My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

If you are a 'busy' person have you lost friends?

112 replies

Fatnangry · 31/12/2023 18:45

I'm speaking as the friend of 'busy' people.
I have 3 friends...2 are teachers and 1 in an office job. They do not know each other.
They are exceptionally busy, work long hours, run a house, teenage kids. They tell me all the time how busy they are and how permanently stressed and tired they are. I feel for them. Their lives sound utterly miserable.

However I'm starting to drift away from them for several reasons:
When we meet up they moan and explain how busy they are and how they don't have time for anything. Conversations are like this:

  • did you watch that netflix series?
  • no I don't get chance to watch tv I'm so busy.


  • I'm really enjoying my running, it's helping me well being
  • I wish I had time for a hobby but I'm so busy


  • did you see that funny clip online?
  • God I don't have time to mess about on my phone


They take 2 or 3 days to answer texts then its short replies (cos they busy)
If I text 'how you doing?', the reply (if it even comes) is "OK but just dead busy, how are you'. But there's no conversation or little texts of funny stuff.

I love my friends but it feels like I might as well give up trying. They clearly have no time.

(I do have other friends who are normal levels of busy who do reply and chat and might have occasional crazy busy week but it's not every single time)

I wondered if there are 'busy' people on here who have felt they've lost friends? Although suppose they will be too busy to be on mumsnet?

NB: without wishing to be rude I don't need to know how busy teachers are (I know!!) And I am interested in hearing from busy people but you don't need to run me through why you are busy. I will just believe you are.
(Sorry - just worn out from these friends constantly telling me how busy they are)
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

170 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
26%
You are NOT being unreasonable
74%
CharlotteRumpling · 31/12/2023 18:49

Heh. I can see why you are annoyed. Nobody wants a "busy" competition.

LolaSmiles · 31/12/2023 18:53

When I was working long hours it did affect my friendships because I didn't have time to manage spinning the basic plates in life well so other things slid.
I wasn't a competitively busy person and hate people who always show off how busy they are, but I did find that for a person of time my hobbies and friendships were sidelined longer than they should have been. It's not a period of life I'd want to repeat.

GelatinousDynamo · 31/12/2023 19:18

Yes. And I do tend to rant to my friends about how busy I am, mostly because they're my friends and it's the only chance I get to let it all out... But honestly, I've lost some friendships because I have to prioritise my free time and some people just weren't a priority. With the few people I actually really care about, I do make an effort to listen, not just moan.

Orangeandgold · 31/12/2023 19:45

Yes I would say that I am busy - and some of my friends remind me that I am.

I have also drifted away from friends but a lot of it has been down to having different interests (for me so many of my friends would be on social media or have nights out and I was raising my kid watching Peppa Pig haha after working a 9-5 - a different kind of busy). It’s as if they couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand them anymore.


Now my friendship circle consists of people that are equally busy - even if busy means lots of social events (with and without kids) but we have a mutual understanding of each others lives. We might meet up twice a year but they are the most fulfilling few hours ever! We spend so much time being busy that when we get together we actually want to talk about everything else BUT being busy (yes we will rant abit but we can often help eachother out with our problems and move on - so it’s not much of a rant)

We do not make eachother feel bad for responding to texts “days later” (I drifted away from many friends for this reason because there would be this weird guilt that followed and a passive aggressiveness for responding hours later) - this is because we just get that life happens. We would never have a conversation about being busy because we have other things in common that we can talk about. Most of my messages start with “so sorry I thought I replied in my head - let’s meet up and catch up properly) or a phone call.

If I need anything I tend to call these friends - when we call eachother we spend hours on the phone or it might be more of an emergency and they pick up and are there. That means so much.

I hear where you are coming from. During that period it was horrible but I just had other prioritise and I personally felt like I was loosing touch with reality. Truth is, I just needed people around me that understood me and could have a conversation I could contribute to.

I do think there are come backs to some of your conversation starters.

e.g.
you - Did you watch x on Netflix?
friend - no I am too busy
you - ah I can imagine, you might find it interesting. It’s about xxxx. Would you ever xxxx
friend - that’s interesting …

In this scenario the conversation is more of a debate as opposed to if you have watched it or not (when I went through a period where I wasn’t watching adult shows I could then join the convo)


another example
you- I enjoy running
friend - I don’t have time for it, I’m too busy
you - so what do you do to unwind then?
feiend - (hopefully they do something for themselves even if it is having breakfast every morning).



I mean if it doesn’t go anywhere then maybe it’s more of a friendship issue. But I do hope if the friendships are worth it that you can find some common ground.

EmmaEmerald · 31/12/2023 19:47

I get it, OP. 💐

margotrose · 31/12/2023 19:49

I think that anyone who genuinely cares about their friends will make an effort, no matter how busy they are.

MrsNandortheRelentless · 31/12/2023 19:55

Ahhhh!
My friends are my life line!! I would be devastated if they dropped me.
Im busy, but we all are, I still am super interested in their lives, I absolutely love catching up with them and finding out their news, it’s my break from my busy and I rely on it to keep me sane!!

Please just stick with it, be patient and take the rough with the smooth if they truly are really great long standing friends the busy won’t be forever.

MsBump31 · 31/12/2023 20:06

I’m “busy” but tbh I still see my good friends that I care a lot about. The ones who are superficial friends - or ones I don’t feel that close to – I tend to take a while to reply to, because I’m busy and they’re not a priority when I also have work/kids/family etc going on.

If someone is taking a long time to reply to you, I’d say you’re not a priority for them, regardless of how “busy” or not they are

WantOutOfRatRace · 31/12/2023 20:10

I'm busy. I have some friends who always say they don't know how I manage. Most of the time though I make time for friends because they're important. There's been some weeks (or longer) where I've not been able to and I've probably been left out of plans because I wasn't there for the conversations and people think I'm too busy but it's usually a temporary thing.

Though I've definitely found it harder to make time now that both kids are teenagers, which I wasn't expecting - I thought it would be easier cos they can be left on their own longer!

Fatnangry · 31/12/2023 20:10

'I thought I had replied in my head' - gives me the absolute rage!!!! Lol

OP posts:
LolaSmiles · 31/12/2023 20:11

I think that anyone who genuinely cares about their friends will make an effort, no matter how busy they are
I used to have this outlook, and then saw friends experience chronic illness, or a stressful time at work, or there was a period of time that was difficult at home with the children and so on. People have to adjust their lives according to their circumstances and nothing good comes from making ourselves the main character in someone else's story. I'm glad I didn't ditch them and they didn't ditch me by deciding they/I didn't genuinely care because they/I didn't text back quickly enough to do the right number of social things.

herewegoroundtheblueberrybush · 31/12/2023 20:11

I get you OP. You sound like you try to be thoughtful about them but truly friendship has to be a two way street even if it's unbalanced from time to time. Just because you're busy doesn't mean you should lose the powers of making interesting conversation and staying in touch with friends. Only you can decide if it's worth persisting with these friends, are they worth it? Is this a rough patch you can ride out with them or is it permanent? Could you find a way to let them know how tricky it is? Could you cool things for a while to preserve yourself then strike back up later?

Gunpla · 31/12/2023 20:14

I think I'm busy, teenager, busy job, big extended family. But I make time for friends, they are really important to my life. Sometimes to be honest it requires a very big effort, I'm tired, not in the mood etc. But I focus on how important they are to me and just do it. The long term rewards of friendship are worth it to me.

Witchbitch20 · 31/12/2023 20:18

Yes, I work long hours but don’t talk about work to my friends as it wouldn’t interest them.

My friends will often text for a coffee but I’m normally over an hour away so can’t get there in time and have to decline invites. I’m better at responding to texts etc than they are but being able to just be available isn’t something I can manage.

Interesting I am childless so for many, many years I was on the receiving end of “sorry can’t make it - dance class/football/gymnastics”, which is when I probably started to focus more on my career.

We’ve been at different stages but when we can actually get together it’s all good. My mother is extremely unwell at the moment so juggling work commitments, consultant appointments and treatment appointments is an added complication.

At the moment I’m either in work or exhausted. My circle is extremely small probably because of the lack of time I have.

Eventually I’m hoping we’ll all get to the stage where we will be “ladies who lunch”.

Oblomov23 · 31/12/2023 20:19

This wouldn't work for me. I'm only interested in people who have time for me. I'm not busy. I have loads of spare time. People are only busy because they make themselves so. It's not a rush to the bottom, busy competition! I have 4 close friends. I wouldn't put up with such drivel.

Oblomov23 · 31/12/2023 20:24

They aren't busy. You just aren't their priority. They could say no to other things: no to a run, a church group, other things. To meet with you. But they choose not to. When you realise that harsh truth it's not nice, but you then can react appropriately.

YellowRoses100 · 31/12/2023 20:58

Yes. I was very busy and working loads, had the kids and definitely lost touch with a lot of people. Also I wasn't around much when kids were small so I didn't have any "mum" friends. I then left my job and started a part time job and found I don't have any mates locally. So yes being busy does mean you can't prioritise.
I've actually made the decision to leave the new job and to go back to my previous company as at least there it was more sociable. 😄

Bainbridgemews · 31/12/2023 21:18

Oblomov23 · 31/12/2023 20:19

This wouldn't work for me. I'm only interested in people who have time for me. I'm not busy. I have loads of spare time. People are only busy because they make themselves so. It's not a rush to the bottom, busy competition! I have 4 close friends. I wouldn't put up with such drivel.

Well I make myself busy insofar as I have a job that requires long hours and two small children. There is no doubt this is a busier period of my life than pre-children. I have a mortgage to pay and I can't exactly send my children back, so I'm not sure this is particarly of my own making? It's just life. I never talk about how busy I am and find most people to be the same.

RedToothBrush · 31/12/2023 21:21

Oblomov23 · 31/12/2023 20:24

They aren't busy. You just aren't their priority. They could say no to other things: no to a run, a church group, other things. To meet with you. But they choose not to. When you realise that harsh truth it's not nice, but you then can react appropriately.

This.

They will have other friends they are prioritising.

Fatnangry · 31/12/2023 23:32

I dont think they have other friends. They say they too busy for anything other than work and homelife and teenagers.

I've gradually just got closer to friends who do have time to socialise, answer texts and have things to talk about.

It's sad cos been friends for many many years but they not going to give up their jobs so no chance of getting less busy. I guess I've tried and tried but nothing in a friendship for me where I'm getting nothing back.
(Also I cant listen to them moaning about work and having no time anymore)

OP posts:
margotrose · 31/12/2023 23:35

LolaSmiles · 31/12/2023 20:11

I think that anyone who genuinely cares about their friends will make an effort, no matter how busy they are
I used to have this outlook, and then saw friends experience chronic illness, or a stressful time at work, or there was a period of time that was difficult at home with the children and so on. People have to adjust their lives according to their circumstances and nothing good comes from making ourselves the main character in someone else's story. I'm glad I didn't ditch them and they didn't ditch me by deciding they/I didn't genuinely care because they/I didn't text back quickly enough to do the right number of social things.

If you choose other things over maintaining friendships that's fine, but you can't then complain when people haven't waited around for you to be available again.

I think there are very, very few circumstances where people are genuinely too busy to even meet up for a coffee or a drink. Mostly it's a case of prioritising other things - and that's okay, but don't expect people to wait for you while you continually choose not make them any kind of priority.

ActuallyChristmas · 31/12/2023 23:43

So these people are living normal lives doing all the stuff they have to do. Your life is less full /a different pace. What’s up with that?? Nothing

generalexpert · 31/12/2023 23:53

I can understand this. I fall into the busy category ie intense job, normally travelling overseas to Europe and South East Asia during the week. So miss out on any social stuff during the week.

All 'jobs' then pushed to the weekend plus family stuff. So end up with little time free.

As a result, I've lost touch with most of my friends and really have closest friendships with work colleagues in similar situations.

Quite sad really on reflection.

SaulHudsonDavidJones · 31/12/2023 23:55

LolaSmiles · 31/12/2023 18:53

When I was working long hours it did affect my friendships because I didn't have time to manage spinning the basic plates in life well so other things slid.
I wasn't a competitively busy person and hate people who always show off how busy they are, but I did find that for a person of time my hobbies and friendships were sidelined longer than they should have been. It's not a period of life I'd want to repeat.

Exactly this. I don't like being busy. I'm not in competition with anyone and it irritates me when people say it like I'm trying to out-busy other people. This is my life. I want more free time. But I'm spinning a lot of plates and friendships tend to get neglected.

SteadyEddi · 01/01/2024 00:06

I’m very busy and have very busy friends who are very special to me. Texts are slow and to the point, never rambling, which I prefer as I’m not into texting. We don’t live in each others pockets but we are there for each other when life gets tough. Conversations are generally half them talking about their news and worries and half talking about mine.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.