Are You Carrying Your Weight In Your Friendships?

Self, Family

How to keep your friendships alive despite your busy schedules.

By Marianne Beach, from

We're all busy. Let's face it. Our lives are busy. Sometimes between family, work and other obligations, your friendships can slip through the cracks. Sure, you "like" her status on Facebook but when is the last time you gave her an actual phone call? For some friends like one of my best friends, this is totally cool. She lives far away and I see her once or twice a year. We might not talk for months but when we're together, it's like we never left.

When it comes to some of my other friends, if I don't personally invite them to every single event I'm participating in, they decide I must hate them and grow resentful and cold the next time I try to get in touch. This happens even though they haven't invited me to anything they're involved in since pretty much the beginning of our friendship. I'm expected to do all the heavy lifting and if I fail in my duties, I'm not a good friend. That's where the guilt starts coming in.

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While friendships absolutely do need upkeep, Yahoo! Shine senior features editor, Piper Weiss suggests that we don't beat ourselves up over falling off the face of the Earth from time to time. "A good friend doesn't take your inability to always "be there" personally," she insists. "As we change jobs and homes and relationships develop, a constant companion can turn into a once a week friend. It doesn't mean you love them less but it’s a test. If you really love each other, you'll find ways to stay connected or just know how to ask each other for company when you really need to." Advice: Is It Ok To Untag Photos On Facebook?

If you can't meet face-to-face, stay in touch online. Instant messaging, Google chat, and of course "liking" their Facebook statuses are all simple ways to stay involved in each other's lives. "Also, group emails are a good way to stay involved with a specific group of friends," Weiss suggests. "You never run out of stuff to talk about. The more people involved in the chain, the less writing and upkeep one individual has to do. You always have a record of your friends' daily routine and can check in as needed. When you meet in person, you don’t have to spend all your time catching up."

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Try to be understanding when you're on the other end. You make the plans, she bails last minute. Is she trying to tell you something? Or is she just truly busy? "They may still love you but their priorities have shifted and that's okay," says Weiss. "Know that old saying 'If you love someone set them free? If they come back....' You get the gist."

Some friends could just be in need of a good "activity director" like my friend Mary to get motivated. Mary can always be counted on for rounding up the gang for a good night out. Even if not every night was a roaring success, we could always count on Mary to get us out of the house. "If there's a movie, get the tickets in advance," suggests Weiss. "Sometimes a friend needs a little push. It's easy to get stuck in a routine and part of being a friend is helping them out of a rut."

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.