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New Year New You

Resolution #5: Be a Better Friend

No, texting does not count.

By: Noah Lehava

File this under: Things your friendship-bracelet-making-eight-year-old self would have never thought would happen. Like, ever. As in, the cell phones, social media, boyfriends, babies (?!) and just general grown-up responsibilities that are hijacking all of you and your BFFs lives, that, well, you just lose touch. We mean, we’ve all been there or are living that RN. So this year, because we’re on the whole new year, new us thing, we’ve committed to reconnecting, grabbing that five-time-rescheduled coffee, and to stop being so reclusive (a.k.a seeing the delivery guy more than our friends). To help us come out of our friendless fog, we enlisted the life guidance of Gabrielle Bernstein, author and life coach, to get us back in touch with our homies. :dancers:

 

1.

Be More Present

“When you are with your friends, turn off your phone or put it away—just be more present. I’m the worst at that. I’ll be like, ‘Oh, hold on. I need to check my phone.’ But make yourself accountable for your presence. That may just mean turning off your phone and putting it away, or agreeing to having a rule amongst friends—like, we don’t do cell phones or social media during dinner. Also, looking into each other’s eyes and actually listening. I think that’s a very powerful tool, regardless of social media and all the distractions. Actually listen and don’t be the talker—be the listener. Be conscious of taking the other person in and asking them how they’re doing. It’s also a nice self-help tool—when you’re feeling helpless, help someone else. If you’re in a funky place, pick up the phone and ask somebody else how they’re doing. It helps you, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

 

2.

Use Social Media

“You can use social media in some ways also to strengthen your friendships. I don’t know if this has happened to you, but as soon as I got active on Snapchat, I started snapping videos to all my friends. These are people that you otherwise might not feel connected to by text or email. But if I send a little video, there’s something a little more personal about it. So using social media to deepen your friendships is a possibility. Snap a video rather than send a text.”

 

3.

Snail Mail

“Send a letter. Send actual snail mail letters. How cool would that be? Do something to sort of think outside the box. I have friends that consciously go out of their way to send me flowers on my birthday or send me something in the mail for a celebration or just in general. Maybe just out of the blue send that random letter in the mail.”

 

4.

Tag

“Tag your friends in positive posts. If you want to get your friends hooked up with a better attitude during the day, tag them in posts with positive affirmations or a post that makes you think of them to show that you are thinking of them. So tag them, simple as that.”

 

5.

You Used to Call Me On My Cell Phone

“Pick up the phone! Pick up the phone and actually make a phone call. Maybe even do it on Skype. A girlfriend of mine and I use Skype all the time because we want to see each other’s faces. Or Facetime. Something to get away from texting.”

 

6.

Making Amends

"The key [to making up with a friend] is forgiveness—so forgiving yourself for whatever you’ve done, and then as quickly as possible, choose to forgive them and let it go. There’s something to be said for just owning your side of the street. In any fight, there are always two parties involved. They might not have it in them to show up or apologize or forgive, but if you can give them a call and say, ‘Hey, this is my part. This is where I was not the best friend I could be.’ Owning up to your part—your side of the street—is a nice way of leading in and saying like, ‘Let’s make amends. Let’s clean up.’”

 

7.

Don’t Judge

“There’s something to be said for deepening your friendships through making a conscious commitment together to being less judgmental and less gossip-y. So when you’re with your friends focus on the good stuff. I think that that itself will strengthen the friendship. Say no to gossip. In the presence of gossip, choose silence. Make a commitment together to focus on the good stuff.”

 

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