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Maintaining Friendships

Maintaining Friendships

Growing up maintaining friendships was so easy. Our friends were in our classes, after-school activities, and even at times neighbors. You always saw them or spoke to them and even invited them over or to your birthday parties. You knew who your friends were by how they included you in activities or even hung out with you at lunch. It was pretty easy if you haven’t seen one friend in a few days; you would just ask our mom if they could come over for a playdate. Now growing up as an adult is not as easy. 

 

After college, a lot of people make a lot of life changes. Those changes make having playdates and even people attending your birthday party a bit difficult. With technology, it makes it a lot easier to maintain friendships. However, you can’t just maintain friendships by texting alone. Now let me be clear when I say maintaining a friendship I don’t mean popping in once in a while and being that friend. I mean still being a good supportive friend that shows up. 

 

Through college and even when I moved away from my hometown there were a lot of lessons I had to learn when it came to maintaining my friendships both from when I was a kid and while I was in college. The reason I say a lot of different lessons is all my friendships are different so no one trick or tip works for all your friendships. Here are some of the ways I found to be most successful. 

 

  • Figure out how to best communicate
    • Communicate that both you and your friend like. You would be shocked how many people hate texting but do it because it is convenient.  
  • Timing 
    • You do not have to communicate every single day or every single week to call someone your friend. There is no time limit to catch up and chat. 
    • In my experience trying to keep the communication at least once a month even if it’s just a text saying “hey how have you been?” to catch up. 
  • Create time 
    • Make time to visit, have a meal or coffee, or even a facetime to have a wine chat. 
    • It doesn’t have to be anything crazy but setting up a time to hang with friends like “the old days” brings back old memories all while creating new ones. 
    • I played college lacrosse, and I love seeing my old teammates. There are times when I go see them at their houses, we hang out at parties, and even their weddings. 
  • Always send the Invite 
    • If you are throwing a party, planning a trip, or even having people over for a game night always even if some of your friends are away. 
    • Plans change, things happen and people just want to be included and not an afterthought. 
  • Give people notice or a heads up 
    • If you know you are coming home for a holiday or maybe an odd weekend give people as much of a heads up as you can. 
    • Other people have lives and you cannot expect people to drop everything to hang out to see you just because you are in town for a bit. 
  • Be Honest 
    • Nothing kills a friendship faster than a lie. Not being honest with a friend when an action or even something they said hurt your feelings. 
    • Also, listen when these things are said to you. At times we forget that our words or actions are not taken the way we intended them to be taken. 
  • Understand that friendship’s end 
    • I have said it before in season of friendships that as we grow up not everyone follows us down our path but rather takes their own 
    • Just because you are not friends does not mean you have to trach your time together still be respectful even if it ended on poor terms
  • Don’t be afraid to share 
    • As I have gotten older one of the ways I made new friendships was by meeting friends of friends. 
    • It is a great way to make new friends but also to help bond existing ones; ow you have a friend group that is growing. 

 

There is no right or wrong way to maintain friendships. Friendships are things that are constantly changing as we all have different lives. That is the beauty of life we learn lessons from the mistakes we make and we develop relationships some that last a lifetime and others that last a few moments. 

 

You also don’t need a group of fifteen friends. It’s okay to have a few close friends. It’s also okay to have a really large group of friends. The only thing with friendships that you should consider is do me and this person still get along? Do we still bring out the best in each other? Am I happy and proud to call them a friend? You could have five hundred friends and you could have one. As long as you are maintaining friendships or the friendship that is what matters! As no one wants to feel like they are in a one-sided friendship. 

 

So smile big work on maintaining your friendships, and even work on being a good friend maybe even a great friend. No one expects you to be perfect they just expect you to try. Anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend! -Unofficial Big Sis KMH

 

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