My Time, Your Time

Not very long ago, I witnessed a fight between two of my close friends. Now you see, in situations like this, I’ll say that I can usually tell who’s right or wrong. Here, I could too. The problem was that I wasn’t the middleman nor was it my place there to be so. Sometimes you need people to realize something themselves. From this whole situation, I remembered something very important but before we get to that, I believe that I need to tell everyone about what really happened.

Imagine your friend A has been studying with you for something really important. Friend B comes and waits for you both so that you can eat out together. But because times are hard, the studying takes longer. Your friend A tells friend B that it might take longer so he can leave. Friend B chooses to stay. Now, after an hour, friend B gets angry and starts going off on friend A for taking so long and not prioritizing him. The situation plays out exactly how you can imagine, and friend B leaves angrily.


Now, it’s safe to say that what happened here was nothing short of childish. At least that’s what I believe. The question here is, why did this happen? How do you avoid being “that” friend?

What I’ve learnt from this is that people don’t really respect each other. And this is not because expletives were exchanged but because people actually don’t respect each other’s time and priorities. Never force or pressure your friends or family to disregard their priorities so that they can cater to yours. I know many people would never do it consciously because even when I’m typing this, I can’t help but think how obvious it is. The problem here is that actions like these occur subconsciously and due to lack of understanding for the most part. Most of us are probably guilty of it.

If you are, here is what’s wrong. Your time is important. No question about that. But if your time is important, someone else’s is too. If you make plans and force someone to join you and they feel pressured, you are pressuring them to waste their time. What’s worse would be if you force someone to waste their time with you and pressure them to finish something important, for example, a meeting, as soon as possible. The icing on the cake here is that they tell you that they don’t know when the meeting would be over, and you decide to wait. If halfway through your waiting time you realize that your friend is wasting your time, believe me, you just lied to yourself. Don’t do it. You probably read it and have already seen how bad you probably look. When you ask people to make plans with you, try to see if they are sacrificing something important to be with you. Go the extra mile and force them to stay and finish their work first. If not, tell them you’ll wait for them, no pressure. Not only would you both actually be happy hanging out together but you won’t realize how much your friends will thank you for it in the future. Plus, you are now seen as an angel. Isn’t that nice?

God, writing this felt like I was telling people how to walk.

Anyway, please don’t be that friend.

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Did you know?

FACES offers workshops on Conflict Resolution and Effective Communication – don’t let situations like these destroy long time friendships. Contact us today for more details at

Conflict Resolution – Interpersonal conflict is a fact of life and can arise in almost any sphere, from organizations through to personal relationships.  Learning to resolve it effectively, in a way that does not increase your stress levels, is therefore important for everyone.

Effective Communication – Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day to communicate and interact with others. We do this on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting. Young adults who have worked on developing strong interpersonal skills are usually more successful in both their personal and professional lives.

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