Being a friend is super easy, right? Well, while it may seem that way on the surface, a friendship is a relationship that takes work from both parties. A healthy friendship can contribute to your well being and can improve your outlook on life as well as allowing you a safe person and place to confide in. There are a few really easy ways to reconnect and stay connected with your friends.
Make a Date — and Keep It
If you haven’t seen your friend for awhile, make a date and keep it. And it doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, either, so don’t worry about scoring amazing concert tickets or taking an expensive cooking class together. Instead, meet for coffee, check out a cool cafe for a light lunch, explore a new shop together or hang out at the library. Also, if something comes up and you sincerely can’t make it, let your friend know as soon as you can and definitely don’t make plans that you don’t intend to keep.
Let Them Know You’re Thinking of Them
During difficult times, it can be hard to know what to say or do. Fortunately, it’s easy to show that you care and are there for them. Something as simple as a note that accompanies a gorgeous flower arrangement can mean the world to someone who is reeling from a recent loss. Keep in mind that it may take time for your friend to be open to visits or conversation, but you should try to reach out so they know they’re not alone during this time. Also, let them know specific ways you can help, instead of a generic, “Let me know if you need anything.” Offer to pick up groceries, take their pets for a walk or clean their house.
Don’t Hesitate to Apologize
It can be hard to apologize when you’ve messed up, but your friendship depends on kindness as well as dependability and honesty, and fessing up to your mistakes is a big deal. Be sincere in your apology, and don’t hesitate to make amends even if some time has passed. If the gaffe is too large for your friend to overcome, it can still do you good to clear the air and let it go from your side.
Do Something “Just Because”
Even if there are no huge life events that merit a gift, taking the time to mail a handwritten note or giving her something you know she’ll love will make the day brighter for both of you — especially if you haven’t hung out for awhile. Tiny tokens of appreciation can be as simple as bringing her a coffee at work or leaving a fun note on her car, and are especially fun if she’s recently given you a small gift you cherish.
Be a Good Listener
Even if you don’t feel like you have any wise advice to impart, lending an ear and the space to vent or freak out is extremely valuable. While you should also expect the same space and consideration when you’re having a hard time sorting out life, as friendship is a give-and-take experience, it shows your friend that you will be there when she needs you the most.