Here is a non-funny Buzzfeedy blog with a list of some things we don’t owe anyone but need to stop stressing over!!!
An Explanation: Unless you make a real commitment to something important to someone, we owe no sort of explanations for anything. “No, thank you” is just fine. You don’t need a reason for not wanting to do something other than not wanting to do it. If someone in your life takes that personally, then that is their problem to work out, not yours. If you make plans with a friend to hangout after work, then you have a long, shitty day and decide you’d rather house a buffalo chicken sub alone on your couch, you shouldn’t worry that your friend will make a big deal or talk shit or use the old school fan favorite childhood vocabulary word “ditched” . You also shouldn’t feel the need to make up a better excuse because you think they’ll pick your excuse apart. Don’t lie to appease someone. I would rather hang with my friends when they want to hang, not when they feel obligated. Here is a good way to say it, “Hey, today sucked. I won’t be much fun today. Rain check?”. Easy peasy.
An Immediate Response: I love my iPhone in an unhealthy way. My iPhone is for me to use how I want to use it. If I don’t feel like talking, I don’t have to. If I mentally reply to a text, but forget to hit “send”, I don’t need to hear about it (example: “You didn’t answer my text but you opened my Snap!” Unless you had definitive plans to meet up, shut up and move on). We are so connected to our social technology that it’s almost expected that we always be available for everyone. A cell phone is a lifeline to socialization. We pay for it monthly to use it how we want to. Your friends should understand that you will reach out when you reach out. And them, the same.
The Same Priorities: Everyone has different shit going on in their lives, and some are in different places. My husband is one of my priorities, because he is under the “family” category now. If a friend is asking you to set your priorities to the side to accommodate them, then maybe they need to tone down the neediness. Example “But you live with your husband! You see him every day. Hang with me!”. Um. What? Okay, why don’t you call in sick to your highly important career to get day drunk with me because “I need you right now because I’m in a fight with my husband!”. Priorities don’t have to be the same in a friendship, but they do need to be acknowledged and respected.
An invitation: I have more that one friend. Sometimes I just want to hangout with one. Sometimes all of them. It doesn’t always have to be a party, but sometimes it’s nice. If a friend sees you check in on Facebook to the dive bar up the street and wants to join, let her call you and say “Hey, saw you and so and so are at bladdy blah, I’d love to join for a beer!”. There is no need to be butt-hurt over not being included in the initial plan. If someone gets mad at you for that, it is their own insecurity. I’ve had this problem in my own life, as I am sure everyone has heard the old “thanks for the invite” jab (side note, I’d love to jab the people who write this under Facebook check in’s…right in the face). It always confused me, because I just invite myself to places I think it would be okay for me to go. I’m not saying I invite myself to weddings or anything major, but a simple “can I join you guys at breakfast?” will suffice. I started taking inventory on who was doing this crap to me…the “thank for the invite” shit. Noticing a pattern of hypocrisy, I too would call it out, just to make a point (example: “You got pissed at me for doing this without you, but now you’re there and didn’t ask me to come!”). I am vowing to never do that again. If you notice yourself doing that, stop. Maybe you weren’t invited because your friends were going to a restaurant they know you don’t like. Maybe they thought you had plans. Or MAYBE they just didn’t think about you on this occasion. And that’s alright, too.
A little branch off of this topic is that you also don’t owe anyone updates on what you are doing. If you invite someone to hang, and they decline based on what you’re doing, you don’t need to update them if your plan changes. If they were tired when you invited them to come by for vino, then why should you feel bad that you decided to grab a slice of pizza up the street instead? They said they were tired. If the plan sounds more exciting than it used to and the thought of pizza and beer wakes them up (it would wake me up!), then they can give you a call. You don’t have to constantly update someone based on plan changes. You have the right to change your mind. You are an adult and you can do whatever the fuck you want without consulting anyone.
An Apology: If you aren’t sorry, don’t apologize. Too often we apologize to keep the peace. If you feel you didn’t do anything wrong, don’t feel the need lie about being sorry to make someone else feel better. What about your own feelings? Fake apologizing is giving in. It leads to built up resentment, and that’s counter-productive. There is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree then working towards a resolution based on a mutual want to make a situation or relationship better.
We also have the tendency of keeping quiet about things that hurt our feelings. Why? If something upsets you, just say it. We teach people how to treat us. Don’t let anyone treat you like shit..which leads me into what we DO owe friends, and that is: Respect. I get that to get respect we have to earn it. But I am talking about friends here. If someone is on friend level with you, they should have already have earned your respect. If you don’t respect your friends then you are being a bad friend. If your friend doesn’t respect you, then they are being a bad friend. Friendship is a mutual respect and if one side is lacking, it is probably time to lay the relationship to rest. Respect ties into everything mentioned above. I don’t owe it to my friends to invite them every time I leave my house. But I do respect them enough that I am not going to go to brunch and invite all of my other friends and leave just one friend out. I respect them enough that I am going to call them back when I get a free second. If I am going to their favorite restaurant, I will give them a call to see if they want to tag along. If I have unintentionally hurt their feelings, I am going to apologize because I don’t want to be responsible for hurting them. But I am not going to constantly sacrifice my own feelings to make someone feel better. Any “friend” who expects you to do so is someone you should move on from.