Saturday, May 16, 2009
Keeping in touch with friends.
Do you notice how our social relationships developed at the pace of a horse’s gallop? With the world wide web, making friends is easy as ABC. But then staying in touch with friends demand a patient commitment. Today we can communicate with unimaginable dexterity, yet for some reason we still let our friendships gather dust.
I have learned from experience that an unattended friendship, no matter how tight it once was, will bow and break under the weight of neglect. And before we knew it, a meaningful friendship can disintegrate into an awkward and bumpy encounter with a person we hardly know. I am very thankful though that there are technologies out there that help prevent these brilliant landscapes from turning into dust bowls - phone and computer, what else?!
So what I did first, is to create a detailed list of those people with whom I want to stay in touch with - their contact information and all the dates relevant to our friendship and to their lives. Also I designate one day each month to contact them for an hour of catch up.
And to save time while I reach out to everyone on my list, I write an e-mail template that outlines what I’ve been up to, but I make a few tweaks here and there to tailor it to the individual recipient. By doing this, it helps me to actively keep my friends informed about my life while maintaining the personal touch that defines our various friendships.
It’s a cliché, but it's true: Sometimes, the only thing that counts is the thought. The simple message to remind a friend that I remember and acknowledge a day that my friend has conveniently forgotten -- or can never forget -- speaks volumes about the stock I take in our friendship.
How about you? How are you able to keep in touch with your old and new friends?
Just remember, friendships are not a chore, they are gifts to be cherished, so have fun with it!