If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last year it is that those friends that have stuck around for year and years and years are the ones you need to keep close to you. I am not a perfect person and often I like to separate myself from people. I would consider myself a little anti-social.
When I crawl out of my shell my closest friends always welcome me back with open arms and we go right back to where we left off. They don’t get mad, but instead they give me space, but make sure I’m ok.
There are a few things I do to invest in my long-term friendships even if I don’t talk to these friends every day. I like to show my appreciation for them and ensure they know that I love and care about them even when I am being distant.
Check in with Them Occasionally
You don’t always have to wait for them to reach out to you. If you take the initiative occasionally, it’ll show how much you care. It’s important to ask how they are doing and to listen. If you haven’t caught up in a while, I’m sure they will have plenty to tell you!
Also, ask questions about the details they give you. Hopefully this comes naturally to you, but when friends talk about their kids in sports or their significant others it’s important to ask questions so they know you are interested in their life.
Treat Them to Brunch or Dinner
I have a few friends I see every few months and when we get together I like to treat them to a meal at a nice restaurant. I appreciate their friendship and always sticking with me even when I’m not at my best. Of course, if they are good friends they will pick up the next check. It’s that crazy friendship back and forth that we always do. Neither of us want to take advantage of the other and we always want to make sure we are fair!
Be There for the Important Events!
I am not much of a wedding person, but when my friends ask me to be in their weddings I always say yes! A friend of mine wanted me to be her maid of honor and while I wasn’t super excited about this situation I said yes with no hesitation, because I knew how much it meant to her. In the end, she decided to not get married so I get the brownie points for saying yes.
The one thing I do regret is when my friend’s father passed away and I wasn’t there. We are friends but talk a couple times a year and always get together around our birthdays. I knew her father passed away, but I just couldn’t get myself to reach out. I didn’t know what to say or do. She never held it against me, but it still haunts me.
I am such a homebody that often I will forgo events that involve their other friends or family. I always feel awkward considering I do not have a significant other to tag along. There are certainly times I say yes, especially when it is something important to them.
When my friend had a housewarming party she invited me and even though I tried to wiggle out of it, she would not take no for an answer. When I arrived, she made me feel like part of the group. That is a true friend!
When Something Reminds You of Them, Tell Them!
We all have those moments when we see something and instantly think of that one friend. Please share this, don’t think, “this is dumb” and write it off as being silly. They will love to know you were thinking of them and it’ll be a special moment between the both of you.
I am sure if this is a true friend they will see something that reminds them of you too.
Invite Them Out Even When You Think They Will Say No
I enjoy going to concerts, but not all my friends do. The one friend that does enjoy going, we don’t always agree on the same type of music. However, I have learned that inviting him to concerts I enjoy is always a good way for him to listen to new music and we get some friend time together too.
I have another friend who isn’t as interested in going to shows, but if she doesn’t have other plans she will go with me. We may be different, but we do celebrate our differences by doing things the other person enjoys. She wanted to attend a candle making class once, so of course, I was willing to be her plus one to this class. That’s how friendships work!
Keep Your Opinions to Yourself!
I am crazy opinionated on what I would or would not do in a situation. When your friend is going through something it’s always best to just listen and not to insert your opinions. I have gotten into a lot of trouble in the past when I let my opinions go wild and don’t have discipline with myself to hold back. If your friend asks for your opinion, let them know nicely, but don’t make them feel bad if you would have picked a different path than they did. We also travel along our own ways and need to make our decisions in life.
We cannot go through life completely alone. We will always need a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with and sometimes get a second opinion. Friendships are vital and the longer you’ve been friends with someone the more likely you are to trust them.
I hope this post helps some of you out to ensure that you are being a great friend and give you some ideas on how to make your friendships stronger!