Priority in friendships

What is priority?

something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Have you ever been so busy that you don’t have time to relax, hangout, go on social media, or even reply your messages?

Well, I have been.

It’s usually crazy and every single minute you get counts. 24 hours no longer seems enough because you have so much you want to get done. All these are priorities and they take your time.

However, in all of your busy schedule, you manage to communicate with the people that matter, or is it just me?

I know I’m not alone here because I’ve had this conversation with a few people and it’s true.

I can be so busy with a lot on my to-do list that I have no time to respond to messages or take a long call, yet somehow, I do so for certain people. Sometimes when I truly can’t chat, I communicate that and let them know and as soon as I get some free time, I respond or call.

Why is that?

I believe it’s because I have made them important in my life. These people are my favorite people. For others, I have to be free to respond to you and that’s just how it is.

If you think about it, you do it also. It’s not bad, it’s actually okay and that’s life.

You see, there’s a lot to do in life and we decide what to go for and what truly matters. This is what is called priority.

We all have priorities. It’s how we decide what to pay attention to each day. Whether they are rightly placed or misplaced is entirely up to you. Priorities are not just with work (what to do), but can be seen in relationships as well.

In life, not everyone you meet will be prioritized equally. You’re going to have acquaintances, friends, close friends and even a closer friend circle. We might not have actively thought of it, but we prioritize relationships that are close and dear to us more than normal friendships.

For instance, I would prioritize a friend who has turned a sister over a work colleague. It is what it is.

Where am I going with all these?

I had a recent trigger and it made me rethink certain relationships. After so much denial, I realized that it upsets me when people I’d go extra mile for can’t give me half that energy. I wanted to pretend that it’s okay, I’m okay but I really wasn’t.

It made me realize that it’s because I have placed them in such a big and important space in my life but they probably haven’t done same for me and that’s okay. It’s no one’s fault here.

Point is, I can’t expect to get from them the attention I’d give them.

One way I’ve started learning to relax and not stress myself is to reduce expectations and place people right. This doesn’t mean I no longer care or any of that. I do. But I am beginning to recognize that to not be upset, I need to reduce that expectation and not hold on too close.

We all have things we prioritize, we have relationships we prioritize too. Whether we know this or not, or we accept it or not, it’s the truth and it’s how life works.

Just as I’m re-evaluating relationships, if you also find out I’m not prioritizing ours, it’s okay to reduce your expectations. You don’t need permission to do so, but I give you permission to. It doesn’t make us bad people. Life is designed in such a way that we can’t give equally to everyone. It’ll be draining.

What matters is that we love each other and when anyone reaches out for support, we’re able to show support. Basically, we’re still there, but with little to no expectations.

I would have more expectations of my close friends than I would have of a work colleague. It only gets exhausting when the expectations of a close friend is put on a work colleague. That work colleague will never fill that shoe except somehow we both think of becoming close friends and then work on the relationship.

In all, if you can relate, for peace of mind, you should reduce your expectations and re-evaluate your relationships.

I forgot to mention something. Close friends grow apart and it doesn’t mean they are bad people. Maybe they’ve served the purpose for which they were close at that period of time. Just make sure you both have that conversation before deciding to accept what it is.

Remember, even the busiest person on earth still services close relationships, except what’s keeping them busy is more important than their close relationships (which happens btw). You sha get the point.

If you can relate, I’ll like to know. I’ll also like to know your thoughts as well.

4 thoughts on “Priority in friendships

  1. This is so true TRD. I was telling someone recently that these things happen and it’s your expectation that makes you feel disappointed most times not that the person is a bad person. It’s hard but it’s the truth. Just manage your expectations and do your best on your part too. It will be easier to live with.

  2. There’s one thing I gotta disagree on it isn’t what it is no one should ever be too busy for a friend I guess it kinda does depend on the level of friendship like no one busy would make time for casual friends or superficial friends those kinds of friendships happen in high school I no longer have those two types of friendships I have people that I don’t know all that well and I have not known them long either as for a one sided friendship yes I’ve had one of those I believe that’s more likely what you were talking about and I did cut off that person that didn’t make time for me I don’t have room in my life for someone like that I too am very busy but I make time for my friends and I expect every one of my friends to do the same for me if they can’t well I don’t know why I call them a friend anyway

    1. Hi Lauren!

      I agree with you. A relationship should welcome expectations from both parties and if it’s one-sided, then it means it’s not that important to the person putting in less effort.

      Sometimes too, life gets in the way but at the end of it all, what life getting in the way does is, it forces you to prioritize what matters to you and if someone doesn’t think your friendship with them is important enough to spend time with you, then it’s an eye opener and that’s okay. There’s no bad blood.

      Other times, they truly prioritize you but are going through a lot at that moment. If this is the case, you’ll also see it and be more accommodating.

      Thank you for leaving a comment 😊

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