Keeping up with friends isn’t always easy. It’s hard to balance and juggle life, work, and social activities. So how do you do it?!
Throughout school I had made a number of very good friendships. And it was much easier in school when all of your friends were in the same city, in a close vicinity, and are going through similar life experiences as you. So the friendships you made are fast, fierce, and makes an impact.
But as I’ve graduated, this topic has come up time and time again among my friends, that keeping up with people is hard. You don’t have the convenience factor anymore. Sometimes, you’ll have to commute or drive to different cities. Sometimes you’ll have to plan weeks in advance. Sometimes things will just fall through.
I’ve noticed that friends fall into two categories: convenient friends and constant friends. Convenient friends are the friends you make out of your current circumstance. For example, you can make quick friends with the person you sit beside in a class. You study together, you have meals together, you go through the struggles of that course together. But once that class is over, your friendship comes to a halt and you move on separately. Constant friends are the friends who are able to overcome the test of time. You continue to maintain the relationship and regardless of time or distance apart, and the friendship stays strong. You’re able to continue to communicate and meet this person and there is a mutual commitment to making things continue.
Over the years from connecting and losing touch with people, I’ve learned a trick. It’s simple: the moment a person pops into your mind, message them.
I genuinely think it’s the simplest act of kindness you can lend out to someone. It’s a little reminder to that person that you’re thinking of them and you wish them well. There are countless times I’ve though of a person – a friend, an old manager, or a long-lost connection and wanted to say hello, but didn’t. And guess what… from every one of those experiences, two scenarios pop up. One: I have come to require their help later on but it became awkward because I have not talked to them in a long time and it feels like I’m just using them. Or, two: they’ve needed a friend to talk to and didn’t want to reach out for help, but I totally could have been there for them had I just said hello.
Both of the above scenarios could have been avoided or remedied just by reconnecting with them. And it is not hard at all. It could be a simple message, through email or text, wishing them well. Or you could catch up over coffee and really dive deep with that individual. Whatever path you pick to reconnect, the simple act of doing so makes it easier to convert that person from a convenient friend/relationship to a constant friend/relationship.
Then there are times when you want to reconnect with someone but they’re simply not reciprocating. But we’ve all been there, right? You tried to reconnect with someone, but there’s no response. But those times, you can’t help it. You’ve done all that you can and it doesn’t work. At least you knew you did your best. Relationships, including friendships, are two-way streets.
In those times, you become more grateful for your constant friends. Put your time and energy into those who will make the effort to maintain the relationship. And always try to connect again. You never know, right?
Interestingly, we’ve all been that person too. Some random person out of the blue messages you asking how you’ve been. But you don’t really want to talk since it was too long ago/you weren’t close/didn’t end off on the right foot/awkward. It may be hard because you might not want to converse with certain individuals, but it does not take much time to send them a quick message back to thank them for their time and for someone to think about you. I always like to be thankful for someone who spends any sort of time or energy on me.
In the end, it is never easy to maintain all the relationships you have in your life – with family, friends, and romantic partner. But a simple hello may be all it takes to rekindle an old friendship. Treasure your constant friends and be grateful for the convenient friends. Every person you meet has touched your life in a special way and has shaped you into who you are today!
Until the next post,