“Dude, that road trip project of yours is awesome!” He said.
“Thanks a lot. I am happy to hear you like it. You want to come a long for a part of the Trip? I know you like to travel so to would be great to catch up and hit the road for a few days? ”
“Nah, I don’t have (fill in every excuse in the book)…. I wish I could do what you’re doing though! ”
Isn’t it funny that sometimes it is possible to give two complete opposite thoughts in one sentence? Don’t get me wrong, I always respect and appreciate my friends opinions, but sometimes you just want to hold them, shake them left and right and just ask them what on earth they are thinking? It is a behavioral pattern we are all familiar with at one point in our lives and with almost all patterns it can be quite the challenge to break it. With your new adventure in the works and you’re slowly but surely finding your way to break the pattern, you get this urgent need to share that feeling with your friends & family and trying to get them involved.
While this feeling is perfectly normal it can become tricky when it comes to involving other people when sharing any level of success. A certain group of friends are just being polite and support you in your endeavors by saying they love what you are doing. They will try to help you in anyway possible, but in their own busy lives they have a list of a million other things to think about and to be honest your project is not a top priority on their list.. at all!
“Thanks for all the help on this project, mate! It has been a few busy weeks. You should come along during the Trip? ” I asked.
“ Anytime Niels, that is ok. I am more into other outdoor activities then road trips but thank you for the offer. ”
“ Wait, what? Now you tell me? You have been helping me out free of charge for weeks now and had to listen to me talking about this project for hours and hours. Sorry about that! ”
“ Don’t worry about it. I can see the project means a lot to you so I am happy I can help out a friend. We will catch up when you are back and you can tell me all about it over some beers… on your tab that is! ”
Not for a single second did I think to ask my friend if he was even into road trips, but why did he not bring it up at the start of the project? The fact is that he saw a way to help out a friend and he did, despite what his personal preference were. It is unique feature if people can just be honest with you and it gives great satisfaction that they take time out of their busy lives to help and support your project.
Where most people seems to get confused is that you also have another group who make the same statement, complain about their own lives, keep posting daily motivational quotes, clips and others stuff on social media with the big caption “THIS” and then proceed to do nothing about it. Although there is nothing wrong with being motivated & inspired by something it does become a bit frustrating to see your dearest not being able to break that pattern and repeating that cycle over and over again. Trying to help them with their own goals is something you, as the good friend that you are, should always offer, but it should not become your quest to do so just because you are in your “breaking the pattern” phase.
Give it your best shot but if they don’t budge just let it rest. Real friends will understand that you also want the best for them, but sometimes you as a person and your projects are not the ones to break them out of that pattern. For them it might come from a totally unexpected source, but when it does happen at you can tell them: Welcome to the club and how can I help you?
And if it doesn’t.. just let it be.
You are already too busy with your own adventures and they are supporting you all the way which by the end of the day is all that matters..