I’ve been seeing a lot of people saying/ sharing things that basically say “if your friend is not contacting you during lockdown, are they really your friend”, obviously I’ve used my own words in that summary but you probably have seen what I mean.
Initially, I thought that this was a good point but, quite quickly, I realised that this is a pretty harmful thing to say. So, I thought I would share my reasons for not agreeing.
Note from me: if you found your friendship toxic before this/ have been wanting to cut loose for a while then this probably doesn’t apply to that friendship but have a read through, just in case.
- This is not a normal situation Okay, I admit it, this is the reason – everything else comes under this title for me. Nobody feels normal right now, some people might have lots of time but not much capacity.
Right, now that is out there, let’s elaborate.
I am going to start with the work situation as this is a very big one for me personally. Half of my friends are working still, half aren’t. I am not. Personally, I have been trying to not contact my working friends during their working hours. I know that for a lot of people, it’s hard enough to keep their head in the work game as it is. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to add to those distractions.
This brings me on to what I am calling ‘time zone issues’, not even necessarily just with overseas friends. I feel like even in the UK we are all kind of living in different time zones and it feels quite pronounced to me. Whether people have turned nocturnal, or people have more capacity at a certain time of day; it all counts and it all takes coordination.
Personally, I feel useless after about 2pm lately. My friends and family will probably tell you that most of my messages are arriving in the morning. It’s because by that point of day, I have usually done my cleaning/ general chores, and I am sitting down to think about what to cook, or binge watching One Tree Hill (my current vice). Or, in all honesty, I feel drained from living the same days on repeat and feel like I have nothing to say. 🤷🏼♀️
I know that lots of people are feeling this. That I am not alone with it.
I also want to remind people that some of your friends suffer with abandonment trauma. These people may take themselves away from friends during this situation. It might look like/ feel like proof that they are destined to be lonely and raise fears that they are unloved. Of course, we know that this is not true and we love them dearly but without that human connection with friends and loved ones, it is hard to prove that they are not alone.
Other reactions to this kind of trauma may be ‘acting out’ to push friends away. To prove a point. Or it may be shown through neediness.
This mixed with someone who is withdrawing can be a massive trigger in itself. It’s literally like trying to stick two magnets together, South to South, it will not work. We need to turn one of the magnets around so that they are North to South and can attract again. This is not a reason to throw the magnets, or the friendship away. Let the friendship have that time (and space if necessary) to repair.
Another thing to be aware of is that, as of 25th November 2019, it is reported that 21 out of 100 adults suffer some sort of domestic abuse. We know how common it is, we also know that the majority of victims do not speak out – not even to friends and family. At this time of stress and uncertainty around the globe, we have to realise that people close to us may be being abused and not be speaking out.
Let’s not make a decision to cut them out because they aren’t checking on us. They are just trying to make it through each day.
I am picking the more extreme emotional reasons here but they are very real.
Whether you relate to what I’ve said or whether you are doing fine in lockdown, or are just exhausted with it, feeling generally lonely/ low, I am sure you can appreciate that your friends may be feeling their own type of way and that is not wrong. It’s not.
My point is, this situation affects everyone on Earth. It’s a 🌍 GLOBAL PANDEMIC 🌍. Everyone will have their own feelings about this and not everyones will be compatible with every friend that they have. The world, and the emotions in it, does not work that way.
So, next time you think of this pandemic as a test on your friendships, please think again with a little less judgement.
We are all fighting this battle and the reunion of separated friends and family will be beautiful, regardless of whether you spoke every day of lock down or not.
Life is not the same right now. Emotions aren’t the same right now. Energy levels are not the same right now.
Nothing is the same right now.
Please spend less time judging yourself and your friends/ loved ones and more time remembering what you love about yourself and others. Love can and will endure. 💖
🏡 Stay home and stay safe 💕
Don’t let this be you when this is over, wondering why you let people go from your life.