I think most people reading the title of this blog post would answer in the affirmative. Yes, friendships matter. So why do we sometimes treat our friendships like a winter coat in Florida? Only use it once or twice a year. Ouch! This post is not about slamming anyone. No, I am writing this in the hopes that we will truly think about the importance of our friendships and do they really matter.
We currently live in a society where we can count the number of friends we have. Just take a look at your social media pages. It will tell us how many “friends” we have. It even tells us we cannot add anymore friends once we reach 5,000 friends. Really? Five-thousand friends. Let us not forget our followers on Twitter and Instagram. But for so many people that is their definition of friendship. I wish I could say that was a millennial issue, but sadly it effects all age groups. Sadly, so many people have chosen social media friendships over actual real life friendships. Hey, it’s so much easier. Just comment on a friends post, click the like button or share an emoji. Who doesn’t like a good emoji?
Have you tried setting up a time to meet with friends lately? I think dealing with the DMV is easier. I understand we are all busy in life. We all have families and careers. We have responsibilities we need to take care of. I get it. Life is just busy. And all of those things are important. I am not saying we need to give all those things up. What I am asking, is when did it get so difficult to be a friend?
So, how can we actually be better friends? Here are a few suggestions.
Set a Date. “Let’s get together sometime.” How many times have we said that to someone? Instead of talking about it, set a date. Then actually follow through.
Check In. Instead of just clicking like on a friend’s Facebook post, pick up the phone and call them. You can actually use your phone to talk.
Take Time. Instead of rushing out of that meeting or church service, stick around and spend some time catching up. Time building friendships.
Stop Complaining. Do not complain about the lack of friendships, if you are not making the effort to invest in friendships.
These steps are not easy. Sometimes we are taking these steps and still finding it hard to build friendships. That can be frustrating. I have tried taking these steps with some people and all I got was silence or false promises. But I would encourage all of us to keep on trying. True friendships are worth it. Are you willing to put in the work? ~OC