Be straightforward with relationships

Everyone has an old friend or group of friends who they no longer associate or hang out with on campus or in life outside of school.

We see them in passing, maybe on our morning walks to chapel or late night runs to Brisco’s Village Cafe, and we smile and wave or try to avoid them in general.

If words are exchanged, it usually starts with a casual, “How have you been?” and ends with the most dreadful of suggestions: “We should hang out sometime soon!”

Uh oh.

The response to this is always an immediate, “Yes, of course,” or variation thereof, but it is right there in that exact moment where both parties involved know they will never hang out after this brief social exchange.

It is really kind of sad to be on either end of these types of conversations, but ultimately, we need to be straightforward and not weasel out of these kinds of awkward situations.

Let’s not beat around the bush and be straightforward with one another when this phenomenon occurs.

California Baptist University’s student culture is currently built around this idea of being likable and super friendly, which is all fine and good, but by not addressing and fixing old or faltering friendships, we are just weighing ourselves down with extra burdens.

This is not to say a greeting in passing isn’t OK, but let’s just be honest with ourselves and others about maintaining past friendships by either repairing them or moving on from them.

As adults, it is perfectly fine to cite a busy schedule or hectic semester for postponing a future social engagement with the acquaintance we are awkwardly stuck in line behind at Chick-fil-A on an almost daily basis

If you do actually want to catch up with this person and reinvest in the friendship, then make a point of doing so right then and there.

By putting off the planning of reinvesting in this friendship, the brief exchange of words may as well have been in vain.

Even worse than the “Let’s hang out sometime” is the classic, “Oh yeah, I’ll text you.”

There will be no text sent if those words are spoken.

Instead, plan something then and there even if it is as simple as getting coffee or having a meal together on campus.

The best way to handle anything is to do so in the moment and be upfront. The passiveness and fake friendliness needs to be replaced with intentional and meaningful words.

Without a doubt, the one thing you should not absolutely do in these kinds of engagements is leave it in limbo.

Leaving your acquaintanceship in limbo is comparable to sending it to the “upside down” from Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Although things contained within the “upside down” are not lost forever, it is seemingly impossible to bring them back without some supernatural occurrence.

I’m not saying you need telekinetic powers to save your passive friendships, but have some foresight to know if it needs to be fixed or
forgotten.

About Randy Plavajka

Online Managing Editor

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