“I can’t wait to see you, but I really need a night off.”
This is the typical conversation between friends who are trying to schedule a get together where they don’t have to interact face-to-face for any reason.
It could be a holiday party or a special occasion and one of them wants to stay home because he doesn’t want to go out in public right now.
Or it could be that someone needs to rest from work so she doesn’t have to drive her friend to an event at the last minute.
Whatever the reason, we all know how much these types of situations suck. It sucks when you feel like you’re missing out on something fun because your loved one isn’t feeling well enough to come out with you.
The good news is that there are easy ways to help friends rebuild their in-person relationships without the stress of having to cancel everything. Here are 7 pieces of advice to help you do just that.
1. Be Kind & Supportive When They Are Sick
When someone isn’t feeling well, it’s important to show compassion. This includes offering to bring food, drinks, take them out to dinner or even do some shopping for their family. If you’ve been invited to an event, try not to cancel unless absolutely necessary.
If you have a sick relative or friend in the hospital, text them every day. Send flowers or visit them if possible. Just make sure it’s a planned visit so that the person has time to heal and recover. Don’t expect anything back from them other than for them to feel better.
2. Do Your Part To Stay Healthy
Everyone knows about the importance of staying healthy and maintaining a positive outlook on life. But sometimes people forget this while they’re dealing with health issues. Make sure you keep yourself busy by getting outside as often as possible. Go hiking, gardening, or exercise. Try not to isolate yourself too much either.
Staying socially active is key to rebuilding relationships that involve more interaction. If you’re unable to attend certain gatherings, make an effort to call out of towners, send virtual cards or post photos to social media to let everyone know you miss them.
3. Have A Plan For If Something Happens
Life happens and things will happen. There are no guarantees in life. If something does happen to your friend, have a plan in place for how you’ll handle the situation. Do you have a backup friend? Is there another way you can reach them? Will you call their parents? What would you say to them if things were different?
All of those questions should be answered before disaster strikes so that you know what to do in case of an emergency.
Try to avoid making assumptions about how others will react. Everyone has a different personality and reacts differently to different situations.
4. Be Honest About How You Feel
Being honest with your loved ones is always the best way to maintain a solid relationship. Whether you’re in a new relationship or you’re trying to repair a broken one, being upfront with the other person is key.
Be open and honest about how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling the way you are. It’s hard to talk about feelings but it’s important to do so if you want to maintain a strong bond with someone else.
If you think you’re struggling, tell your partner how you’re feeling and ask for their support.
5. Remember That Time Isn’t Always On Their Side
Sometimes, circumstances beyond our control make it difficult for us to spend time with our friends. Maybe they’re traveling or working overtime. Or maybe they have kids and are working long hours to provide for them. Whatever the reason, time is of the essence. Be patient.
As frustrating as it may seem, remember that time isn’t always on your side. So give your friend some space and time to adjust to whatever situation he’s going through. He doesn’t owe you anything. Try to understand that his life will change once he adjusts to the situation.
6. Give Them Some Space
You’re both stressed and tired. The last thing anyone wants to hear from their loved one is “I’m sorry, I can’t hang out tonight because I’m exhausted and overwhelmed.”
Give them some space. Take some time to recharge and relax. Sometimes doing nothing is exactly what your friends need from you. Maybe they need a break from everyone to reevaluate what they’re doing. Sometimes they just need to catch up on sleep. If they need you to listen or give them some space, then do it. They’re probably not expecting it.
7. Be Present With Them
We’ve all had bad days where we felt like we couldn’t be present with our loved ones. We didn’t feel well, were tired, hungry or distracted. Being present with them during these times is essential to building a solid relationship.
Make an extra effort to be present with them. Don’t be afraid to talk to them about how you’re feeling. Tell them how much you care about them and what you appreciate about them.
Don’t be afraid to give them a hug or hold their hand. Showing affection with gestures such as these shows love and appreciation. Doing these things also makes your loved one feel cared for.
If you’re not physically around your friend, make sure you communicate with them regularly. Send them texts or Facebook messages to let them know you’re thinking about them. And if you can, go ahead and call them. Call them when you’re feeling down and depressed. Sometimes talking to someone else helps you feel better.
No matter why you’re not around your friends, it’s important to let them know you’re thinking about them. Let them know you still care. You’re still part of their lives even though you’re not able to see them physically.
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