7 Reasons to Listen When Your Friend Reaches Out to You
We’re used to thinking of our friends as people whom we know well and who always speak freely with us. While that’s true, it’s a mistake to assume that our friends always share everything with us and that they don’t sometimes hide their pain or try to reach out.
Sadly, most friendships don’t last forever – people just drift apart over the years and it takes lots of mutual effort to keep a friendship going. So, here are 7 big reasons why we should always listen and pay attention to our friends when they try to reach out to us.
It’s an inevitable part of life. Kids, teens, adults, even the elderly change with time. As we all live our separate lives, even if we do have a lot in common, we will change in different directions over time. And while that may be an inescapable part of growing up, talking with your friends about that change, listening to their inner-most feelings and experiences is crucial for keeping them close to you. As long as you remain closely connected with your friends on a personal basis, your friendships will be able to last through a lot of change.
The Fact That They Smile and Say They’re “All Right” Doesn’t Mean They are Fine.
Our friends are indeed people we ought to feel close and connected with. However, because we’re close to them, our friends often choose not to share their pain with us to spare us the discomfort. It’s very common for people to grow distant precisely because of unspoken things between them or in each other’s lives.
Listening to your friends and encouraging them to open up will both prevent you from growing apart and will strengthen your friendship. A lot of people are constantly trying to reach out to their friends “passively” in the hope that their friends will “get the hint” and reach out in response.
Low-maintenance friends feel like people who’ll always be by your side but that’s usually not the case. See why below.
It Might be Important
Lots of times when a friend asks you for something minor, they are actually dying to talk about something important. It may be that they are just calling you out for a drink or asking you to help them with a piece of furniture but they might also want to share something pivotal about their life. This doesn’t mean that you should always be available and can never say “No”. However, when you do, it’s always a good idea to reach back, to ask them how they’re doing, and to reschedule.
Our Low-Maintenance Friends Need our Friendship and Attention too.
We all have those friends who don’t ask too much of us but are always by our side when we need them to be. These people aren’t “low-maintenance” because they don’t have any needs or problems, however, but because they don’t like sharing them. With such friends, it’s not just important to encourage them to reach out, you must also always respond when they reach out to you. If someone has always been at your side, turning them down even once for something important can force them to step back from your friendship very quickly.
Is “You scratch my back, I scratch yours.” a sufficient reason to be a good friend?
You Can Offer Lots of Help with Just a Little Effort
Emotional support is as important as it’s easy to give. Responding to your friends when they reach out
isn’t just about being a good friend – it can often help them quite a bit. Contrary, leaving a friend hanging when they need you the most can sometimes be devastating if they’ve been feeling particularly bad. Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure. Be the reason someone feels seen, heard and supported.
Emotional Investments are Smart Investments
Of course, there are also self-serving reasons to listen when your friend reaches out to you. And there’s nothing wrong with that – friendships are about the bonds we build with each other, however, it’s perfectly normal to also keep our own interests in mind. And the fact of the matter is that helping a friend in need is a huge emotional investment that they’ll be inclined to pay back later on . As long as that’s not the sole reason you’re helping them, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that reason as well.
You Never Know What the Future Holds
Especially in times of huge social turmoil such as the current Covid-19 pandemic staying close to our friends – even long-distance – is crucial for both our and their sake. As much as some people love to call families “the building block of society” , the fact is that the same can be said about friendships. Keeping your friends close is crucial for dealing with any crisis and we have no way of knowing what else the future has in store for us.