The Family Home Blog

6 Ways to Nurture Friendships

May 12, 2016

As I’ve gotten older, I realize that my circle of friends has gotten much smaller. Whether that’s by design or a result of life, I’m not certain. I bet it’s a bit of both. Truth is, as adults we have less time to nurture friendships and often are so involved in our careers and families that friendships tend to take a back seat. If you can relate to this, then these simple tips might be helpful.

I was recently thinking about the close friends that are currently in my life, and as I was thinking about the nature of our relationships I realized there wasn’t anything terribly out of the ordinary. In fact, it feels like we are close more because of the small, simple ways we keep in touch. Today I want to share six simple ways you too can nurture friendships. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that matter most.

friends sharing a cup of coffee 

1.    Let them know you’re “thinking of them.” Ever read an article or stumble upon a Facebook post that just made you think of a certain friend? Take the time to shoot them an email or tag them in a comment to let them know, “this made me think of you.” It’s a small gesture but is a nice way to let someone know that they were on your mind. I recently read a book that made me think of an old friend so I reached out and offered to mail it to her. It’s a simple way to connect even with long distance friends.

2.    Send silly messages. Being silly with a friend may make you feel like you’re in grade school, but that’s the point! We connect most when we’re vulnerable, and what better way to let down your guard and just “be you” than by tapping into that silly side. Personally I love using Snapchat for this. Send a funny snap to a friend and you’re sure to make their day.

3.    Mail them a note. Yes, like in the mail. Facebook posts are an easy way to wish someone a happy birthday, but don’t overlook sending an actual card. Recently, a friend mailed me a birthday card and it just was so unexpected that it was the highlight of my birthday. The next time you think about sending a text to tell someone “thank you” or “congrats,” consider popping that note in the mail instead.

4.    Show up, in person. The next time you’re tempted to decline an invitation, force yourself to show up. Nurturing relationships in person can often feel like a burden but chances are once you are there, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Say yes to the party, visit a new mom, go out after work for a bite to eat or grab coffee before heading to work.

5.    Check in often. Nurturing friendships is more than just going out or wishing someone a happy birthday. In fact, it’s really about the day-to-day stuff in the end. Have a friend who has a sick parent? Ask her how she’s doing. Have a friend who is planning a wedding? Ask how it’s going. The point is to touch base with those you care about in a way that connects you to their every day. It feels good to know someone cares.

6.    Extend your circle. Why not introduce your friends that have things in common? Chances are if you enjoy spending time with them separately, you’ll get along nicely all together. As we get older it is sometimes harder to make new friends. This is a nice way to help your friends meet new people and allows you to spend time with them both.

Do you have any tips for nurturing friendships? I’d love to hear them!

Photo courtesy of Tori Tait.

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