We all have that one friend or maybe you are that one friend who just can’t get it together when it comes to staying in touch and maintaining your adult friendships. I will admit, I am that one friend. Sometimes, life can get the best of me and I can lose touch with the people I value the most. Maintaining strong friendships can be a real struggle on a daily basis, but throw in a world-wide pandemic, and it’s an entirely different story.
Why is Maintaining Friendships Important?
In today’s society, communication is on a different level. Our social interactions are met through technology rather than physical interaction. Meeting face to face has been replaced with a few double taps and an occasional emoji on a friend’s picture on our timeline. We find out about hospital visits, engagements, and childbirths all by scrolling through Tik Tok and tapping through Instagram Stories. The COVID-19 pandemic has made that interaction even more difficult by separating us from the very people we love the most. It’s time to get back to the basics and start establishing those real connections again.
9 Ways to Maintain Friendships
1. Be Honest With Your Friends
Some of those that are close to you may think that you’re “acting funny,” but maybe you’ve been going through something or have been in a bit of a funk lately with all that’s going on in the world. Be honest with your friends. You’ll be surprised to find just how much more you have in common when you share your truths with each other. There was a time not long ago when a friend of mine apologized for being distant because of some things she was going through. It was funny because, I felt like I was the one being distant because of my current situation. We were then able to encourage one another and choose joy together rather than sulking alone in our own mess.
2. Be Intentional With Your Time
Set a day to call and text your close friends and even new associates that have the potential of being good friends. I’ve realized that if I can schedule other things in my life that are important to me, I should be able to do the same when it comes to the relationships I value in my life. You can’t always be on the receiving end. All actions need to be reciprocated in order for the friendship to bloom. Doing this shows that you value these people and that you’re consistent. They’ll definitely receive your efforts and see that you value the friendship.
3. Don’t Back Out of Your Plans
When you set up a date to hang out (virtually or in person) don’t back out. As an introvert, I usually don’t like to get out for much besides work and the grocery store only out of necessity. There are times when I make plans, but just don’t want to go when the time comes around. Canceling plans at the last minute or even going as far standing up your friend is no Bueno. This can hurt their feelings and leave them feeling that you’re unreliable and that you do not value their time. Don’t be a flake. Stick to your word and if you really have a legitimate reason as to why you can make it, let them know. A true friend will understand.
4. Write a Letter to Express How Much You Care
Do you remember the days when we use to pass notes in class folded like origami? I still have a few tucked away from high school myself. If you remember those notes, then you remember just how special they made you feel to receive them just because. It would be from a friend telling you how cute your hair is today or a boy telling you how much he likes you. Either way, you felt amazing that day all because of a few words on paper. Go ahead and take it way back and write your close friends a few lines letting them know how dope they are. You can send it through text, snail mail, or an email. You’d be surprised how something so simple can make someone’s day.
5. Verbally Affirm Your Friends
Similar to writing a letter to your friends, affirming them out loud can make their hearts smile. Tell them how proud you are of them, how much you love them, and how much you appreciate them as your friend while on the phone, on FaceTime, or in person. Receiving those affirmations can shatter self-doubt, fear, and negativity you never knew they experienced.
6. Send Your friends food
Depending on what day it is, you may or may not be under limitations due to the pandemic, so going out to eat with your bestie may not always be an option. You can send your friends a meal for lunch or dinner through apps like Doordash, Postmates, or Uber Eats to show them some love. Their stomachs will thank you for it. My personal favorite is sending a few dollars for a Starbucks drink. Who doesn’t love a caffeinated pick me up?
7.Pray for your friends
The best thing you can do during this time is to pray for your friends. Maintaining friendships requires prayer and connection with God. Whether your friends express to you what they’re going through or not, pray for them. You don’t have to know all of their business to call out their name. God knows what they need and He knows just how resolve their problems. Continue to lift them up and you’ll also reap the benefits of their blessing.
8. Offer Your Friends Help
Sometimes our friends just need a helping hand. It can be difficult to go about the normal day to day tasks and keep our sanity. Offer to baby sit to give them a break for some me time or a date night. Come over and cook a meal or bring extra of something that you’ve already prepared. Set up a day to help your bestie to organize a room in their home. Wherever you see that your friend may need a little assistance, offer it to them. They may not ask, but they’ll appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.
What are some ways you find yourself maintaining the friendships you value right now? Leave a comment and share below. I’d love to hear from you!