As probably many of you, I have become “immune” to inspirational quotes. My online feeds are saturated with the same quotes which have been repeated and reposted a thousand times. However, last week, one quote popped up in an Instagram-Story: “Choose People Who Choose You”. Like so many, I had read this one before. But last week it did remind me of something.
I was just in the middle of organising meet-ups with friends and business meetings. I was really excited as I had not seen many of my friends in a long time. Unfortunately, as an expat and also when we get older, we see that some relationships have changed along the way. And sometimes, it even means moving on and admitting that we cannot hold onto the past.
I used to get caught up in the same pattern over and over. Living abroad especially showed me who really cared and who did not. I tried to keep in touch with some friends. I felt guilty because I was abroad and thought I was the one who needs to keep in touch. For a very long time, I did not see that it was only me trying to hold on to the relationship – my counterparts did not invest the same effort. When I then headed out or came back to Austria and did not get in touch, I got a text message: “Why didn’t you tell me?”. More than once, I got this message when I had already left.
But instead of just forgetting about it, I guilt-tripped myself even more. Should I have been in touch more? Did I make a mistake? The answer is: No, I did not. Living abroad may be a convenient excuse. But in times of Whatsapp, Email, Instagram and the like, staying in touch has become easier then ever. And I find it funny if people tell me that they were soooo busy that they forgot to reply but I see that they watched every single one of my Instagram stories.
It may sound harsh but it is the only way to go: Stop making excuses! If people do not get in touch with you as much as you do, there is a reason for it. Of course, there might be the odd busy week or emergency. But most of the time it is because they may not value the relationship as much as you do.
Even with men I used to make excuses if I did not hear back from them. Or if I did not see the same commitment. But the truth is, the ones who really want to be with you, will make an effort. They will have time to text and call and meet up. And if a man does not, he is just not that into you. That is it. It is hard to accept but better to move on.
To a certain extent, I also apply this to business relationships. Of course, I am relentless, I try to fight and do my best. However, if I do not see the same spark in my counterparts, I usually take it as a sign to move on and focus on something else.
For me, there is no excuse of “being busy”. We all have busy weeks, of course. But even if I do not manage to text back right away, I try to get back as soon as possible. And instead of scrolling through a stupid Instagram-feed, I then focus on reality and text or call back. And honestly, how busy are we really? Are there really no 20 seconds we have to text a friend back? But we do have time to take videos we then post online?
Therefore, I have decided to make the same effort as others: if I see they invest in our relationship, I invest the same. If they do not, I move on. Of course, it is sad and sometimes difficult to realise that friendships or relationships may have changed. But I guess that is life. And on the positive side, it allows me to invest more time and effort into those relationships who really count and make me happy.
Have a great week ahead and do not forget to choose the people who choose you!