The One Word That Kills Adult Friendships (& How to Stop Using It)

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By Kira Asatryan | Yahoo News

There’s this word that you probably use all the time. It’s a seemingly harmless word — close to meaningless, really — but it’s slowly, subversively tainting your relationships.

Look back over any recent texts and emails you’ve sent to friends. If they look something like this, you’re caught in this word’s trap:

“I’d love to hang out! But I’m really busy.”
“Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier! I’ve been so busy.”
“What’s going on with me? Just busy as usual!”

You guessed it. The single-word saboteur is BUSY.

It’s stealthily driving your friends away, and it’s time to eliminate it from your social vocabulary.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with actually being busy: People can certainly have many obligations and still maintain great relationships. And it’s not being busy that drives people away; it’s the word itself.

Let’s discuss the top three reasons it’s time to be done with “busy”… and three ways to replace it with something better.

1. Everyone is busy.

These days, saying you’re busy is basically like saying you’re alive.

Being busy may once have been an indicator of importance; it may once have implied that many people and projects relied on you. Now, it’s a filler word that can be applied to any situation: You could be 10 years into your job and be “busy.” You could be between jobs and be “busy.” You could be vacationing and be “busy.” The word itself no longer relates to any specific, making it basically meaningless — and meaningless language is a problem for relationships because it doesn’t help other people understand what, specifically, you’re going through. It actually impedes mutual understanding.

2. It’s open to (negative) interpretation.

The vague nature of “I’m really busy” leaves the real reason why you’re being unavailable to a friend open to interpretation. While many people will accept “being busy” as enough of a reason for not hanging out the first few times you use it, eventually friends will see it as a veil over a more sinister reason for staying away: Maybe you don’t like them anymore and are too afraid to say it.

In other words, “busy” allows others to fill in the blank of your true intentions. Often, they will fill that blank with a negative assumption. In a worst-case scenario, friends may feel like your “busy” is a way of blowing them off without having to state a reason for doing so.


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9 Reader Comments

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  1.' Kitty Tyler says:

    anyone like this post as much as me ?

  2.' Bernadette Lundstrom says:

    I was to busy to read it…. Ha ha

  3.' Valerie Anne Corbyn says:

    Not me im way to lazy to be to busy for friends and family 😀

  4.' Ramakrishna Reniguntla says:


  5.' Caren Bash says:

    Real friends and family understand when someone is busy and they don’t give them any shit for it. People that nag me for being busy are not understanding and therefor not genuine relationships

  6.' Michael Sticx Camporeale says:

    Busy busy busy…. I hear this a lot… But really it’s an excuse… Not a reason…. soooooo wtfu.

  7.' Jackie Kennedy says:

    Spot on ! I heard this all my life … Too busy … Any tells me too busy I tend to jot bother with so much .. It’s sounds more like can’t be arsed … We are all busy in our own way …

  8.' Janelle Robinson says:

    The one word that kills my relationships is “your ruining my life mom”

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