We rent out a room in our basement. However, that room doesn't have a kitchen. So, although the guy in the basement lives separately, in some ways we share a lot of common space. I like Eric a lot. Over the last few months we've gotten to be pretty good friends. We used to spend time every morning talking before my work day got rolling and he left for his job. Recently though, he signed up for school, changed jobs, and got a girlfriend. All those are very good things, but we hardly ever see him now. It's occasionally, in passing, on the porch, or for a few minutes at the end of the day in the kitchen. Not much more than that.
I noticed it almost immediately. As soon as his schedule changed, our communication changed too. Overnight it became very factual and transactional. It's all about solving problems and exchanging information.
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"Hey, can you leave me a rent check?"
"You missed that whole part of the lawn out front when you mowed."
"We're going to be gone next weekend. Can you manage the dogs?"
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I noticed the change because it felt uncomfortable to me. It was like the tone of our relationship shifted. We weren't saying anything to each other, or asking anything from eachother, that we normally wouldn't have. The difference was, the feel good filler in our previous conversations, the kind of communication that keeps a friendship functioning well, wasn't there anymore. It became all business overnight. I study this stuff and it even shocked me how fast our relationship changed. Keep reading...
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