I recently saw a meme a few days ago, that goes a little something like this, “I’m a terrible friend, you won’t hear from me every day, but if you need me, I’m there, guns blazing and I will always have your back.” I felt that. Truth is, as you age and life deals you responsibilities, it gets harder to hold on to bonds and keep the lines of communication open with girlfriends, best friends and even family.
Truth is, I can be a crappy friend, I’m calling myself out. I can be selfish, self-absorbed but I will always fight for my friends, I will always try to maintain some level of communication even if it’s not as consistent as it should be. If there is one thing that life has taught us all is that it is short, and many people are left regretting the times they should’ve called, they should’ve stopped by, and the times they could’ve been a better friend.
Listen, not everyone is meant to be a lifelong friend, some friends are seasonal and change and some people are your roots, those are the relationships you should nurture. So how does one do that with all the distractions of work, family and social media?
Here are a few tips to practice this year to elevate and refresh old relationships:
- Be The Bigger Person: “I haven’t heard from her in two months,” does that sound like something you’ve said? Remember, if you haven’t heard from someone in two months, maybe it could be that you haven’t reached out to them in two months? Friendship and communication is a two-way street, we always tend to look at what the other person is doing and complain but fail to realize, we are doing the same thing, so I challenge you to be the bigger person. If you have time to realize you haven’t heard, seen from someone, put forth the invite or make the call. Maybe they’re just busy, maybe they are going through something.
- Make Time: “Girl, I’ve been so busy.” Let’s be real, what have you been busy doing? If you’ve got time to scroll through Instagram and chase likes, you’ve got time to check on your friends and family. There is always free time in a day, always. Let’s stop thinking it’s super cool to act so busy…unless you really are, but even then, there’s still time. We make time for those who count in our lives. It takes less than 10 seconds to send a, ‘Just checking up on ya’, text.
- Do Something Different: Breathe life into your relationships by doing something different. Plan a girls night out, wine and dine, family game night or take a trip somewhere special. Use the opportunity to dive deeper into what you’ve been missing by not checking in on your family and friends. When you do, remember to always be present, listen intently, judge less and show compassion.
- Show Up: Being a friend sometimes means simply showing up when you are not needed. If you are someone who is always finding excuses and never being fully supportive, maybe we should’ve left you in 2018. One of the hallmarks of being a friend is simply showing up, despite being your busy schedule. Show up and support their businesses, their children’s Christmas production (I know, I know, it’s part of life!), or just being a shoulder to lean on through rough times.
Remember, friends are the family we choose, and family, well they’re stuck with us for life, so let’s take care of our tribe!