Life has a way of taking over from time to time that can make keeping up with your loved ones almost impossible. But there are things you can do (which I am trying currently because life is taking me by the neck lately) to make it easier on your self and your friends. Effort is key when working on mending a friendship, keeping a friendship going strong, or just catching up on old times that you can’t seem to recreate because the 40 hour work week and 20 hour overtime just keep getting in the way. So here are 4 things you can try and 4 ways you can think about to help you be a better friend when you’re busy
1. Set A Schedule & Stick To It: There’s probably nothing more annoying than a flop (probably the only thing I hate more is an unanswered text). And while its understandable that things come up out of the blue, I try my hardest to make plans with friends I haven’t seen or heard from in a while and STICK to them! The process can be difficult, frustrating, time consuming and annoying but once the date is picked it doesn’t even matter what the actual action plan is. We all have smart phones in this day and age and thanks to Apple’s pioneering efforts I can commandeer my friend’s calendars and set up reminders, alarms, and alert them of any changes to plans once they are set. Be conscious about who you have or haven’t interacted with in a while and if they are worth it pull out that dusty planner and “pencil them in” As funny as it may sound, and as many jokes my friends make about my insane calendar, they know once they are “penciled in” no matter how far in advance it is (trust me… I’ve had to go into July already) that the date is set firmly and we will be catching up! This helps them see/realize and understand that your life is hectic and busy but they are an important part of it, which is why you take the time to fit them in to your schedule.
2. Use Technology To Your Advantage: Sometimes meeting up face to face isn’t a current option. Most of my closest friends are living in other states and FaceTime, Skype, texting, phone calls, social media…etc have all helped keep us in each other’s loop. I know its not always as good as the real thing but taking the time to reach out or have FaceTime sessions sends the message that you care, and still have a special place for them in your heart.
3. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Don’t get caught up in monotony or keep your thoughts small scaled. Instead branch out! Realize that you may have to travel to see someone important to you, and you may have to do things you may not have thought you would be doing. I know I’m personally lucky to be traveling this summer to visit friends that are not as near to me as I’d like. However we wont be having just dinner and a movie. Capitalize on your time together by doing new things, sharing new experiences and creating new memories. It doesn’t have to cost you anything either. Taking a walking tour, walking the BK bridge, visiting the Grand Canyon, going hiking/rock climbing, biking… etc. The possibilities are endless and your pocket doesn’t have to be stacked. Don’t sit in the house doing the same old thing. The more experiences you create the more you have to go off of until the next time you get to get together.
4. Accept Some moments of randomness: As a teacher my weekdays and Sundays are pretty much off limits. I hate doing things on school days, and I hate being interrupted on a Sunday when I have my set routine set up to prepare for the upcoming week. However there are moments in life that are too hard to pass up with the people you love. Every now and then I go off of my regular track and have a dinner/drink in the middle of the week, or head out to a show on a Sunday afternoon. Take the time to break your regimen every now and then when life truly calls for it. Don’t be rigid when the moment calls for fluidity. Your schedule is important, but every now and then take in the moment because you never know if you’ll get the chance to relive that moment ever again.
What are some ways/things you do to make sure your friends feel like they are still important key vital parts of your life?
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