The #1 Thing Your Friends Need from You & 3 Ways To Do It
by Suzanne M. Harvey
With all of the technology and social media platforms available today, it is so easy to stay in touch with friends all over the planet. And we can meet new people everyday from every state and nation. So you would think that most people would have lots of friends and feel very connected. But in reality this isn’t the case. Everyday I talk with women who say they feel completely disconnected. They feel isolated and too busy to do anything about it. Yet we are created with this need for connection and community. So what do we do with that? It’s easy to complain and make excuses. But that gets us more stuck than we already are. If you are feeling disconnected from friends and feeling isolated, I want to share the #1 thing that your friends need from you & three ways to do it. When we can give our friends what they need, we get what we need in return – connection, community & deeper friendships.
The #1 Thing Our Friends Need
The #1 thing our friends need (and will never ask for) is our time. It is that simple and at the same time feels impossible. When we were kids this was so much easier. We had no responsibilities and could spend our afternoons with neighborhood kids having fun and hanging out. Turns out that the best way to make real friends is time and lots of it. That’s the one thing we feel like there isn’t enough of already! It can make you feel hopeless to maintain friendships, let alone make new ones.
But there is some good news here…
We don’t need 500 close friends. In fact our brains can only handle about 3-5 close friendships at any one time. Those 3-5 people are vitally important in our lives and can make all the difference when we invest a little time in building or continuing our friendships. By being deliberate with your time and a few friends you will be able to create the circle of friends you’ve always wanted and truly need.
3 Ways to Do It
So how we do it, especially with crazy schedules, busy lives and living all around the world. You may be feeling like you don’t have time or you don’t want to put in the effort and put yourself out there to deepen friendships, I get it. We have all been there and done the things and it didn’t work out. We have been stabbed in the back, talked about and hurt. The ways I want to share are for the friends you have that are casual and have shown that they are good friends and you would like to deepen the friendship with. These are not easy tips. They will take time and effort but the payoff in the end is a great friendship that benefits both of you. Let’s get started.
Persistence is a continued or prolonged course of action. What does this look like in friendship? Continuing to reach out to schedule meet ups, messages to say hi and phone calls to stay connected are all ways to show your persistence in friendship. This goes beyond saying “let’s get together soon” and making it a priority to get it scheduled. Knowing that it may take time to get it on the calendar but not giving up.
This one will be hard. We don’t like to be inconvenienced. We want everything our way on our schedule. For deep friendships there will be inconvenience. And you showing up for a friend when it’s inconvenient will mean the world to her. Life is hard and friendship can be hard. If she knows that you are willing to show up for her in her need when it is an inconvenience will create a bond that is not easily broken.
Friendships are great but sometimes life gets busy. And that’s when we let it slide, thinking we will get back to it when this or that changes. And then we never do. That’s where guilt and shame sneak in and we feel like now it’s been too long to reconnect. By making connections consistent, even if it’s a check in text or FB message, you can continue to build even in the busiest seasons of life.
We need friends in our lives. And they need us! Putting in the effort in these 3 ways will show your friends that you are in it for the long haul, in the good and bad. And they will reciprocate. It will be a beautiful give and take flow that will keep you connected, deepen the friendship and create the community you crave.
What is one step you can take today with one friend to connect in a deeper way?
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I am Suzanne Harvey, a woman of faith - boy mom – wife – entrepreneur – interior designer – skincare business owner – lover of music & bulldogs. Like you I wear lots of hats and juggle all the things. In all of that it is easy to lose sight of who we truly are, what truly matters to us and how to slow down to enjoy the beauty around us. Thanks for joining me on this adventure to find beauty in our everyday with encouragement, laughter, plus tips & ideas to help you find your own kind of beautiful.