Throughout the years I have lost connections with treasured friends. Some were lost because one or the other of us moved physically away from where we easily could meet and greet. Then inertia took over and one of us did not work hard enough to stay in touch. Inertia.
Some were lost because I said or did what was unforgivable in their minds or heart. By the time I realized that I had hurt them, my apologies came too late.
Some were lost not because of one unforgivable act, but because less obvious pains erupted in the friendship. Such hurt was rarely caused consciously. Examples: When I struggled while friends did not, I hurt. When I shared joy and happiness with friends who struggled, they hurt. The harder the struggle, the greater pain entered the relationship.
What to do? These tips might help.
Emotional Fitness Training Tips
Tip one: Small connecting steps matter. I failed completely to keep up with some treasured friends when I moved to another state. I have never been good about birthday or other greeting cards, sending postcards, or making the occasional telephone call to distant friends. Cost me dearly.
Becoming internet savvy lets you take lots of small steps to stay connected. The more I use the internet and the more distant friends do the same, the more we connect. I have reconnected with childhood friends and other lost friends as I have grown more and more internet astute.
Tip three: Attend or plan reunions. This does not mean just high school or college reunions. The better plan are making a concious effort to have smaller planned reunions in the form of regular meet-ups. One group of friends who were very busy manage to revive a fading friendship by agreeing to meet monthly for dinner. Another friend and I get together without fail every February.
When I travel back to my East Coast stumping grounds, I try to get together with as many friends left behind as possible. Like the sun on snow, the friendship blossoms anew.
Tip four: If a friendship seems to be fading and you don’t know why, ask. Nothing changes without cause. Knowing why a friendship is fading gives you options. If the person can tell you good, if not try to figure out why or your own.
As Saint Francis de Sales noted, “A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship. ”
Tip five: If a friendship is creating pain for you, let the person know. There is a great deal of internet and other advice telling you to let go of relationships that hurt. Essential if you are being battered and bruised, but not for the lessor hurts we impose on each other. I have only consciously ended one relationship and that was after asking the person to change. The person couldn’t or wouldn’t and the relationship had become only hurt on my end. Years later we connected again via the internet.
The more valuable the friendship, the more important to have a discussion about your hurt feelings. True friends will work with you to stop your pain, but that can only be done if the person knows your feelings. I hurt one dear friend because she wanted more from me than I could give at the time, I was juggling my foster children, my birth children, a parttime job. She was married without children and retired. Sad that she never let me know her pain. Her husband did after she died unexpectedly, Then it was too late for me to do better.
As Ulysses S. Grant,noted, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”
My hours as a foster parent were not dark hours, but they created dark feelings for me in my less stressed friend. Had she told me, I have no doubt I would have worked harder to see her more often.
Tip six: Examine what you want from all friendships. Friendships have many levels beginning with the internet pals, good time buddies and moving onward from those two. Statistics point out that you only need one or two “best” friends, but also make the point that the more social you are, generally the healthier you are. That said, know the friends that matter most to you and work hardest to maintain their friendship.
Knowing what you want from a friendship involves setting about a Smart Goal. To learn more about how to set SMART goals, get my eBook How To Know Your Mission To Reach Your Goals. It will help your sort out wants from needs. Buy It Now for $3.03. Less than a movie and longer lasting. This one makes a great gift for those struggling with letting go of a relationship.
Thank you for all you do
Remember to share all you find of value on the internet. All who post crave recognition. A like says “Thank You.” Comments say you have read and thought about the post. Sharing is a gift to three people: the blogger, the people you share with, and you for your kindness blesses you.
Post Inspiration: This post was inspired by a WordPress Daily Prompt: Tiny
OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST
These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.
- Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(amazon.com)
- Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.
Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors
If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.