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I'm Always The First One Who Reaches Out To My Friends

"I literally can't remember the last time a friend just called or texted to say hello or check in."

It's that time again cyber besties, when I, Hameda, give advice to a lovely reader who slid into my DMs.

Before we dive right in, let's talk about friendships for a moment. There are a lot of people that'll come and go in your life β€” and it's up to you and only you to decide who you want to keep close.

And I believe there are different friends you have, for different periods of your life β€” depending on who you are at that given time.

Don't get me wrong, some of these friendships will last for decades purely based on the foundations you've built. I personally have very close bonds with a couple of friends from high school who are in entirely different points in their life β€” but the initial and core connection is as strong as ever. Not so much for some of my other pledged BFFs from that time.

As you mature, so do your friendships β€” you get to know each other better, get a sense of the way people communicate, how they prioritise their platonic relationships and if they're adding value to your life.

At the same time, friendship is a two way street. You need to be prepared to nurture it like you would any other relationship β€” and that becomes a lot easier when you feel your efforts are being received, acknowledged and returned.

You should always be getting something out of the friendships you have, be it stimulating conversation, the security of a safe place to land when you're in trouble, or an ear to listen to you vent about your deepest, most difficult challenges with no judgement and sound advice (hello, it's me).

This brings me to today's DM, from this gorgeous soul who's been feeling the lack of return from their friends.

Firstly, I'd like to commend you for communicating your grievances with your friends and I'm sorry that it wasn't received in the way you intended.

It's always tough to maintain friendships when they feel one-sided. From what you've said, your current friends are either taking advantage of your kindness, or they're just genuinely terrible at keeping up with others unless there's a pressing matter on their hands.

The latter doesn't mean that you need to cut them out, or blame them for their inability to keep in touch in the way that you would like. It just means that they have other things and people in their lives β€” or even themselves β€” that they're prioritising, which isn't necessarily an indication of how much they care about you or how much they value your friendship.

The fact that you did speak to them about how their lack of effort hurts you and their behaviour didn't change is probably because they aren't able to sympathise, because they don't see and haven't felt the hurt that you feel. This stems back to the whole idea of understanding people's limitations β€” which I spoke briefly about last time.

Their inability to give you what you need from a friendship isn't a reflection on you, or how valuable you are and how precious your time is. And there are plenty of people that you'll meet over time who do reach out first, without an ulterior motive, but finding those people β€” your people β€” takes time and some exploration.

If you want to speed up this process, I definitely recommend finding some online communities to join. I'm personally a part of some Facebook groups for witches and WOC, as well as writing groups on Tumblr that have been incredible support systems for me and others time and time again.

As well as doing that, really reflect on the friendships you have now and whether they're worth pursuing. If you believe that they are, try to decrease the amount that you're reaching out. The reason for them not doing so first might even just be that they've become used to you being the instigator. When you take that away, you might find that the communication between the two of you becomes more balanced.

Alright glorious ghouls β€” those are all of my thoughts and words of guidance for now. If you have anything you want to add, feel free to share in the comments.

Just don't forget to be kind and considerate when you do.

If you've got a question about a problem, have a thought you can't seem to resolve, or want another opinion on a scenario in your life, you can DM me about it on Instagram (@itshameda) or Twitter (@hamedanafiz) to be featured in the column.

You can also drop in questions and submissions in the comments for consideration β€” if that's something you're comfortable with.

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