By Grant J Everett
Do you have a clear divide between deep and meaningful relationships with true friends, and more shallow interactions with acquaintances? Maintaining friendships with too many people can take up a lot of your time and effort, and may require energy that you simply don’t have to spare. So if you feel that you value quality over quantity and a small circle of friends is all you need, then you’re far from alone. Regardless of numbers, we need to actively nurture our relationships on a regular basis if we want to keep them.
This golden age of technology has seen the mobile phone become a major component of how we keep our friends close. And unless you own the clunkiest of late-90s bricks, your mobile should have these useful buddy-retaining features:
• Sending texts and emails
• Accessing social media anywhere, anytime
• A calendar function to keep track of your social plans
• A contacts list that you can use to conveniently store all your friend’s details
• A camera to preserve fun memories
• And of course, making phone calls!
How can I use my mobile phone to help my social life?
Record your plans on your phone’s calendar, including when, where, who and what. Also, by noting when you’ve spent time with a friend, you can see whether you’re overdue to give them a call.
Photos are a great reminder of fun times and offer an opportunity to relive those moments. Take snaps!
If you can’t meet up at the agreed-upon time, call to let your friend know in advance. Being ditched with no notice for no reason will greatly annoy anybody, and as we all carry phones nowadays, there’s really no excuse.
“The key is if you strive to provide real value in your outreach, people will look forward to hearing from you, every time. Soon enough, they’ll be reaching out to you as well and it won’t feel like a one-way street.”
-Jenny Powers, Founder of Running With Heels
If you get invited to something that will be regularly celebrated every year, like a wedding or a birthday, record the date for future reference. Your friends will be touched you remembered their special day!
If you hang out with somebody, text them afterwards to say what a great time you had, and that you should do it again sometime soon. Simple, but effective.
Other friendship tips
Use catch-ups to introduce your likeminded friends, tightening your social network.
We all have different priorities. Something that’s important to you may not mean anything at all to somebody else. You don’t need to be exact duplicates of each other to be close friends.
Don’t get upset if someone doesn’t seem as keen to hang out as you are. On the same note, you don’t have to accept every invitation to spend time together.
Try not to get annoyed if somebody doesn’t respond to you quickly enough. We lead busy lives, and sometimes emails and texts slip through the net.
Low-pressure, cheap ways to hang out – like going for coffee or a kebab – are great, but if you offer to go to an event that your friend is really into, like a concert or a stage show, this can be a great way to build on your existing friendship.
When chatting or messaging, be real about where you’re at. Don’t just say you’re fine! Share what’s on your mind, what you’re excited about, and what you’re looking forward to. This will encourage the other person to open up in return.
Focus on the needs of others. Find out what’s happening in their lives, and see if there’s anything you can do for them. Just being there for the harder times is invaluable, and will forge a more powerful bond.
Been meaning to talk to a friend for ages, but your good intentions never result in a phone call? A call, text, or email is all it takes, so why keep putting it off?
Set aside ten minutes each day to call, text, or send emails to a couple of friends. Ideally, they will respond in kind. Hearing from a friend can improve anyone’s day, so pick up that phone!
Finally, a little consideration can have huge results.