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Knocked Out of the Race, Time for Ice Cream

Why Our Friendships Always Run Out Of Gas




It's beautiful day out and my car is full with friends; we're on our way back from visiting more friends. The right tunes are vibrating out of the speakers, with all of us in high spirits and just enjoying each others company.

I look down through the steering wheel and do a double-take, since I'm hoping that what I'm seeing isn't true. And with comedic timing, the wheel stiffens as my car slides into neutral and I guide it to the far right shoulder of the road.

We are completely out of gas.

For what it's worth, this  never happens to me has happened to me to many times in the past calendar year. I should've learned my lesson from the first time, since I know my car loves to throw obscure, over-exaggerated estimates on how much mileage it has left until empty, like it's some grossly overconfident jock judging how much Axe body spray to put on. But I didn't, so there I sat, waiting for the last of our momentum to be expended before we stopped at a dead halt.

Yeah, this one's my fault.

I glance around the rest of the car sheepishly and relay the update in our current situation, and I'm met with the reactions I figured I'd find.

The thing is, friendships are not unlike the car I had unwittingly depleted of gas to leave it dead on the side of the highway. Much like the gas, and regular servicing that the car needs, the relationships we have with the people around us need to be maintained.

Friendships are a very real vehicle that will help carry us to where we need to go, all the while supporting us along the way. There are good cars and bad cars, new ones and old ones, efficient vehicles and gas guzzlers. The same can be said for friendships and relationships.

There are good friendships and bad ones, old and new friends, friendships who don't need much, and ones who need the world.

The reality is that we let a variety of factors stop us from keeping our friendships running. Whether it's effort (or a lack of), personal anxieties, or we just simply don't know how to keep our relationships strong, many of us have let people and friends go by the wayside because the vehicle wasn't getting what it needed to keep running.

I've seen too many times where people grow distant because their own anxieties made them believe they'd be bothering the other person if they reached out.

I've watched people who used to be inseparable, separate because they couldn't be bothered to make small gestures necessary for friendship to live.

Sometimes, we don't really know how to keep a relationship breathing and so naturally, it fades out with the wavering hope that they may be rekindled somewhere down the road.

I've always had a personal pride around the maintenance of my friendships, and sometimes I felt like this came across as annoying to some people- and that's okay. It doesn't happen often, and if you really want to keep the people who matter most to you around, sometimes you're going to have to reach out in ways that make you uncomfortable. We as humans are incredibly social creatures, in fact we depend on it, but we let a myriad of other factors influence us in contrasting directions.

In other words, assess who you need in your life and rid yourself of any other external factor, like doubt, fear of rejection or the unknown, and put what needs to be put in to your relationships. The easy way out might feel easier at the time, but keeping the people you want around you is both rewarding and fulfilling- and something you'll probably thank yourself for down the road.

Every car needs things to keep it running, and your friendships are no different.

To read more on friendship, click here and here.



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Comments

  1. Love this, Jordan! I'd say that it is a great list, but not exhaustive - I can think of a few more reasons that friends give up on friends. Definitely something to get the wheels turning.

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