‘Some of us thrive under pressure, but some of us collapse. Everyone has their reasons. They aren’t in your life to be like you.’: Woman discusses the importance of diverse friendships, ‘Don’t let yourself be the reason one fails’

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“Do you have a friend who has been really loud in 2020? What about one who has gone radio silent?

Do you have a friend who wishes you would speak up, reach out, or hang more? What about one you haven’t heard from or seen in many months?

Do you have a friend who feels the same as you about a lot of things? What about one you’ve kinda lost because of one or many differences in opinion?

Some of us thrive under pressure. But some of us cave and burrow when we’re faced with it. Some of us can take the weight. But, for some of us, it weighs us down.

Some of us fall and get right back up. But some of us collapse and linger in our pain. Some of us make jokes to stay light. But some of us think making light out of anything heavy is downright inconsiderate.

Each has their reasons, just as you do. Navigating a pandemic, social distancing, mask wearing, distanced learning,  job insecurity, political and racial unrest, and what to do about upcoming family gatherings, holidays, visits with immunocompromised or elderly parents and grandparents. It’s a lot.

And do you know what sometimes feels like it just adds to the lot? Friendships—specifically those which require work or demand you owe an explanation for anything.

I’m gonna vote how I want, wear or not wear my mask when I want, let my kids see who I want, keep them from attending what I want, speak up when I want, hermit up when I need, and I’m only in the market for friendships which support my right to be independent from them.

And I hope my friends will always vote how they want, wear or not wear their mask when they want, let their kids see who they want, attend (or not) what they want, speak up when they want, hermit up when they need, and know I wholly support their right to be independent from me.

Not a single part of friendship is about control. There should be none of this going on. Don’t try to persuade your friends, either.

They aren’t in your life to be more like you. They are in your life to be them and to serve the purpose on your path they are intended to.

Same goes for you with them. Stop fighting with each other by remembering what you love about each other and lean into it.

We’ve got a pretty short time here on this Earth. It ain’t guaranteed either, and I can’t see a d*mn reason why we should waste any of it fighting fights with no winner.

If a friendship fails naturally and on its own, so be it, but don’t you dare let yourself be the reason it does.”

Courtesy of Nicole Merritt

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole Merritt of Jthreenme, where the post originally appeared. You can follow her on Facebook, her website, or podcast. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Nicole:

‘They ‘must not enjoy their kids’ if they want to be away from them. We call them ‘attention seeking’ or ‘self-centered.’: Mother urges for ‘less jealously, more camaraderie’

‘I’m here for all your seasons—ALL OF THEM. Whether you’re crying, whining, laughing, I’m here.’: Woman pens touching note to friends

‘I need a friend,’ she said. That’s all she had to say.’: Woman urges others ‘if you need one, too, tell someone’

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