mailing me to try to set up a movie or dinner date.
I used to be so insecure and needy, I would keep tracking down the same friends and calling them. They would hardly ever initiate phone calls, or meet ups. I no longer chase friends down like this; if they don’t e-mail me once in awhile or take the initiative and phone me, I stop calling or visiting them.
When I saw this letter published in the Ask Amy advice column today, I really related to it (only I was the friend who did all the work, I was not the “lazy” friend):
Dear Amy: “Missing my Friends” wrote about being disappointed when he stopped initiating contact with two close friends and they did not pick up the slack. I was a lazy friend like that.
I had a friend who went out of town frequently, and would call when she returned. I never initiated contact. Once, a long time passed without hearing from her and even then I didn’t call; assuring myself she would call me.
She finally did call, and when we got together, I discovered she’d been in town for a couple of months and was about to leave town again for an extended period the next day. I realized I was about to fall off her friendship radar due to my laziness. It was a major wake-up call for me.
I began initiating more contact and letting her know I valued her friendship and wanted to stay connected. Your advice to Missing, to turn his attention toward people who were better at friendship, was good.
— A Better Friend Now