Do you have a plan to make friends and keep them?

I am getting up very early Wednesday to leave on a trip to Florida for an evaluation visit.  Thus, I am posting my Wednesday blog early.  So if this says Tuesday, it is really Wednesday. 🙂  However, here is the last of my five plans for a healthy and happy life. 
My fifth and final plan deals with the quality of the relationships that we have in our lives; as the Beatle song said: “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  We need other people in our lives.  None of us can have too many friends or too much family.  However, there are times when we are dissatisfied with both.  Therefore I recommend a plan that will help you to achieve your emotional and relationship goals or at least improve the quality of these goals.  In a balanced life, we must manage our friendships and relationships with people who can sustain and nurture us. This takes time. Your time is precious and will quickly slip away if not budgeted and planned.  Many people laugh at the various social networking tools like Facebook and LinkedIn as simply time wasters.  True, they can be time wasters but tools like these can also help you to develop and strengthen your friendships with family and others.  I spend maybe five minutes a day on Facebook and it has helped me to remember birthdays and many other events going on in the lives of my friends and relatives.  I do not regard such an investment of time as wasted.
Even if you are already in a close relationship, you must spend time on your relationship or it will wither and die.  My spouse Karen and I have set aside Tuesday night as talk night and family time.  With no children home, we still find that problems and issues arise that need to be discussed. When we skip our planned talk days, eventually something breaks down and we realize that skipping these days is not a good idea. In addition, we set aside time to be by ourselves and to do things alone and we set aside time to spend with our friends, our children and our grandchildren. 
The emphasis on my planning is to try to keep a happy balance.  When we are feeling dissatisfied with life it is a good indication that we are not spending enough time on some aspects of our relationships.  You do not need a very formal system to create a relationship plan.  Karen and I simply discuss it from time to time and have our own rough guidelines for spending time with family and friends. I regard appointments and times with friends as important enough to mark on my calendar and I seldom cancel dates that I have set unless something really important comes up.  I have all of my friends in my address book and many on email.  For a while, I was using a group email list to regularly visit with friends and relatives each month, but I drifted away from this method. It certainly has pro’s and con’s. 
I recommend you start your relationship plan by listing the most important people in your life.  Prioritize how much time you want to spend with these people.  Brainstorm ways you can keep in touch with them.  For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, list-serves, email groups, a weekly or monthly potluck, a list of five key contacts you want to make each month, a birthday list or a holiday card list can all be easy ways to keep in touch.  You might also identify for each of your key friends and relatives, something that you can do for them or send them.  I have friends that are interested in politics so I send them updates on the elections whenever I come across them.  I have other friends whom I routinely correspond with via Skype.  The new social tools on the web can help you stay in touch in many ways other than physically spending time with people. 
How much time do you spend trying to maintain or improve your relationships?  Do you think this is enough time?  Do you wish you had more friends or closer relationships with your spouse or family? When can you set aside the time to help achieve these goals? Begin your plan by setting aside time to talk to some of these people either weekly or monthly about the important things in your relationships.  Mark down some general overall goals for who you want to spend time with and how often you think you need to.  Put these on a calendar and review and revise whenever needed. People and sometimes friendships evolve and change and so will your relationship plan.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Social networks
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 06:22:10

    Thanks to give these type of information thanks to share with us



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