Boston — A new season is on the horizon and everyone’s schedules are changing.
When friends constantly turn down invites because of everything they have going on, it is easy to take those rejections personally. You may jump to conclusions and convince yourself that your friends don't care about you anymore — or that they're making excuses to avoid hanging out.
This proves the power of community, and how we were designed to interact and engage with other people on a regular basis.
To miss spending time with your friends isn’t clingy or shameful. Letting your friends know how much you cherish them and the time you spend together will totally make their day. We all have things going on outside of the friendship you share with people so it is reasonable to turn down opportunities to hang out when life gets hectic.
Owning these feelings and getting started working around scheduling roadblocks should be your next move.
Here are a few tips on how you can manage socializing with friends when their schedules are full, and you are in desperate need of friend time.
Take advantage of virtual engagement options
We've all felt Zoom fatigue as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but platforms like it have provided a lot of flexibility for social engagement opportunities.
Stay in touch with friends who live nearby and far away on different schedules to stay in the loop, discuss what everyone is reading, watching, and wearing, and participate in online game nights, which are a popular option for virtual hangouts.
Take some time for yourself
Managing a social life and dealing with busy friends takes a significant toll on one's mental health. Feel encouraged to make the most of your time in your solitude to have some fun by yourself rather than worrying.
Being around others is essential for survival, but you have to learn how to enjoy your own company too. Begin a rewatch of your favorite show or experiment with a new fall recipe. Whether you spend your afternoon reading that book on your coffee table or doing arts and crafts, you'll feel a million times better after some well-deserved alone time.
It will never hurt you, and it’s something new to discuss with your friends when you do get the chance to hang out!
Plan in advance
Using a planner and calendar to plan your next boba run ahead of time is a simple solution to finding a time that works for everyone. Even if it has to take place two weeks or a month in the future, this allows your besties to take time off work and plan transportation to and from your hangouts.
Spontaneity is enjoyable, but be open, flexible and willing to sacrifice a last-minute Ulta trip for a morning at the farmer's market a few weeks in advance. Waiting for those hangouts won’t be fun, but it is the most efficient way to bring the group together when life gets hectic.
Trinity Alicia (she/her/hers) is a Boston-based journalist. Follow her on Twitter: @trinityaliciaa
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett