What About When YOU'RE the Rubbish Friend?

Sunday 28 October 2018

I've always prided myself on knowing how to be a 'good friend'. I'm usually the one in the friendship group who people know they can rely on to be there, whether that's for advice, a chat or for someone to bring the wine. When a friend's been through a break up or a tough time, I'm normally the first one there offering ice-cream, a hug and a 'he-wasn't-good-enough-for-you-anyway' pep talk.

As you get older and move away from various friends, obviously keeping your friendship going is always going to be a bit more difficult. Even then, I've always put in as much effort as I possibly could at keeping in touch with people and being there for them as much as possible, even when I'm a good few miles away from them. Having friends around me has always been so important to me, especially after a lonely few years at school where I felt like I had none.

I've noticed though, during the last six months or so, that contact has started to fall away a bit. It's not been a gradual realisation though, it's been more of a smack-you-in-the-face realisation that actually, I hadn't spoken to a lot of my friends in weeks, even months. Why?

Well, my family circumstances have meant that I've had an incredibly tough year. My focus has shifted slightly because, well, it's had to. But as I started to think of the friends from uni, or from previous jobs, or other aspects of my life who I haven't spoken to or seen in a really long time, I decided to have a glance through my phone and see where it's gone wrong.

When I started to see the missed calls, unanswered texts and WhatsApp messages left on Read, my heart sank.

It's been my fault. 

There has been the occasional person who I've told about my family situation, and they've all of a sudden stopped communicating with me since. Probably because they don't know what to say, and I do understand that. But I've found on the whole, I've ignored text messages asking how I am, forgotten to call back for weeks and weeks on end and bailed on plans at the last minute. I haven't seen my best friends from uni in almost a year.

I think it's important to recognise when you're in the wrong. And it's important to try to fix it. In this case, yes I have been through the toughest time of my life in the last six months, however that's no excuse for forgetting to make friendships a priority.

So, I'm going to fix it.

To my uni girls. To my old work squad. To friends I've had since I was five. For all of the times I forgot to call for a catch up when I said I would, I'm so sorry. For all the times I didn't respond to your text messages, please know I wasn't being ignorant, I've just had a million and one other things on my mind. For the cancelled plans, it wasn't that I didn't want to see you. I've just found it really hard to put on a brave face when I've been so so low.

My friends are going back at the top of my priority list, where they belong. No more being the rubbish friend.

Sian xo


  1. It's always interesting for me to read perspectives like this, since I'm very much a hardcore introvert and so are many of my friends - to the point that we don't talk more than a few times a year and we're all good with that - so to see people that have and place a lot of energy on their friendships is really fascinating.

    I wish you the best in your attempts to get back on solid (and frequent!) ground with your friend group.

    On The Cusp | https://on-th3-cusp.blogspot.com/

  2. yes, we need insights like this and be more understanding with eachother. great to hear you've reflected on your own behaviour and started being active. all the best for you!

  3. I've noticed I am a rubbish friend too and it's something a friend has told me to my face. I was not offended because I know it's true because when y life starts to go downhill my natural instinct is to disappear only to reappear again out of nowhere when I feel I am fine.I just don't want to be a burden to anyone. I am also a homebody and prefer to be at home, it got so bad my friends just stopped inviting me out. I have improved in some aspects and I am still working on being a better friend.

  4. This post hit me hard. I feel exactly the same way. I've been such a useless friend as I am just so busy and stressed a lot of the time that I forget to keep in touch. In 2019 I am to be a much better friend.

    Scarlett | www.asprinkleofscarlett.co.uk