The neediness of a young, adult teen is mind-boggling. We want the attention of everyone—most importantly our friends. We value our friends in numbers and in the amount of texts we receive throughout the day. These days we’re lucky if we get a weekly check-in given everyone’s busy schedules. It really is true what they say about best friends not needing to talk every single day because when you finally do exchange calls or texts, it’s as if you never stopped talking.
Let’s get real. Life is time-consuming. We have work, family, significant others, hobbies—you name it! Sometimes we don’t even get time for our own mental health. Sure, you’re supposed to make time for the things that matter most to you, but that doesn’t mean you’re obligated to talking to your friends every single day or showing up all the time. We have to learn to respect one another’s space and not expect their attention at their every beck and call.
Along with respecting one another’s space—as we get older, we have to learn how to respect one another’s decisions. Even the really dumb ones. The ‘I told you so’ ones. We have to let our friends make their own mistakes even if we see the red danger lights blinking right in front of our face. However, as a friend, you should be allowed to openly and honestly express your opinions. If you don’t feel that open line of communication within your friendships—that ain’t your best friend.
I’ve come to a rock and a hard place when it comes to respecting my friends choices. I mean can you blame your friend wanting the best for you? Can you blame your friend envisioning more for you? Can you blame your friend having higher expectations for you? It’s a push and pull game. In the end, the only one hurting is you. Your friend isn’t wasting his or her time sulking in your opposing opinion—she or he is out there doing what you voted no against. It’s all about personal growth after all, and I’ve had to painfully accept this despite my best attempt at swaying my friend/s to think like me.
So, in the end, you have to suck it up and wish the best for your friend(s). After all, we don’t want to see one another fail. Respect goes a long way in your friendships and without it we risk losing them all together. Growth in friendships is a great thing. Let’s embrace it with open arms.