Be careful when a friend says this

As we get older, it gets harder and harder to stay in consistent contact with all the people you’d like to keep in touch with.

But if you’ve ever tried to set up a call or a hangout with a buddy, you might have heard this little nugget:

“Sorry, I’ve been really busy lately.”

What this really means, however, is:

Sorry, you just haven’t been a priority lately.

On face value, this response is nonsense. ‘Too busy’ implies that in the past week, they simply haven’t had five minutes to send you a text or call you up.

The subtext behind this explanation is that they haven’t devoted any brain space to communicating with you because they’ve had other things on their mind.

And guess what…

That’s okay.

People are generally busy. We have careers to focus on, families to see and take care of, and our own bodies and minds to tend to.

It can be frustrating and hurtful to feel like your friends are ‘too busy’ for you, but:

1) Would you want to force it by spending time with someone who doesn’t truly want to engage?

2) You can use that time to take care of other essentials for yourself—hobbies, career, or other relationships.

Conclusion

To those who receive the ‘I’ve been busy’ text:

Don’t let it insult you at your core. Take the opportunity to put effort into other areas. But if it’s a serious situation, bring it up with the other person and tell them how you feel.

To those who send the ‘I’ve been busy’ text:

Don’t.

Be straight up with the person. If you haven’t truly cared about catching up or spending time together, say so. It can sound harsh, but ripping off the band-aid means feeling the immediate pain and discomfort now…and avoiding this worse, throbbing and lingering pain that can last months or even years.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “We should catch up man…” then immediately think…Do you really mean that?

No, probably not.

But again….

That’s okay!