I’m planning a dinner soon and was chatting with The Brainy One recently about who to invite and our conversation went a little like this:
Him: “What about X and Y?”
Me: “No, we haven’t heard from them in years!”
Him: “Why is that, do you think?”
And therein lies the rub. Friendship is a wonderful gift, but it’s a gift that needs to be nurtured and encouraged, otherwise it simply fades away. Obviously, friendship is a two-way thing, or at least it should be, but that conversation led me to review a few ways in which I (we) could do better at maintaining our friendships.1) Write to them (Happy Mail is always welcome). It needn’t be a letter as long as War and Peace; the humble postcard fits the bill perfectly. A few lines letting someone know that you’re thinking of them takes 5 minutes.
2) Arrange to meet up. It needn’t be complicated. A coffee date with a local friend works just as well as suggesting a night out (and probably easier to achieve).
3) When you do meet, put your phone away and give them your full attention. Do you want to spend an hour looking at the top of your friend’s head while she’s glued to social media? No, and neither does she.
4) Remember important dates. Birthdays are an obvious starting point and we all like to have someone make a fuss of us (even if inside we’re wishing for them to stop). But if you also know the date of her wedding anniversary (or the date of a divorce) especially if you were present on the big day, remember to send a card or call.