Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cultivating Friendships

My grandmother has a daily ritual of laying down in her bed, pulling out her address book, and dialing up the number of a loved one she wanted to speak with. She does this everyday, calls someone she hasn't heard from in a while or she calls someone she spoke with just recently. The length of time never really mattered to her. See my grandmother in her old age values and cherishes her friendships simply because she has valued them in her youth. She sees the value of wonderful healthy friendships, so she has actively cultivated them in her younger years. Tending to them with love, and attention, growing the friendship with time and devotion and patience throughout the years. I unfortunately cannot the same thing for myself. I have, and have had wonderful girlfriends but somewhere along the line the phone calls become less frequent, the lunch dates began to dwindle, and the friendship ends short. So I'm at this point in my life wondering where did I go wrong and how can go forward and do better? The other day I was recently listening to a television show in where the judge said a very important line that caught my attention: "Some people are so self-involved, that they don't have room for anybody else." That particular line tugged at my heart because I saw myself in what she said. Sometimes I become so self involved with myself and my own life I forget to check in with others and touch base. I essentially become a ghost to the people that were originally close to me. When your by yourself so long constantly consumed by your own thoughts and feelings its difficult to jump out of your self indulged world and into reality. One of the reasons I'm writing this blog post is to be more intentional about cultivating and maintaining my friendships. The habit of not keeping in touch with others is a poor and an inadequate way of navigating life. In fact it's a terrible character flaw I need to work on immensely. Having lasting friendships is about being committed and being supportive of someone other than myself.  This is one of those beneath the surface issues that I tend to ignore and not face reality about. However, it's something I can no longer ignore. So in going forward and doing better I will intentionally work on cultivating and continuously nurturing my friendships. These are some of the ways in which I am intentionally going about cultivating lasting friendships:

  • Open your phone book at least twice a week and pick a friend to call
  • Check in with a local friend and schedule a lunch date for the month
  • Take the time to think and reflect and write a personal touching letter to a dear friend
  • Make a care package for an out of state friend
  • Be more flexible and less flaky on scheduling time together
  • Be thoughtful and offer help in any way needed gas money, studying together, a listening ear, babysitting days
  • Write down a friend's accomplishment in my agenda and find a way to celebrate it. Perhaps bake their favorite sweets, offer dinner, buy a bouquet of their favorite flowers
If you have any ways of cultivating and maintaining lasting friendship please share below in the comments.


  1. Colleen, I just love this post! I too often times struggle with maintaining friendships; it is usually because I am so busy with other obligations like family, school, work, etc...But a quote that has always resonated with me has helped me to maintain friendships with those who I am particularly close with. It goes as follows: " love is making space in your life for someone else."_Neil F. Mariott. So I try to make space in my life for those who I love. You list some great ideas as to how I can make that space. To add, I like writing letters to friends. I actually got out of that habit and now it seems an appropriate time to start. Thanks :)

    1. Yay, I'm glad you love this post Blondine. Yes familial and school obligations take up a great deal of our time but we always have to remember our friends. I love that quote, so stealing it! I can agree making space for others is good benchmark of showing your love.