Friendships require effort and dedication. Unfortunately, when you become a working adult the demands of your job typically take over your life, leaving little time for social activities or other leisure pursuits. While it may be hard to maintain friendships with such commitments weighing you down, it’s worth making an effort. After all, having supportive and understanding friends is one of the most valuable sources of support for everything from starting a family to dealing with a parent needing memory care.
Here are tips for maintaining friendships as a working adult.
Know Who Your Real Friends Are
You don’t have time for everyone. There are only so many hours in the day, and you need to prioritize who is most important to you. Take some time to reflect on who your real friends are. These are the people worth making time with.
If you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions: Who do you feel the most comfortable talking to? Who is always there when you need them? Who shares similar interests with you and has a positive attitude toward life?
Once you’ve identified your true friends, it’s time to make plans.
Spontaneous hangouts are great, but they’re impractical. So instead schedule regular catch-up sessions, even if it’s over a cup of coffee or a quick bite during lunch. This ensures that both of you are making the effort to stay connected.
One of the easiest ways to schedule is with apps like Calendly or Doodle, which allow you to sync with each other’s calendars and find a time that works for both of you. Alternatively, you could create a Whatsapp group or Facebook Messenger group and use these platforms to plan.
Commit to Plans
It goes without saying that once you’ve made plans with your friends, it’s important to stick to them! Show your friends that you’re reliable by actually following through on your commitments.
If you have trouble following through or have unexpected work commitments, reach out in advance so you can reschedule. Your real friends will appreciate the effort and respect your priorities.
Use Video Conferencing Technology
It’s a world of technology – use it to your advantage. Video conferencing technology like Zoom and Facetime easily facilitate conversations with your friends, no matter where they are in the world.
With these technologies, you can hold virtual coffee dates or even host movie nights with friends who live far away. Imagine a virtual dinner party with your friends, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.
Don’t Forget The Little Things
A simple text message or a handwritten letter can show your friends how much they mean to you. Remember that relationships are not built on grand gestures alone-it’s the little things that count.
Send your friends a “thinking of you” card to let them know they’re in your thoughts, give them a surprise hand-written note or randomly send a funny meme to cheer them up. These small acts can make their day.
Maintaining friendships as a working adult may be tricky, but it’s not impossible. With these tips, you’ll find that staying connected with your true friends is not that much of an effort. Just remember to prioritize, schedule, commit, and use virtual technology to make sure your friendships remain strong.