As part of one of my big resolutions this year being to say “yes” more. I’ve been thinking about the toll that all my postpartum anxiety played on my friendships. I know that part of having small kids is that everything changes, including friendships. I’ve been looking into myself and the past few years and really trying to get to the bottom of what has happened to some of my favorite relationships. Here’s 4 reasons why I’m a bad friend:
1. Like I talked about in my Resolutions post, I always say, “No.” Yep, I would wager that 6 out of 10 times someone asks me to do something, I say, “No.” Out of the 4 where I did said “yes” 2-3 of those I bail at the last minute. Why am I like that? Well, I make lots of excuses. It is during Joe’s nap, meal times, or bed time. Yes. I know. I shouldn’t stop doing stuff just because I have a child. But, Joe (and I for that matter) thrive on being on schedule. Right? When he’s off schedule, it’s miserable. He’s cranky, doesn’t eat well, doesn’t sleep well. And I also feel bad asking Ben to manage all these things by himself. I do it sometimes, But I’m not willing to ask him constantly to manage on his own. Or is it really that anxiety that paralyzes me and makes me just want to sit in my PJ’s all day?
2. I don’t often initiate a social event. That is, unless you have a kid a similar age as my kid. Why? Because putting on a big dinner or party is next to impossible with a clingy toddler. Because I feel like most people who don’t have their own clingy toddler don’t really want to hang out with my clingy toddler. Honestly, if we do hang out with my clingy toddler we will just be entertaining him and not really getting in the girl chat we need. Right? Or is that my anxiety paralyzing me again?
3. When I’m going through something hard, I shut down. Instead of turning to my friends when I’m in a tough situation, I usually shut them out. I don’t want to talk to anyone or go anywhere. this leads to even more of #1, I just keep saying, “No.” Or worse, I’ll try to make myself get out of the house, then have anxiety and bail at the last minute. Yeah, everyone deals with tough situations differently. Unfortunately, after a few really poor choices in confidants this has been my method.
4. I have a TERRIBLE memory. I will forget what you told me yesterday. I may forget your birthday (or get the day completely wrong – yes even with Facebook). I truly do TRY to remember to ask you about the thing you told me about last week. But if I don’t, please understand that I do love you and care about what’s happening in your life. I just might ask you the same question 3 visits in a row. I get so consumed in my own silly struggles (or not so silly) and forget that the people I love have their own things going on too.
On the other hand, if you’ll let me, I am a really good friend in 1 way:
1. If we haven’t talked in days, months, or years, know that I still think about you often. I still love you. And as soon as we get a chance to re-connect, lets pick up right where we left off. I appreciate you and your friendship and I’ll love you forever.
So I think the moral of the story is that in order to communicate to my friends that I value them and I care about them, I need to Say “yes” More. And really work hard on overcoming my anxiety.
I’m not alone, right?! Do you suffer from anxiety too? What works/didn’t work for you to overcome it?