As we grow older, a seemingly endless number of changes begin to weave their way into our lives. The transition into deeper responsibilities takes hold, continuously shaping our understanding of daily demands, goals, responsibilities and shifting priorities.
Of course, throughout these transitions, not every relationship we’ve developed throughout our former years will seamlessly align and adapt. Schedules change and become more demanding, careers take over, people move apart and families are created. As our daily lives become more complicated, and more full, the relationships that continue to evolve alongside us are those connections which we actively choose to continuously cultivate, regardless of the challenges brought about by cultural stress.
So how can we ensure we actively grow and develop those important relationships in our lives, despite any complications and distractions we’ve come to know within our modern world? Luckily, we have a few suggestions to help you continuously renew your friendship vows and prioritize the loved ones in your life.
1. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Today’s culture boasts the convenience (and subsequent demand) of being constantly connected and plugged-in. Most of us offer an overflowing list of Facebook friends, Tinder matches and Instagram followers; going about each day with a phone settled firmly in the palm of our hand as an endless stream of notifications enter our consciousness.
Unfortunately, we are often so consumed with the idea of being connected at all times, that we may spread ourselves too thinly over various social platforms, distractions, social groups and apps. We immerse ourselves within too many ideas and relationships, without having the time, energy or attention to delve deeper (where the true emotional reward exists). In other words, we are often focused on quantity over quality, and it is vital to our long-term happiness and the state of our relationships that we reverse this equation.
Who would you call if you had a bad day? Who would be there for you when you needed it most, no questions asked, with advice, wine and ice cream in tow? These are the quality relationships you should hold closest to your heart, actively connect with and invest in on a daily basis.
2. Face Time Over FaceTime
Friend dates are never over-rated. Amidst our ever-demanding schedules, set aside time each week (or every month, if your schedule is too hectic) that is dedicated to quality face time with your closest friends. No, we don’t mean FaceTiming a friend from your apartment while you dig through emails from that day. We mean true, face-to-face time with the people who mean the most to you.
This could be a regular dinner or coffee date, a movie or games night or even just a hike or training session at the gym. Regardless of the specific activity, this will give something to look forward to and a chance to take a break from daily demands, un-plug and check-in with your loved ones.
3. Put Your Phone Down
Our ability to always be connected can also be a major distraction from important moments and conversations. During the time you set aside for your friends, leave your phone at home. This way, you won’t be tempted to detract from you friends’ time with you by constantly eyeing or checking your phone for new notifications, texts or emails.
Not only will your friends appreciate this simple gesture, but you will find yourself able to be truly ‘present’ in that experience with them, something which we often struggle to do in today’s society.