I have been both the victim of this type of friend and the criminal myself. Normally the situation will happen through text or through a random sighting on the street. No matter what, it will go something like this:
Friend: Oh hey girl!
Me: Oh my god hey! How are you?
Friend: I’m good. I miss you, we need to hang.
Me: Definitely, let’s do something this weekend.
Friend: For sure! I’ll text ya.
Plot twist: She will never text.
This is fine in most situations. The problem arises when he/she serially says that he/she “misses me,” but will not actually put forth the effort to, for instance, invite me to lunch Saturday. On the other hand, when I reach out, their schedule is wide open to get lunch this Saturday. When communication is so easy, where we can just send a text to make plans, why does this continually happen? Is it because we’re forgetful? Or are we scared of that little bit of rejection?
After this happens, not once, but multiple times, I get a little self-conscious. Was I not worth remembering? Am I that forgettable? Maybe they’re just with such cool people doing such amazing things that they couldn’t expend the energy to remember to reach out. While these questions and others flow through my head, I know that none of it is probably true and their attention shouldn’t make up my self-worth. At the same time, it’s hard not to feel somewhat disappointed when this consistently happens. The feeling of disappointment will lead me to accepting it and just deciding, “Well I guess I’m just the friend that always makes plans.” However, this identity takes a lot of time and energy.
I don’t want this to sound preachy, but the truth is that if someone is consistently disappointing me, why should I keep them around? No one should be able to take my self-worth away nor should I feel the need to strive for others’ attention all the time. I’m not saying I don’t want to put effort into my relationships, but that there must be a mutual respect for the other person’s time and energy. What I’ve found is that it’s the people who do reach out that are the ones that are worth having around. I found that the time I spent trying to hang out with those not putting in the same effort was hindering me from making connections with people who were trying to make plans with me. Valuing someone else’s time and valuing my time is not something that I learned immediately; but I have found that in doing it, I will find the friends who do as well.