Navigating through friendships can already be quite tricky! Whether differences in schedules or geographical distances are keeping you away from having quality time your friends, more than you’d like, it is especially important to nurture those relationships in order for them to stay alive.
How do you maintain friendships in these challenging, distant moments? Here are some tips for when life and distance causes a strain:
With so much technology right at our fingertips, there is almost really no excuse in not staying connected to our friendship circles. Social media is just a tiny sliver of it, but of course there are FaceTime, Google Hangouts, group chat apps, and text messaging. Although you may not be able to connect in-person as much as you’d like, it is always nice to follow their highlight reels in between visits and communication.
MAKE AN EFFORT
Commit to a time to talk to each other or connect at least every week, every other week or once a month. Scheduling can get a bit dicey, so do what works best for each unique situation. Also, consider reaching out in other ways instead of the phone (i.e., writing a good old-fashioned letter, sending a birthday card) and working to create new memories. It truly is the thoughts that count.
LEND A HELPING HAND OR LISTENING EAR
Whether you live close by or away, the best way to support a friend is by lending an ear to listen for however long it takes, whenever needed. True friends find ways to support one another, even in those situations where you are not quite sure what to say. Being present is more than enough.
SUPPORT THEIR DREAMS
If your friend is an entrepreneur, let them know you check out their work, and ask questions about it. One of the most difficult hangups of entrepreneurship is coping with what can be perceived as lack of support from family and friends.
Regular check-ins just to say hello may seem like such a small gesture, but it really does go a long way. Genuinely inquire about how they’re doing and actually listen. Mood disorders are very common. It is important to be there for our friends and family as they may be coping with battles we may know nothing about – depression, anxiety, life stresses, tragedies, etc. Distance shouldn’t mean that they go through issues alone. This further solidifies that you are, in fact, a friend.
Being far away or unable to connect as much as you’d like just means that you have to work a bit harder and take different approaches to communicating. Maintaining relationships can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
How have you been maintaining your friendships?