Musings

On Maintaining Relationships.

June 7, 2012
Over the last 2 days I’ve emailed 6 friends, Called 2, texted 5, emailed 3 former employers, sent a card to an old colleague, called an aunt and emailed 2 cousins and one professor; This list doesn’t include the friends I talk to every couple of days via bbm, phone or text. And I still have people I need to contact

How do I deal?

Over the last year between graduating, going to Italy -> California -> Lagos and now back to California, I feel like I’ve left a string of relationships all over the place. Relationships I can’t seem to properly manage. For example, my college friends who I love so dearly; these people were the ones I cried to when I slaved all week on a paper and still got a B, or when that relationship ended. They were the ones I cooked for every weekend, the ones who stayed with me the thanksgiving I had nowhere to go…

How about my former employers? The ones who gave me an opportunity, and taught me, corrected me and encouraged me, the ones who still agree to be my references? Or cousins, who I have lost touch with but still share about 12% of my DNA. Or friends who may not be so close but I still know I will cry at their weddings and still stay on the phone with them for three hours when they need to cry.

Or my new friends who I’ve know only a short while but it seems like an eternity… The list is endless, these relationships may not be my closest, as close as before or geographically close but all these people mean something to me and are an important part of my existence.

My question is how do you manage? I know at some point in my life I was on top of it, monthly check-in’s for some, bi-weekly check-ins for others and for some just a “hello hope you’re well” once every 6 months and a “happy birthday, God bless you” once every year. But somehow I lost it, and I don’t know how to get it back. I know that saying “20 friends cannot play together for 20 years”, and I understand it. This isn’t a matter of “friendship”. From casual acquaintances to work networks… These are relationships I don’t want to just fizz out, some will I understand, but I want to do my part to make sure some don’t.

And I’m drowning.

Help.

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2 Comments

  • Reply moyin :) June 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Hmmm. This is something I also used to wonder about, but I finally came to the conclusion that relationships are things that should flow effortlessly.
    Somehow, I have been able to categorise my friendships so I know the ones that require a lot of communication to be maintained (thankfully, I don’t have a lot of these) and then the majority that just pick up from where we left off no matter how long its been. Of course, I pay more attention to the ones that need more communication just because I understand the dynamics.
    One other thing that has also helped is I tell my friends to remind me when I’m slacking,because I tend to forget sometimes.
    About former employers, I would really like tips because I’m poor at these.
    Sorry about the length. I hope this helped somehow.

    • Reply Sabirah June 8, 2012 at 6:44 am

      Hey Moyin, I agree about flow but sometimes you’ve gotta put in work, some effort. I guess it makes sense to categorize.
      I love the tip about telling one another if we’re slacking! it’s a two way street afterall.
      With former employers i’m just learning myself. I basically just make sure they never forget me, a warm message with what you’re up to, inquires about them (using personal info you have) and appreciation for the opportunity they gave you is often a good enough email (email works best for me)
      Let me know how it goes.
      And yes thanks for the comment it did help! 🙂

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