I’m sitting here being thankful for friends. I’m an extroverted introvert, if that makes sense. I’m slightly more introverted than extroverted. I actually like staying at home and reading a book or watching a movie. I also like going out to movies and concerts (as long as I get to come home and do a little reading afterwards). If left at my own devices, though, I’d be a homebody with only a few close friends and strong family ties. And that’s okay.
Yes, however, I have a few friends who adopted me. I met them at Church, and they decided that they like me. They invite me to hang out. They plan girls’ nights. They make my life fuller than if they weren’t in it. You see, I make friends, and then I lose contact and we become Facebook buddies. I’m not great at staying in touch with people. But these friends of mine don’t let me do that, and I love that. They’re busy people with families and kids, and yet they remember me.
I love my friends.
Why Friends Are Important?
I started wondering about why friends are so critical to our happiness. Psychology Today has a few answers:
- They help build relationship skills.
- They’re supportive.
- They help eradicate loneliness.
I’d like to add that…
- You can talk to them when you can’t approach your family (such as when there’s a family issue).
- They give you a new point of view.
- They know you separate from your family. How often do you feel like you’re just another cog in the great multi-armed being that makes up your family? With your friends, you’re your own person.
How to Be a Better Friend
With this in mind, I feel like I need to be a better friend. Now the part of me that wants to curl up in bed and read all day resists the need of communicating with other humans (and being a freelance writer does not improve this), but the rest of me wants to strengthen those bonds, and here are my ideas:
- Communicate more. It’s really rather simple. With text, email, and social media, there are no excuses.
- Send cards. I feel like the art of the card is being lost. Who wouldn’t want to receive a card in the mail?
- Surprise treats! I actually have an idea for this and Valentine’s Day.
- Be a good listener.
- Play with their kids. I actually love kids, so this is not a trial. Plus, I have a Lizzy (my hedgehog). Kids love tiny animals.
Some of you may not need a plan to be a better friend; you just might naturally be fantastic at it. What do you do? How do you keep in touch, especially with those far away?
I may not be a great friend, but I have great friends, and that makes all the difference. Friends bring joy to life.