The older I get the more I realize how important really great quality friendships are. The kinds of friends that you can go for a month without talking to and pick back up. The kinds of friends where they are just there for you and you for them without explanation. I think in these current times where you can’t necessarily see friends much or even talk to them as much it’s important to find ways to be a great friend that involve more effort.
Ways To Be A Great Friend (Especially Right Now)
- Send just because cards/gifts: I love love love to send my friends cards or gifts just because. I also love to do birthdays and special occasions big. Cards and letters are really inexpensive ways to show friends you care about. No matter if they live a block away for 3,000 miles away. Take the time and write a note so they know you are thinking about them. Send some cookies for a birthday, or a fun surprise gift for no reason.
- Check in on them: Send them a text and say “hey just thinking about you how are YOU?” Did they lose a parent and it’s that parent’s birthday or the anniversary of their death? Check in on them. These things are especially important. I have a few friends who have lost parents and told me that after a few months people just stop checking in on them. Or friends going through family illnesses, losing jobs, etc. They need you to check in on them. Maybe they are divorcing, going through a breakup, or just having a tough time. Be a good friend and check in.
- Don’t make it all about you: It’s really easy to make things about us. I am so guilty of this. Someone tells you a story or is going through a situation and you have a situation that’s similar and you cut in and talk about what it was like for you. We all do this and it’s just not a great friend practice. Something I am trying to actively be aware of and stop doing. Don’t make things always about you.
- Make virtual/socially distanced friend dates: OK so we can’t necessarily hang out all the time but there are ways to hang out in a safe, covid friendly, socially distanced way. I have done driveway happy hours with friends where we bring our own drinks and chairs and sit 6 feet apart. I go for socially distanced walks with one of my best friends every morning during the week. There are ways to see friends it just takes more effort.
- Respond in a timely manner: If they send you a text, an email, call you, send a Marco Polo, etc just respond as soon as you can. I always say I either respond to texts immediately or 3 months later- there’s no in-between. It’s easy to read a text or email and then one of your kids asks for a snack and 3 months goes by before you realize you never responded. We’ve all been there. But TRY to respond quickly. It shows you put the same effort into friendship as they do.
- Be the friend you want: If you want people to treat you a certain way and be a good friend to you, be that kind of friend to them. It’s just that simple.
The older we get, the more we all have kids, get married, get into relationships, move, have demanding jobs, etc the harder it is to maintain friendships. But, it doesn’t have to be. I hope this inspired you to check on a friend today.