The friendship conversation has come up a few times the past two months and I just found myself compelled to write about it. I personally have experienced many different seasons of friendships. I have found that as seasons change my friendships change. I believe there is always room for growth and I know there are many areas that I am working on improving.
This past month I asked myself so many questions. What is a friendship? What does it look like ? What are the actions that keep a friendship healthy? I think friendships look so different for everyone and different seasons bring different friendships…
I remember my friendships with friends drastically changed when I had my son. I was the first of my friends to have kids and to be honest it was hard to not feel hurt. I was no longer invited to events, no one really called or texted and when I reached out it wasn’t reciprocated. To be honest I let go of a lot of friendships that year.
Then there are friends I have known for years and I know would be there in a time of need… but then there are seasons where I questioned how many of my “friends” are friends? Is the feeling mutual?
I don’t think there is an easy answer. I think friendship is complex. Then life happens work, schedules, families with families, friends with kids, friends without kids. I’ve come to find each season is so different but Lets be honest social media has changed people interact these days. Oh, social media is a topic all in its own.
The modern day friendship seems to consist of a comment on a fb picture verses respond to a text let alone pick up phone and make a phone call. I literally heard from 3 people the entire 5-6 months I was off Facebook – you can say I was feeling hurt.
Then there are the “friends” who text saying they want to get together and then give the I’m so busy yet week after week yet they have time for others.
I mean this in the kindest way possible, I’ve made a choice to invest in friends who value my friendship and invest in me.
I am definitely not a friendship expert but I have found that the key to the thriving friendships are in my actions and are mutual between the friends that are a constant in my life. Its investing and working with each other. I am a work in progress myself but I figure as I was processing why not think about the friendships that are thriving and what has helped maintain them.
5 Simple steps to working on being a better friend!
1. We can all be intentional about friendships – Communication is important.
There are a hand full of ladies I recently started to get to know who are full time moms, who work and have kiddos and yet we work together to take the effort and time to see each other. We text weekly and plan dates.
There are friends I have that I don’t see often but the key that has helped us feel connected has been the communication. Its as if there is this mutual understanding that we want to continue to build a friendship… lets be honest most of the time its a mommy kiddo dates haha.
I have found a phone Call or text once a week really helps stay connected. Truth is sometimes life is busy but 20 minutes of having someone to talk to makes a difference especially when friends live far away or in other states or are in different seasons of life along with communication comes having the hard conversations and being open with each other about the friendship brainstorming how to support each other because it looks different for everyone.
I am still practicing and this is probably the area I need to work on the most.
2. Make Time.
We are all busy in one way or other but we can make Time.
If you value the person find a way to take time to acknowledge them in some way. A little goes a long way.
I think we use the “im so busy” response so loosely these days. I get caught up in all the things I have to do … Then again thats the thing… the “busy” part of life is what we allow into our lives.
We actively choose who we spend time with individually (& with kiddos) and in group settings etc.. & I know its not always that easy.. being a momma who works from home, a full time momma, and house hold manager, cook, house cleaner, nurse, appointment setter etc… it can be hard but that being said it can also be done. Making time is important for any relationship.
3. Make time to go to Birthdays and events.
Now, sometimes this is hard to find the time to meet up or get together but I find going to events, birthdays is a way I show I care. I have missed my fair share of events and have learned how it impacts people I care about… but even a simple call or birthday card can go a long way!! I usually try to call or at least send a birthday card not just text lol because lets be honest texting seems so unintentional these days… but a phone call and writing a card takes time and effort.
4. Be the Friend you would want from others.
This whole Modern day friendship seems to be a comment on Facebook, or snapchat, a text here and there. Its feels and seems so unintentional from my experience. I love to connect on a deeper level. When I do text I make sure I take the time and effort to engage or at least let the other person know I may not be able to respond at the moment but I care.
5. Friendship is a two way street. Be intentional about Investing.
Friendship is a two way street. I feel its give a little take a little but very mutual. I feel that being open and having conversation about the friendship is important. Investing in friendship is important and looks different for many friendships.
Thank you to the friends I have in my life who are so intentional about responding, calling, texting, for the friends who work with me to have dates and spend time together. Thank you Ladies!! I appreciate you! If there is anything i’ve learned about my experience is that I always have room to grow, some friends are only here for a season and some for a lifetime but I can learn from each experience.
p.s. Fun little tip… the app Voxer is AMAZING! It’s this moms go to app!If you have it you know what I’m talking about!!! I have a hand or two of friends I use this app with and as a momma its such a great way to feel connected on a deeper level then just via text. Let me be honest sometimes that phone call has a lot of distraction (mom, mom, mom or screaming… more screaming. haha) Usually ends with a unapologetic mom moment like ” I gotta go pretty sure my daughter just peed on the carpet”. Voxer helps ALOT with that. The best part I can listen intentionally and respond with intention.
-The unapologetic mom.