Holy Crow! June flew right on by – that’s why I’m posting so late in the game! Sorry about that folks… Life happens sometimes, am I right?
Luckily June’s focus was something I feel like I already have a good handle on: friendships.
Even though June has passed already, these tips Gretchen gives us are good to abide by all year round to maintain healthy friendships – or any relationship for that matter! Take a look… I know I could always use some refreshers on how to be a better friend 🙂
June’s focus: Make Time for Friends
“Remember Birthdays” – Gretchen had a heck of a time remembering people’s birthdays, so she found a site to help keep track of them. I use an alternative that does the same thing: Birthday Alarm. Once you make an account, I believe you can send e-Cards, but I solely use the reminder feature. I make reminder entries for my friends’ birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. So when that special day approaches, I get reminder emails so I can be better prepared, especially if I need some time to shop for a gift!
Gretchen did this because she realized it’s the least you could do to stay in touch with old friends you might not see very often. It might just be an email, or a phone call, but at least it’s an opportunity to catch up and possibly arrange future get-togethers.
“Be Generous” – Now, this doesn’t mean to spend money on your friends frivolously. Gretchen found there were other, more valuable ways you can be generous to your friends:
-Help People Think Big; “You should do that!” type of encouragement. Why can’t someone follow their dreams? If they think they can do it, support them!
-Bring People Together; think of ways to connect people, whether it be reunions, setting friends up on blind dates, barbeques, campfires, etc.
-Contribute in My Way; how can you help a friend out? Gretchen offered up her closet-cleaning specialties. As for me… I’m a jack-of-all-trades!
-Cut People Slack; “people’s lives are far more complicated than they appear from the outside” – so don’t take things personally and just give your friends a break!
I feel like I’m able to help out my friends when they need me, whether it’s for computer assistance, or asking for advice, or just lending an ear. Usually we have a blast together. I enjoy my friends’ company a whole lot because they help lift me up and it’s easy to be silly together. It’s the best way to shake off the serious parts of life and live longer! 🙂
“Show Up” – Reach out and make plans; it can’t hurt right? Then follow through and show up! Don’t simply say to yourself, “Oh, they’re too busy.” Send an email, text them. Ask them when they are free this week. Get together for lunch, for dinner, for drinks, a catch up session on the couch. Something, anything! Just to see a familiar smiling face is good for both of you.
I try to make plans with my various friends often. Some more than others, but it’s just how it happens. I’ve never had much trouble following through once plans are made, but I’ve heard of people cancelling all the time once a date was set up. It’s so simple: just show up! 😀
“Don’t Gossip” – Excerpt from Gretchen: “It wasn’t until I tried to stop gossiping that I realized how much I did, in fact, gossip.”
This isn’t to make Gretchen sound bad, it’s just to help you realize that it might be harder to stop than you think. Gossip isn’t always intended to be mean, but people often tell you things in confidence. You shouldn’t betray that confidence and spread information, whether its good or bad, about them. When there’s gossip going around about you, you don’t exactly feel good, right? So why put someone else in that position of feeling exposed or cheated?
Be kind, especially to your friends. They trust you!
“Make Three New Friends” – Pretty self-explanatory! Personally, I’m not against making new friends, but the opportunity hasn’t arisen, nor have I actively “searched” for new friends. I will be returning to school this fall, so I’m sure that will present an opportunity to meet new people!
Here’s some tips Gretchen shared to help us make new friends:
-Smile more frequently
-Actively invite others to join a conversation
-Create a positive mood
-Open a conversation
-Try to look accessible and warm
-Show a vulnerable side and laugh at yourself
-Show a readiness to be pleased (allow yourself to be interested)
-Follow others’ conversational leads
-Ask questions (and remember to listen to the answers!)
Not to brag, but I think I’m like that a lot of the time anyway! 😛 I’m sure Teddy would disagree.
Hope everyone had a fabulous June! Onward to July… Stay tuned – it’s about money!
Chow for now! Xoxo
Rubin, Gretchen. The Happiness Project. 2011 ed. Toronto, Canada: HarperCollins, 2009. 301. Print.
Buy the book! ^.^