Why rejections can strengthen friendship

If you cancel appointments with friends, your guilty conscience knocks. No more: Our editor thinks that rejections actually strengthen friendship.

I had a date with my best friend tonight. Lots. We usually do it that way – something can come up. Nothing came up with me. I just don’t feel like driving across town tonight, but more like feet-up Netflix. I canceled her. Still, I don’t have a guilty conscience.

Science reveals: this is what best friends have in common

A date during lunch break, a drink after work

That was not always so. Not so long ago I planned my days to the max. After all, everyone who is important to me had to have their place. A date during lunch break, a drink after work. Don’t disappoint anyone, please everyone. Except yourself. How that ended, you can imagine. By the weekend when I finally had the time I needed, I either had migraines – or felt so burned out that I just wanted to hide under the covers by myself.

Today I cancel appointments more and more often. But that’s not only good for me, but also for my friendships. Why?

The following applies to friendships: quantity is not quality

The answer is actually that simple: quantity does not mean quality. It just takes a long time to become aware of it yourself. If you squeeze appointments into an already busy everyday life, appointments become obligations. And commitments are rarely fun.

At the same time, they do not do justice to friends. Nobody wants to be ticked off as a time slot like an annoying item on the to-do list. Because if you actually prefer to be somewhere else, you rarely get involved with your counterpart. You are not really there even when you are physically there. And you can see that.

In fact, I believe that friendships even suffer if you see them once a week for the half hour that you’d rather be in bed than for four hours every four weeks – or even a whole day?

Don’t make time for a date, make time for one person

How much time is a person worth to you? Give it to him. But only when you have taken care of yourself. Very important at this point: You don’t need stress to feel stressed. In addition to a 40-hour week, some people can do sports, meet friends, visit family, do the household chores and easily write a book on the side. But others need more time for themselves. If we insist so much on individualization, let us also allow each one an individual sense of stress.

Real friendships can handle rejection

If you cancel appointments when you don’t feel like it, you strengthen your friendship in three ways. Number one: By opening up – and honestly admitting that you just don’t have the time or just don’t feel like it.

Number two: by signaling to your date that it is too important to you to tick off when you don’t really want to. That shows not only respect, but also appreciation.

Number three: By mutual rejections building a trust that takes all the pressure off your friendship. You know you like each other, you know you want to see each other, you know you will make it – but you also know that you have reasons if it doesn’t work out. And that no one takes it against you.

If someone doesn’t understand, that person may not be a real friend either. This is how you distinguish true friends from false ones.

Don’t be afraid to cancel appointments

Of course you have to cultivate relationships, be they family, friendly or romantic in nature. But if so, please do it correctly. And not every flower needs water every day to survive. What I mean by that: Real friends stay with you even if you don’t see them for a while. Friendships inevitably change over the years. That is normal.

From where I know this? Absurdly enough, my best friends are the least likely to see people in my life. This summer I was at the seaside with two of them. I haven’t seen one of them for six months and the other for weeks, even though we live in the same town. This weekend was only ours. We made a conscious decision to spend this time together and not do anything better. And what do you notice over and over again at such meetings? True friendships are not measured by how often you see each other – but by the fact that each time it feels like it was yesterday.

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