Maintenance (Of Friendship)

 

First of all, thank you to everyone for all your congratulations on my little announcement last week!  We are so thrilled to be expecting this baby!  Now you know why I put a little break for this series in there!  We’re going back to “regularly scheduled programming” this week - thanks for bearing with my overload of pregnancy stuff last week, but I had to get you (and the blog) all caught up!



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This week I’m sharing my thoughts.tips on friendship maintenance . . . what it takes to keep a friend.  I’d be really interested to see what you all think on this, so write a post and link-up at the end!

 

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via*


This quote reminds me of the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Luke 6:31) - which is a pretty good golden rule for maintaining friendships too, don't you think? But here are my specific tips anyway . . .


8.  Don’t let only one person be the initiator.

Don’t always let the other person be the one to call. Your friend needs to know you have a desire to develop the friendship too, so try to make sure you are the one calling/writing at least half the time. On the other hand, if you are the one who always calls, it’s not a bad thing to step back and wait for the other person to initiate lunch/coffee once in a while. You shouldn’t be the only one doing the work if it’s going to be a healthy friendship.  Speaking from experience, friendships with give-and-take people are so much better and last longer than friendships with take-take-take people, so try to belong to the former group and not the latter.


9.  Don’t assume the worst.

If your friend isn’t calling you back, don’t assume they don’t want to be friends with you or that they are mad at you. Maybe they are very busy, maybe they accidentally deleted your voicemail . . . things happen. Give them a break and call again – don’t give up too easily. Most times when something like this happens to me, I finally do get a hold of my friend and they feel terrible for being such a friendship slacker (I’m teasing – there are times when I’m a friendship slacker too, so I can say that). Then everything is fine again. 

Though on the flip side, if a friend calls you, don’t take weeks to call them back if you can help it, because that’s plain rude.  Just because one of my tips is not to assume the worst doesn’t mean that you should expect your friends to give you a pass if you ignore them for long periods of time.  Just to clarify.


10.  Don’t let too much time go by.

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of this many times (I know, Felicia, Hazel, I know!). But when I start to realize that it’s been a few months since I talked to someone? I call or write. Even if it’s a little embarrassing to admit how long it’s been, and even if I have to apologize for not reaching out sooner, it’s better than letting a friendship go down the tubes.


11.  Do give people the benefit of a doubt.

I’ve said this before, but I give everyone the benefit of a doubt. All the time. It’s a gift and a curse sometimes, but I think it has served me well more times than not. If someone said something that seemed a little rude to me? I try to remind myself that they probably didn’t mean it that way. If I feel a little left out by someone at a party? I try to remember that they probably weren’t even aware of what they were doing. People sometimes just have bad days, and sometimes they are just clueless - keep that in mind and give people a little grace. It’s good not to be too sensitive, and to try to think the best of your friends. It can save a friendship, and it definitely cuts down on drama (which I think most of us could live without).

Note: There’s always a place to draw the line, but that’s a different post.


And this next one isn’t a maintenance requirement so much as a bonus points tip . . .

12.  Do try to do little things every now and then to let your friends know you are thinking of them.

For me, this takes the form of mail.  I’m not always the best at this, but I try to occasionally send friends something through snail mail.  Sometimes it’s a chocolate bar or some other inexpensive gift, sometimes it’s just a note.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be through snail mail either – an occasional e-mail of encouragement can be a sure day-brightener too (though in my humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like getting some good, old-fashioned post mail).   Like I said, I’m not always the best at this (and if you are a friend of mine, and I haven’t surprised you with mail yet, I’m working on it!), it’s just a nice thing to do occasionally when you can, to let the other person know they are on your mind (especially if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them).

Now, if we’re talking pen-pal friendships, I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate that “little something”.  Because my fall-back is mail, and if we’re talking pen-pals, your whole relationship is mail.  Felicia, friend, any thoughts?

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Basic friendship maintenance is one of those things that could be different for every person, but these are the things that are important to me and that I try to make sure I keep up on.  And obviously it takes a bit of time to figure out what each individual friend’s basic maintenance requirements are, but that’s what brings you closer, no? 

I'd love to hear what some of your friendship maintenance “do’s and don’ts” are!  What is important for your friends to do/not to do, in your book?  What are some things you try to do to makes sure your friendships stay healthy?  Write a post and link-up (the link-up is open until the end of July), or comment below! 

 



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation





*I found this image and quote on Pinterest but could not find the original source (that is so frustrating to me).  So if by chance anyone ever reads this post who does know where it came from, please send me an e-mail and let me know!





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Heather @ Simple Wives said...

Love your tips!

Felicia said...

Alright, Callie, I answered your question! :D

I like your tips a lot - I think they are all totally attainable and practical. And give people the benefit of the doubt... That's a really good one. I find myself having to do that a lot because I take everything so personally. It helps me out a lot.

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

Great tips! We're on vacay or else I would have linked up.

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