What do you do when people aren’t making time for you?
Do you personalize it by feeling hurt?
Or do you empower yourself by remembering that it isn’t about you?
If you’re personalizing it, then read on! In this article, I will help you to stop feeling hurt when people aren’t making time for you.
Nowadays, people are very busy. They are working–sometimes a couple of jobs–as well going to school and/or raising children. They are active on the social scene and participate in their hobbies. They volunteer, mentor, coach, and contribute to other activities. Their lives are hectic.
There just aren’t enough hours in the day to give everybody the attention that you would like to, so we have to choose daily who gets our time and how much of it they get.
Everyone’s priorities are different. Some people give their first attention to worship and/or meditation, followed by family. Their friends might be last on the list, but not because they don’t love their friends but because that’s how their priorities shake out.
Other people put their friends at the top of their list. Hanging out, partying, traveling, etc., means everything to them.
Other people fall somewhere in the middle.
People who care about each other and are secure in their relationships don’t have to talk every day. They know that they are there for each other and can go weeks and months without talking, and then pick up like they just talked five minutes ago. That’s the beauty of a solid relationship.
Other people have higher demands, which could be potentially fatal to a relationship. When one person demands to be a priority in someone else’s life, but the other person doesn’t share that interest, then serious problems can arise.
The most successful relationships are between people who have shared values and priorities and openly communicate about their concerns.
If you don’t know where you stand in someone’s life, it’s important to have a conversation and discuss each other’s values and priorities. Once you understand where you are on each other’s priority list, then you may feel less hurt. But until you have that conversation, it’s hard to know where you fit.
Keep in mind that, just because someone doesn’t talk to you every day doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. I care about a lot of people, but for someone who has a full-time career, volunteers, and nurtures other aspects of my life, I only have so many remaining hours in the day to be in contact with people. My immediate family is always my first priority, as is my relationship with God. And people who are my true friends understand and respect that, as I understand and respect their values and priorities.
Wherever you fall in someone’s life, please do not take it personally. It isn’t about you, it’s about them and their priorities.
Make no mistake, however. If you are repeatedly trying to get someone’s attention and they’re not giving it to you, then it might be time to move on. It’s one thing to not be at the top of someone’s priority list, and it’s another thing to not be anywhere on their list. People tell us how they feel about us through their actions. And if someone isn’t giving you the time of day, then they might be telling you something.
You are worthy of love because you exist, and whether or not someone makes you a priority does not reflect your worth. It reflects their values.
Remember this and you will stop feeling hurt when people aren’t making time for you.
Cheers to you and your worth!
Dr. Jennifer L. Prince has worked in the behavioral health industry since 2003. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and holds several degrees in psychology including a doctorate of education in counseling psychology. Her experiences are broad and include direct care in mental health and addiction services, training and education, research, and executive administration. Most notably, Dr. Prince served 12 years active duty service in the U.S. Navy, including an operational tour with the U.S. Marine Corps. She has a special place in her heart for veterans and their families. Dr. Prince’s passion is being in service to others. She seeks to empower, educate, and inspire hope through writing, teaching, coaching and mentoring, whenever and however she can. She has a particular interest in narcissism, codependency, and the common interplay of the two.