Let’s talk about one of the best, most important things in our lives: our friendships.
I know that I’ve bragged shamelessly to you guys about how awesome my friends are. They’re smart, funny, adventurous, and amazing in a million different ways. They’ve nursed me through break ups, picked me up at a million different airports, proofread paper after paper and told me that those bangs? They’re just not working.
But just like any long-term relationship, friendships require maintenance. You wouldn’t expect a lover to go years without any expression of your affection, why would you expect that from a friend? It’s important to let the people in your life know that they matter!
If you’re one of those people who require three beers before you can manage an “I love yoouuuu, maaannnn!” here are a few ideas:
1.Send them a link to a music video you guys used to love
(Meredith, this is for you.)
2. Post a picture of someone or something awesome on Facebook and tag it as a photo of them.
(Jess, this is us.)
3. Check in when you know they’re going through a tough time
Not just during the tough time, but in the weeks following the tough time. When something bad happens to us, we’re often overwhelmed by good wishes and sympathy in the days following a death/breakup/job loss. But those things are still hard in the following months and we all need love then, too.
4. Go on new adventures
If your friend is one of those people who needs a push to do things that they love, take charge and schedule that salsa class or day trip to Chicago that you know they’ve been wanting to take.
5. Announce to them that they’re your favorite thus and such
My mom did this all the time. She used to tell me that I was her favorite blond daughter. (I’m also the only blond daughter). Kathryn, you’re my favorite Kiwi. Anna, you’re my favorite psuedo-Sydney-sider.
6. Make a big fuss over their birthday/graduation/promotion.
I have a theory that when people say they don’t want a fuss made, they’re lying just a little bit. Maybe they don’t want a huge party with lots of people singing to them in a restaurant, but I bet they’d like it if you called them and cheered and then took them out for dinner.
7. Help them move
Ugh. I know. But friends help friends pack and throw out unflattering onesies.
8. Send them a link to the Golden Girls theme song
I did this earlier this year and it made me all tearful.
9. Video chat or Facetime with them.
Texting is easy, email is great and calling is good. But if you live far apart, it’s so, so lovely to see your friend’s face and get a tour of their kitchen and watch their new puppy try to sit. I also find that video skyping really removes a lot of the ‘I haven’t seen you in ages’ weirdness that can occur when years pass without in-person hangouts.
10. Write a blog post about all the ways in which they are awesome.
Also, you can pawn this off as a birthday gift. 😉
11. Take them to the airport or pick them up.
I’m not just mentioning this because I need airport pick ups/drop offs, like, five times a year!
12. Equalize the calling.
We all get busy and find our days filled with meetings and errands and obligations. It’s easy to lose track of friends, forget to call them or sit sulkily on our couches wondering why the phone isn’t ringing. For the love of Pete, call your friends. Who cares who’s doing the calling?! You want to hang out. So do it!
13. Share your guilty pleasures*
Isn’t it fantastic when you confess to someone that you love something and they’re all “I knoooow! I’m obsessed with Russian history, tooooo! Did you read The Kitchen Boy?!”
When you’ve got a friend who loves the same weird stuff you do, do it together! And then you’ll have someone to back you up when all your other friends try to mock you for naming your cat after a Russian mystical faith healer.
14. Cultivate the inside joke
I love being at a crowded party or bar and hearing something that makes me lock eyes with my friends and exchange those glances that can only mean “Did you hear that? We are totally going to talk about that later!”
I love being able to communicate with my besties in our own verbal shorthand. I love that we can reduce each other into a heap of giggles by referencing a heavy metal band that featured a didgeridoo.
*even though you know I don’t believe in that term
Really, these could all apply to your romantic relationships as well! How do you show your friends that you love them?