How To Be More Present In Your Friendships
Girlfriends are one of life’s most valuable treasures. They are there for you during the worst of times and celebrating with you during the best of times. Whether you are sitting on the couch watching Bachelor In Paradise or traveling to a new destination – you’re just happy to be together.
Even though this friendship means the world, sometimes, the sister we never had gets lost in the shuffle of work schedules, family obligations and personal relationships. Which, in all honestly – blatantly sucks. I don’t know about you but I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve been the friend that has unintentionally been left behind because my girlfriend was so caught up in the butterflies of a new relationship. I have also been the friend that has unintentionally neglected a friendship because I was so caught up in my own bubble and to-do lists.
What should also happen is friends mutually making each other a priority, without pause. In effort to be the example of a gold star friend, here are a few ways to be more present in your friendships:
Yes, we are starting here … without our phones. If you’re like me and have a bad habit of aimlessly scrolling on your phone or checking emails while someone is speaking to you, put that shit down. When spending time with your friends, leave your phone in the other room or flip it over so the light up of the screen doesn’t distract you. I’ve learned a riveting lesson that the messages, emails, alerts, and notifications will all still be there when you get back to your phone. Your friend, the person is front of you, gets priority over screen time.
SAVE THE DATE
Ok, now that you have your phone back – it’s time to add some dates to your calendars. It goes without saying that you should (and by should I mean need) to have your girlfriend’s birthday’s noted, yearly, in your calendar. In effort to improve as a friend we are going to take it a step further. Remembering important dates such as their wedding anniversary, death of family members, job milestones, etc. will mean a lot and is a window of opportunity for you to showcase your love and care for them.
Let’s take it back, way back, to the days before texting was thing. Call me old school but receiving snail mail instantly puts a big ole smile on my face. To this day, Jesse, one of my college besties, will randomly put a card in the mail and that little piece of paper becomes the encouragement and extra love that I didn’t even realize I needed. Yes, it takes more effort than firing off an email but that’s the point. Find a pen, buy stamps and seal it with love.
Going out and doing things in a big group is always a blast but don’t discredit the value of one-on-one time with a friend. The “alone” time spent dedicated to each other will make all the difference in your friendship.
STAY IN TOUCH
Even though the concept of staying in touch may sound like a no brainer, it can be one of the hardest parts of a friendship. My best advice is to make plans in advance. If you live close to each other, set a time to get together. If you’re in a long distance friendship, carve out time for a phone date or a facetime date. Something that I do with a girlfriend that lives in California is, every Sunday, we look at our schedule for the upcoming two weeks. We find one, if not two, windows of time to chat on the phone so that way time doesn’t go by without chatting! And then any texts or updates in between our phone time is an added plus. There is always time for those that you love, you just have to make it.
I love my friends,
cover photo captured by the beautiful Elana