Best of Dharma – While You Were Sleeping


Hello everyone!

Dharma is on vacation this week, so we are taking the opportunity to look back at some of Dharma’s best.

This was a good one in regards to juggling friends and work.  Finding the right balance can be tricky at the best of times…

Dear Dharma,

I have been friends with my core group for about 5 years and we have always been the kind of friends that share anything, (try to) do everything together… you know, bury-a-body type friend group.

Recently I started a new job that requires weird shifts such as opening the store at 5:30am or closing at 10:30pm. One of the other friends in the group works early mornings too and previously my other friend (let’s call her Friend #1) has complained to me that Friend #2 is “getting boring/ annoying/ irrational” in regards to skipping out on dinner dates to go to bed early and not responding to messages right away.

I never really understood where she was coming from until now that I have missed a few coffee dates and messages because of going to sleep early to accommodate my work hours.

My problem is how do I say “Shut up, I need to sleep more than I want to get appies with you!” in a nice way? Also, is there a way to not become that annoying friend who never goes out anymore?

Just So Tired

Dear Tired,

Hey, wake up!  Don’t hit snooze again!  It’s time to get up and solve this problem…

It’s always hard when the dynamic of a group changes, but that’s called life in the fast lane. It sounds like Friend #1 is having trouble with that concept, and I must say, she sounds like a bit of a drama queen. To say someone is “irrational” because they are prioritizing their work and sleep schedule over a few dinner dates is… well, irrational, non?

My guess is that Friend #1 may have a hard time understanding that it’s not all about her, but in your nicest voice, lay it out for her. If you are working long hours to accomplish a goal (saving for a car, a down payment, school, or maybe a sassy pair of Fluevogs?) explain that to her. Let her know you miss spending time with her too, but it isn’t personal, and these types of hours you are working likely aren’t forever, right?

It’s okay for her to be disappointed and maybe even disillusioned by the recent changes – also, is there a possibility that her life isn’t changing like everyone else’s and she’s feeling left behind? – but hopefully she has the maturity to realize that guilting everyone is not going to be the solution.

The part you play in this is to start looking for some easier ways to spend time together. Going out for appies and dinner requires showering and getting ready, which can be a drain in itself when you’re already exhausted. Instead, suggest she comes to your place with a bottle of wine and order a pizza. Way easier and less time consuming – plus a girl’s still gotta eat, right? A win win, if you ask me…

Or maybe get caught up while on your breaks at work? Do you get a lunch hour that she could join you for every now and then?

It will take some effort and practise, but in time you will be able to find a way to juggle all of your priorities, which in the end will always include your friends. It just works out that way, as long as everyone is reasonable with their expectations…

Also, when you missed the few coffee dates – did you cancel in advance or was she left waiting for you? If you stood her up, I can appreciate she would be annoyed, so maybe try not making firm plans if there is a chance you won’t be able to keep them. No matter how many Starbucks lovers there are out there, it’s never cool to leave a sister feeling ditched.



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Categories: Advice, Friends, Work

1 Comment

  • Gobo says:

    it’s only natural to want and expect that your current friends will be with you your whole life, but it is also natural for groups of friends to grow and change, as the people within the group grow and change. you can be sure that the true friends in your life will accept you in all your different work schedules, because your value as a friend to them is more than your coffee or appy availability.
    By all means try to explain and find solutions, jobs aren’t forever, but real friendships can be!

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