You know when you buy a new pair of jeans and they fit so well you start wearing them every day? And you suddenly realize that you haven’t worn your older pair of everyday jeans in forever?
Well that’s a pretty lame metaphor for what I often worry is happening with my friends. I spend so much time these days nurturing new relationships and waiting to see if a local BFF will emerge that I forget—or don’t take the time—to give my current best friends the attention they deserve.
According to the Gallup organization (you know, the one that does all those polls), people who’ve told a buddy how much they value their friendship in the past month are 48% more likely to report being ‘extremely satisfied’ with the friendships in their lives. That doesn’t mean I can’t focus on the friendships I hope to have, too. It’s just that I need to take a moment every now and then to remind myself—and my friends—how lucky I am to have them (even if seeing them means crossing state lines).
Because I’m devoting a chunk of my time right now to meeting new people and “dating” new girls, as well as the fact that very few of my phone-a-friends are in the same time zone, I’ve had trouble connecting with old friends on the telephone. Two of my closest friends live in San Francisco and the two hour time difference coupled with our hectic schedules means we can rarely hear each other’s voices. (In fact, just writing this reminds me that I owe Naomi a call.) And sometimes, when I haven’t talked to someone in a while and feel I need to give a complete life update, even emailing can feel like a big task.
So between work, family, old friends and new, keeping up with everything and everyone can be tough. I try to deal with it by reaching out whenever, however. If I don’t have time for a phone call, I’ll shoot an email. If I see something that reminds me of someone, I’ll send a quick text to tell her I’m thinking of her.
These aren’t earth shattering revelations here, I realize that. But it’s a reminder that focusing too much on the friends we don’t have can have can get a person all Eeyore-ish. And reaching out to your existing friends—telling them that, you know, they’re, like, super cool—will make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And maybe even better? It will make you happy. Or happier. 48% so.
How do you balance keeping up with old friends and making new ones? Can you believe how easy it is to forget to tell friends you appreciate them? If all else fails, if you can’t find the words, send this ecard (or this one or this one). You can’t go wrong.