• Keeping Friends

From the Friendship Forums: Balancing Friend-Time with Me-Time

Published: May 26, 2012 | Last Updated: May 14, 2020 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading

On a recent post on the Friendship Forums, entitled I Don’t Have The Skill Set for This Problem, a poster wrote about how she transformed herself from being a very shy person to someone actively involved in friendships. She realized along the way, however, she had created a new problem: finding balance and creating boundaries so her new friendships felt satisfying rather than a burden.

She listed some excellent pointers of what worked for her—these tips are particularly useful for people who tend toward introversion and know they require downtime before and after being with others:

  • If possible, set aside a specific day for yourself. Setting aside a day gives you that day of rest you can look forward to when you have/had a particularly busy week. If you know you’ll never be able to find a whole day for yourself, try for a few hours on a specific day.
  • Allow yourself flexibility: If you find you’re not in need of that day of rest and feel up to visiting or what have you, go ahead and do it.
  • Be prepared: A big hurdle will probably be the first time you say “No,” to a friend or friends. Surprisingly, most people understand the need to have time to yourself, to have me-time, quiet-time, time to decompress, etc.
  • Be transparent and let your friends know you need time to yourself. Start by planting the seed, “I really need to take some me-time soon,” and allow your friends/family a chance to get used to the idea.
  • When you do say “No,” be polite and apologize. When possible, offer to arrange something for another day or time.
  • It is important to follow-through when rescheduling with friends, even if it means calling them when you said you would simply to arrange another time to talk or get.
  • Finally, when reschedulingy, offer days and times when you are available and ask what works best for them. Providing a list of days/times when you’re not available can make it seem like they’re not important enough for you to fit into your busy schedule.

This is one in a series of crowdsourced posts, written by guests in The Friendship Forums section of this blog (with minimal “doctoring” by me.) Thanks to reader “Sunset Trail Blazing” for the initial post and to “Annie” for her response reprinted above.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Introverted? Put a name on it. - The Friendship Blog : The Friendship Blog | May 21, 2014
  2. 3 Ways to Flex Your Job for More Free Time with Friends | January 23, 2013
  1. Anonymous says:

    Right on! Saying no is so freeing! And you’re right, offer another time and it’s all good. You’ve gotta take time for yourself, make time for yourself to keep yourself happy. And I’m all about the happy. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    My daughter struggles with her need for downtime and her desire to connect with friends. I notice that many of these suggestions work with her. Once she has had the quiet that she needs, she is more ready to enjoy her friendships.

  3. fireflies says:

    I read the original post which was beautifully written by Sunset and really related to some of the things that she mentioned. I also am a bit of an introvert and I love the suggestions from Annie. Excellent advice!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent tips! I know I need “my” time and if I’m in a crowded social situation for too long, I start to melt down (silently, of course…)

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