My name is Jessica, and I cannot “keep in touch.”
Allow me to provide some examples:
- In 2010, one of my best friends moved very far away. We spent every workday together for two years. She’s like a sister, and I think of her every day. But in the time since she left, we’ve spoken and written less than a dozen times.
- My oldest friend and I met in an AOL chat room in 1993. (Don’t worry, that was before they got creepy.) In the last decade, we’ve corresponded once or twice a year. Yet I know if I ever need anything, he will do whatever he can to help.
And that’s one of my defining criteria for a best friend: “If I am lost in the middle of South Dakota at 3am, will you help me get home?” Likewise, I will always be available for these friends. I have yet to receive a call from South Dakota, but I am ready to spring into action if I do!
I enjoy having closer, one-on-one friendships instead of being a member of a group. This is a marker of my primary psychological type, set both by genetic code and early developmental experiences. (The balance of biology versus environment depends on if you like Freud, Adler, or Jung‘s interpretation. I’m in Jung’s camp on this matter.)
To this point, if you are looking for me on Facebook, just give up now. The term ‘friend’ is very dear to me and not to be tossed about and assigned to any person I meet. I also don’t want to feel obligated to document myself as the ‘friend’ of an individual which I would consider an acquaintance. I realize this is an extreme (and again, very logical) way of looking at it. And I’m sure those of you with hundreds of Facebook friends are very happy to have a Rolodex complete with everyone you’ve ever met. That’s cool – it’s just not for me. I am, however, very active on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you have ‘connections.’ This implies a less personal yet still amicable relationship. I’m more comfortable with that.
Here are two other factors which contribute to my failure to “keep in touch”:
- I tend to be very pragmatic. Subconscious thought: If I don’t have information worth sharing, why would I call? And in turn, I expect that if my friends have information to share with me, they would call. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to talk to my friends otherwise. I’m simply sharing why my brain doesn’t initiate communication more frequently.
- Self-confidence also plays a role in this. Subconscious thought: Why would someone be interested in what I have to say? This is the precise reason I’m a great candidate for a blog. You may choose whether or not you want to invest your time in reading what I have to say. I’m not forcing myself on you, and I don’t have to worry about you not being interested.
I hope this helps my friends understand that I’m not some sort of ‘only-call-when-I-have-cancer’ person. I’m a friend that loves you but has trouble ‘keeping in touch.’ 🙂