As you may have noticed with our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day posts, we like to take a different approach to the conventional holidays. We like to fly by the seat of our pants (or skirts), and we like to throw tradition to the wind. Well, this past weekend was National Friendship Day (bet you didn’t know that was a thing), and we’re taking the same approach.
To be fair, knowing that you (probably) didn’t even know this was a real thing until just a few days ago, it’s safe to assume that you’ve never celebrated this day with your friends even bought each other gifts to commemorate it. However, as we all grow slightly older by the day, we start drifting (geographically and otherwise) farther and farther away from the friends we grew up with and we find ourselves struggling to stay current with what’s happening in their lives. We accept this as fact, resigning ourselves to the finality of it, but we don’t have to, not anymore:
MAKE AN EFFORT
We sometimes take our friendships for granted in thinking that they will always be there. I for example, always go back home for Thanksgiving, and so do my friends, and it’s amazing because it’s like we were never apart. We immediately revive our inside jokes, hit our favorite dinner spots, and just spend time with each other like the good ol’ days. But that’s only one weekend a year. The rest of the year, I’m lucky if I see any of them more than once.
This is where the effort has to be made.
If you want to keep a friendship alive, you can, you just may have to call them, or text them, or whatever, on a semi-consistent basis. In other words, you’ll have to try. Don’t fall into the trap of leaving well enough alone. These are people you love, fight to keep them around.
JUST TELL IT LIKE IT IS
I don’t quite get it, but good friends, even ones who are so unbelievably close, rarely vocalize their feelings for each other (there are exceptions, of course). There is rarely an “I love you” shared with someone you know everything about and that’s disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to be telling your friends that you love them at every turn (though you can if you want to), but the occasional affirmation of your friendship really goes a long way toward strengthening it for the long run.
If you want a friendship to last, or to evolve, or even to mature, being open and honest is the best way to do it. It took me decades to get to that point with certain friends, but once that gap was bridged, our friendship forever improved. Which brings me to my next point…
FEAR? FEAR SHMEAR
Don’t let the discomfort, or the fear of potential failure stop you from telling your friends (same sex, or opposite sex) how you feel. Fear will only serve to weaken your friendship and actively cause you to drift apart. Trust me, I know from experience. If you want someone to know something, tell them. It may not always go how you planned, but I promise, it’s better than regretting not saying anything at all. After all, isn’t that how we grow? Through trials and failures?
DONT REST ON YOUR LAURELS
With all this being said, it’s important to know that even though you may have scores of friends, some of whom may even predate your memory, you shouldn’t close yourself off to the prospect of making more. Relationships are what make the world go ‘round and there is no telling what you can learn from someone new that walks into your life.
Be happy and content with the friendships you have, but always be open to adding more. You can never have too much of a good thing, right?
(Plus, merging two groups of friends together is one of life’s greatest pleasures. You should really try it.)
Until next time – suh dude