Setting boundaries can help you surround yourself with better friends, but friendship is far from a two-way street. The people we love are the most important parts of our lives. If you feel like you’ve been distant or have noticed that you and the people you’re close to are drifting apart, then it’s time to take a stand. Being a great friend takes a lot of effort, and there’s no guarantee that your friends or family will give you the same care and attention back. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take charge of what you put out there in the world. Being a great friend is a decision you make for yourself for the sake of your friends.
The good news is that all of these tips can also help repair family relationships. If you’re distant from your child, or if you find you and your sister are drifting apart, for example, these tips will help just as well.
Stay in Touch Regularly
Stay in touch and check in regularly. Even something as small as a little text message saying that you’re thinking about them and wishing them well can do wonders for the sake of your relationship. It’s such a small effort that can then naturally transition into longer conversations either on the phone or in an in-person catch-up.
Try to make a point of reaching out to your friends (and family!) at least once a week or month, even if it’s just a quick check-in to see how they’re doing. If you struggle with this, you can use scheduling apps to help you remember. If you’ve been talking regularly, there is no need to check in. This tip is for the people you may not speak to often. This can help them feel valued and appreciated, and it can also help you stay connected even when you’re busy.
One of the best tips for showing someone you care is to give gifts. Gift-giving is an ancient custom that’s boiled down into people’s DNA. It’s a great way to help out those you care about and show that you’re thinking about them. Don’t think the gift in question has to be big, either. If someone is sick, you can buy them soup and some medicine for door delivery. It’s simple things like that that’ll make a big difference, especially if you combine digital and in-person communication into the mix.
Go Above and Beyond When They’re Not Well
Try to be there for your friend in any way you can, whether it’s by sending them a care package, bringing them food, or simply being a listening ear. Small gestures go a long way but do remember to set your own boundaries. Someone going through a breakup, for example, can talk for hours on end, even at unsociable hours. Don’t be afraid to say things like you’re going to bed or you need to take your mind off of this and redirect the conversation if it becomes too much for you.
Spend One-on-One Time Together
Finally, one of the best ways to show your friends you care is to spend one-on-one time together. Whether it’s going out for coffee, taking a walk in nature, or just spending time at home, spending quality time together can help strengthen your friendship. Try to make a point of scheduling regular one-on-one time with your friends, even if you’re busy.