I get it. You’re busy. You have kids. You work. You don’t have much time for friends. But neglecting your BFF may be to your detriment. Studies have shown friendships to improve our longevity, reduce stress and generally promote happiness. And they may even be prompting us to greatness.
You may have heard the phrase “you are considered the sum of the five people you hang out with most.” This means that you need to choose your friendships wisely. Assuming you’ve done just that, those friendships are likely helping us to keep reaching for bigger challenges and a better life.
Aristotle said it best: Friends “incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Our friends can incite us to eat healthier, try new things and even encourage us to take chances that could have a big payoff down the line.
Carlin Flora, author of “Friendfluence,” believes our friends can inspire us to be our best selves – exploring our creativity or spurring us on to innovation.
Now that I’ve made a case for keeping your friends close, just how do you do that when you’re already feeling pulled in a million directions?
Give it back. Friendships, once established can be maintained using social media or a simple text message. Here, it’s really the “thought that counts,” but one study does show friends who stay friends do so because they reciprocate each other’s efforts to reach out – even if it’s only a “Like” on a Facebook comment.
Make a reason. Do you and a friend share a similar interest that you can turn into a standing date? Maybe it's meeting to discuss business challenges or discovering new hiking trails. Find a shared interest that can benefit you both in a tangible way, and you’re likely to make your weekly or monthly meeting a regular occurrence.
Just do it. Go ahead and make plans to meet for a drink or go for a run, even if it means you must schedule a month in advance. Looking forward to the date will also boost your mood in the meantime.