The Burn Book: 23. People Who Are (Always) Busy

If he wants to call you, he will. If he wants to see you, he’ll ask you to hang out. If he wants anything to do with you at all, he’ll go out of his way to make a relationship between the two of you happen.

Just like girls (try to) abide by these simple rules when it comes to men, we should also follow these rules when it comes to friends. If a friend wants to hang out with you, they’ll make it happen. And if you want to hang out with a friend, you’ll make it happen. No, it’s not possible for you to drop your plans at any given second to hang out with said friend – and you shouldn’t expect a friend to do the same for you. But you should expect to actually hang out sometime in the near future (and not the next year) after your original hang out request is denied due to someone being ‘busy.’

Everyone is busy. We all work (well, most of us). We all go to the gym (again, most of us). We all have appointments. We all have projects, busy weeks, commitments, and sudden fatigue from all the stuff we put on our plates on a daily basis. However, no one is too busy to commit to unwinding and catching up with a friend every now and then.

When someone says they’re busy, 70% of the time they probably are. Maybe they have to work when you want to get dinner. Maybe they have plans with someone else when you want to go shopping. Maybe they’re going away this weekend when you want to go out together. But what about getting dinner the next day? What about going shopping earlier or later in the day? What about hanging out next weekend? It’s fine to be busy. But when someone is too busy to find the time to schedule something with you another time, chances are they probably just don’t care that much about hanging out with you.

People really get off from telling other people that they’re busy. Already having plans, whether it be having to stay at work late or going out for someone’s birthday on a Friday night, makes us feel that much more important. It makes us feel wanted. It makes us feel like we’re good at what we do. It makes us feel like we’re on top of the world. But in reality, being busy is often just an excuse to do nothing other than what you are doing at the moment. Sure you may have had a busy work day, but the reason you’re saying you’re busy after work is not because you’re really busy. It is because you had a LONG day and you are tired. You want to sit on the couch and do nothing. You want to watch New Girl or this past Sunday’s episode of Revenge. You don’t want to drink because you feel fat. You don’t want to spend money. You want to go to bed early. And that’s fine.

But if the plans proposed to you actually interest you (a date with someone you’ve been dying to go out with or a night with the girls you’ve really been looking forward to), you will most likely suck it up and go out. However, if the plans are ‘eh’ and lounging on the couch sounds so much better, you’ll use the ‘busy’ excuse, stay home, and not try to reschedule for another day… unless of course the prospective plans and/or the person you’re making them with are worth your time. The worst is when someone is busy with other people all the time. It’s not that they’re choosing sleep over getting a drink with you. They’re choosing getting a drink with someone else over getting a drink with you. They don’t have money to do something with you, but they have money to do something with other people multiple times a week. How is that even possible?

This is due to our self absorbed selves putting our daily routines, prospective plans, and friends on a hierarchy. Even if you don’t realize you do it, you do. You’ve got work and sleep, which are both very important. And then you have plans with friends. Usually you say you’re busy when you’re working because, well, you’re working… but if the plans are really that appealing you could (maybe) try to change your work schedule or take a vacation day. When you need sleep, you rarely choose that over awesome plans even if it means you will end up with a severe case of pneumonia… but when the proposed plans are just ‘okay,’ sleep sounds much better. Occasionally on the weekend (and weekday nights) you have to decide between a variety of plans (assuming you’re Mr. or Mrs. popular of course). Should you go on a date, go to dinner with a friend, catch up on sleep, or go out to a club with a group of people? When it comes down to making such a decision, you must decide your interest order of these events: sex, sleep, rage, or plans with a friend? Hmm… it totally depends on what (and who) those plans entail… right? Some times you will even say that you might be busy even though you don’t actually have plans yet. You won’t commit to hanging out with someone because you’re waiting to see if another option comes along. This is rude… but it happens. All the time.

After constantly dealing with trying to make plans with people and failing at it miserably, you begin to wonder… Do people not like you? Maybe. But in reality, you’re just not as high up on their hierarchy as someone else. If you’re feeling like this, and it keeps happening time and time again, you have to realize that you should probably move on for this so-called friend. If a guy kept telling you he was busy every time you asked him to hang out and gave you the vague ‘let’s catch up soon though!‘ or ‘we really need to get together – maybe next week?‘ without actually making future plans, wouldn’t you eventually give up on that guy? If you continued trying to make plans with this dude, wouldn’t that make you pathetic? Even if he agreed to hang out with you one time – or asked what you were doing one random afternoon – don’t you wonder if it’s just because none of his other friends are around? In this situation wouldn’t you want to move on to someone else and not waste your time? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

And when those awkward conversations about hanging out but not actually doing so keep happening on the regular with a FRIEND, that’s your cue. So-and-so is just not that into you! Give it up. A friendship works two ways, just like a relationship. So if you wouldn’t let it fly with the guy you’re seeing (or want to be seeing), don’t let it fly with someone who is supposed to be your friend.

Unfortunately, this is how life goes – mostly for 20-somethings since ‘we do what we want’ … but also for, like, every other adult out there.We get pissed when so-and-so is busy all the time, but we just have to remember a time when WE were so-and-so. Our ‘friend’ must have been pissed. But, we just had something better to do. I mean, you can’t really get mad at someone for being busy when you won’t even give them a straight answer about hanging out when you’re not busy.

Basically, you shouldn’t try to read into the ‘busy’ excuse too much, but you should be aware of it and be cautious – just as you are with a crush. There’s no need to keep trying to hang out with someone who is too busy for you, but yet finds time to spend with others. You’re in your twenties. It’s time to figure out who your true friends are. And if they are a true friend, you won’t need to hold on to them, because they’ll be trying to hang out and talk to you just as much as you’re trying with them. Life is too short to waste time on people who don’t waste time with you.

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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