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!

5 comments:

Tracey said...

That's a lot of friends you have there Odette! Nice photo.My house is always an open house, and because my hubby is usually not well enough to go out, our friends come here. Next Sunday is my birthday and we are having a bbq for a lot of people, so you can be sure it will rain!!!!!!
Love Tracey x x x

NEO-CONDUIT said...

You are a brilliant and dedicated friend!!! I am incredibly slack in comparison! I'm in agreement with Trace on the open door policy thing, though I do feel guilt at not being able to do more.
xoxoxoxo

Odette said...

Tracey,
that's great! your huge garden can accomodate many friends that will come to your b-day bash. I do hope the rain won't spoil the fun.
just know that Kirst and I and AA are there in spirit with you. Mine will be on July yet. it's ok, we are aging gracefully, hahaha!

Odette said...

Kirst,
i really don't have many friends, but i am very happy to keep the few i have. it's not the quantity but the quality.
i am very glad to have found wonderful people online - you included. and i treasure this friendship between us. we seem to know a lot about each other in the virtual world, which could take a lifetime to learn if we meet in real life. funny, but i feel i am closer to you guys than my school friends.
so Kirst, we have a party to go to next sunday, eh? BBQ party!!!

Tracey said...

See you all then!!!!!!!!!!!! xxx

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