I invited four people to celebrate my birthday with me last year with a bowling outing and a nice dinner.

Can you guess how many of them showed up at our agreed-upon time?


The rest kind of “trickled in” after like an hour or so. If I remember correctly, one even claimed he “forgot” about my birthday, even though I texted them all a week earlier as a reminder of the outing.

Punctuality, please. It’s proper.

I’m a naturally punctual person, but it’s also because I believe being on time is a matter of respect.

So when you don’t just show up late, but an hour late, and without good cause, that’s egregiously disrespectful to me, my time, and that of the one person who showed up on time with me.

Not showing up on time means you don’t care about my time. And not caring about my time means you don’t care about me.

I guess we were never close enough for me to justify inviting you to celebrate my birthday with me and that’s on me for thinking of inviting you.

But when you accept the invitation to show up, you show up. You show up on time. And you don’t “forget.”

You wanna know what I wanna forget?

Forget lukewarm; you need red-hot.

Stop giving your time, energy, and attention to people who feel “one foot in, one foot out” about you.

What do I mean by that?

If someone isn’t enthusiastic about being in your company, or if they take you for granted, they don’t need to take up space in your life.

Obviously, you should be able to give people a chance to be enthusiastic about being around you. People don’t go from lukewarm to red-hot about you at a fast pace all the time.

But if you stick around someone for a decent amount of time and they still don’t seem to appreciate your company sufficiently, you’re not obligated to keep them around.

You have dignity. You have worth. You have limited time, energy, and attention. The latter should not be given to people who don’t give them back to you.

You can offer them up at first. That’s how you initiate building a relationship. But after you offer them up for a while and they don’t reciprocate, feel free to show them the door.

Those who get excited to be around you are the right candidates for strong bonds. Not the people who are going to half-ass their relationship with you.

Break it off, or be broken.

Don’t give people a pass for consistently poor behavior.

Sometimes, people do the wrong thing, but not because they wanted to. It doesn’t hurt to exercise a little open-mindedness, understanding, and patience.

But if people consistently exhibit poor, low-quality behavior towards you and you let them stick around in your life, you’re giving them a pass and you’re essentially telling them that you’re ok with how they’re treating you.

My 17-year-old self has a very vivid idea of what happens when you don’t take a stand, so I’ll save you the trouble of finding out on your own; you get used, walked on, and taken advantage of.

Break off the relationship, or be broken by it.