Having good friends can lead to happier, more connected lives. However, sometimes friendships aren’t easy to maintain. We all have lots of obligations pulling at our time: busy schedules, needy family members, work lives, volunteer responsibilities, etc. Even though friendships can be the first thing to go when your schedule gets tight, keeping connected to friends is essential to a happy life. Here are 10 ways to take your friendships from failing to fabulous.
1. Make time for your friends.
Next time one of your friends calls you and wants to do something, say yes. Spending time together will bring your relationship back from the brink.
2. Send a thoughtful gift.
If your relationship is already on the rocks, you’ll need to do something that requires a little effort. The easiest way show someone you care is a thoughtful gift. It shows someone you took time out of your busy life to do something nice for them. It doesn’t have to be expensive—you could just send them their favorite snack.
3. Send a note.
Don’t you love getting mail? Especially mail that is not a bill? Your friend will too. A note is one of the nicest things to receive. It doesn’t have to be complicated—just telling your friend you are thinking about them will go a long way.
4. Remind your friend of the good times.
Sometimes we go through a rough patch with friends because there are too many arguments and not enough laughs. If you’re having a hard time getting past a disagreement, remind your friend of a good time you’ve had together. This will help him or her associate your friendship with good memories.
One of the biggest reasons a friendship dies is because of conflict. Did you have a fight? Or, are you holding a grudge? The easiest way to get over it is to apologize—even if you don’t think you did anything wrong. You can say something like “I’m sorry for making your feel…” By validating your friend’s feelings, you will be able to get over the argument and back into the friendship.
6. Give your friend a call.
Sometimes, a friendship dies simply because we forget to make time for each other. To stop this slow, painful death, just pick up the phone. Tell your friend you’re thinking about them. Maybe even set up a time to see each other again.
7. Set up a lunch date.
Getting together is the easiest way to reconnect. One of my favorite ways to connect with friends is over lunch. Lunch is casual, and it is usually a bright spot in everyone’s day. So, by getting together for lunch, your friend will associate you will a fun time that he or she looks forward to.
8. Schedule a regular activity you can do together.
A regularly-scheduled activity is even better than a one-time lunch date. Plan to take a walk together once a week, or plan to go shopping once a month. Friends can help make mundane activities feel fun.
9. Do something exciting together.
Adrenaline builds connections—fast. So, think about zip-lining, rock climbing, or running a race together. This way, you can conquer a challenge, and conquer your dying friendship.
10. Be interested in your friend’s life.
Make sure that when you get together with friends you don’t just talk about your own life. Ask questions about their life, and make sure you are interested in what they are saying. You can offer advice and support where it’s needed, and become a trusted adviser and confidant.
Make sure to cultivate your friendships. They can bring laughter when you need to smile and support when you need someone to lean on. Without friends, life can get lonely and boring. So, pick up the phone today and take your friendships from on the rocks to better than ever.