5 Ways to get (friendship) off on the right foot in 2013!

MY VIEWS | | January 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I know, surprised to see me around here right? Me too! Now that I am back from the plague aka the “flu”, I have taken my germy self to the nearest Panera since they are removing carpets at my home as we speak (more on that later) and a hacking cough (I am seriously embarrassing to be around, and NO, I don’t smoke) and dust make a lethal combination. I have more to talk about on the changes on the homefront but I will say this: we have added “home renovations” to that list of things that will challenge a marriage, night under “Tax Season” and who knows, by the end of this week, it may even get #1 spot.

2013 will also be a change in writing here at MommyNiri.com and Hallmark is partly responsible for that. Monthly they reminded me of my most valuable treasure, outside of my kids that is, and that is YOU! So expect more writing, and some amazing things for my readers. I won’t be making this a sweepstake blog but will be doing fewer, but better, contests for my loyal readers. Did I get off topic again? It must be that cough medication from last night that has not worn off yet (ok, ok, it may just be me).

So while my bulge still has to be beaten, my finances still need to get in order and my home still needs more organization, there are a few other things that I wanted to give a shout out to this early in the year. Friends and relationships are something that I have noticed don’t get the attention they deserve. Amazing that with the # of ways we have to connect in this digital age, the less engaged we are.

1. Make that call!

Go ahead, pick up that device called a phone (yes that same one you text with) and call. Not text, not email, not FB message, but CALL! You know where you hear an actual person speaking. I know, it is sweaty palms scary at times. They may say I’m so busy (and they may actually be busy) but I promise you they will be happy to hear your voice, well unless they have a restraining order against you or something like that. Everyone waits for everyone else to make the first move, like it is some sort of power play. Make that call, take the initiative and be damned if they actually think “Ah she needs me more than I need her!” (their loss if they think that way).

And if someone calls you, for the love of making it pleasant don’t say “What’s up?” – I HATE THAT!!! That makes me feel on the spot like I should have this very important reason to disturb your life because “I just wanted to say hi” does not sound so important anymore. The words are “Hi there, so nice of you to call!” – (repeat it a few times for good practice)  may just get more calls back. Don’t tell someone you’re busy unless you really can’t talk and if you’re the “busy” one then suggest a time later and CALL BACK (see #2). For the record, we are all busy, some of us just don’t feel the need to flaunt it and ironically those who don’t feel the need to shout it out all the time are really the busiest.
Now, go search the # and make a call a day. Rediscover the fun of actually using a phone to call people. A novelty, I know!

2. Return that call!

What? Someone called and you were busy? And you mumbled something to the effect off “I’m busy, I will call you later!” and seriously never did? Did you mean to? Is this a common thing? Did you figure if they had the time to call you then they will have the time to call back? Wondering if these other slacker friends don’t understand how busy/important you are? Do you also pretend you never said that and make no mention of forgetting to call when you speak next?

I have some really awesome friends, who do this! In fact the fact that they are really awesome means I have not broken up ties, yet! But it is highly tacky, disrespectful and rude. So dear friend, if you are guilty, and you are probably wincing because you know who you are (and yes I laughed at you joking about it but I don’t think it is funny), stop it. Because while I am just as busy, I make friendship a priority. I have lost enough material things (including a home in political riots) to understand that people are more important so I make the time. I do. I think you’re important that way, but really I think I’m important too. So here’s to making an effort in that direction in 2013, otherwise you may not be getting those calls to return in the first place. Don’t say I did not warn you.

3. RSVP dammit!

Wondering why so many invitations are showing “the guest list has been hidden by the host”? Because of you! Yes, you, those culprits who never RSVP or base their RSVP’s on “who else is coming?” And don’t use the “maybe” as your crutch. Sometimes it is a “maybe” but don’t make that the default to string people along. Kid’s birthday parties are the worst offenders and I find it disgusting that some parents actually turn up without bothering to RSVP. That to me is just plain rude.
But here I am talking about parties of your adult friends. If you value your friend, you would make an effort to be there, not just see “if I am free and nothing more exciting will come up so I will go” attitude. Make the effort. If you’re busy, turn it down. If your friends and part of the inner circle (you know the ones where you normally share dates first) and the ones you count on, then call (see #1) and tell them you can’t make it. Trying to juggle things around? then let them know too. But if you are constantly seeing who else is coming then maybe your friendship is not enough to sustain itself.

4. When you ask “How are you doing?”, shut up and listen to the response!

This should go for everyone. Friends or people you just met. Don’t bother asking someone if you can’t stop what the heck you are doing to listen to the answer. Oh and for the love of God, make eye contact when you wait for the response. Some may give you a nod with something mumbled under their breath as a response, some may give you the long history of their aunt’s cat but dammit show some courtesy. If you don’t have the time, don’t ask it. Words are dime a dozen and I honestly hate it when someone asks me that question and moves on before I can respond. No, I don’t want to share with you how annoying it is that my elbow hurts since Christmas but I would like to think you can offer me a few seconds to glance my way as I nonchalantly reply “so far, so good!”.

5. Friends don’t put friends on the spot!

Don’t ask me to do crazy favors which were not unplanned or emergencies when you know that it a crazy time for me. A bleeding ulcer? I am there for you? A flat tire? I got your back, even if I don’t have a spare! But for willy-nilly stuff don’t make me have to either awkwardly feign an excuse or grudgingly say yes and hate you while I do it. For the record I am embracing Brene Brown’s advice even more strongly this year “Choose discomfort over regret!”  but honestly I wil hate that you made me be uncomfortable as you make me feel awful for not dropping everything for your non-emergency. Friends don’t put friends “on the spot”!

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