In the past couple of years, I have realized how terrible some millennials are at communication. I’m not sure if technology has completely ruined all hope of real relationships or if people are just THAT oblivious. And I’m not just referring to significant others either. I’m talking specifically about friendships.
Having an amazing group of friends in your twenties is crucial, especially during the quarter-life crisis. So if you feel like you can’t hold on to a friend to save your life, check out these tips:
1. Shutup and listen
When you have a conversation, notice how much you are talking. Has the other person even had a chance to say hello before you started blabbing? People appreciate when you are genuinely interested in their life. Ask good questions and shut your mouth every once in a while.
2. Understand body language
Notice the energy level of the person you’re communicating with. Are they upbeat and outgoing or are they quiet and contained? Try to channel your energy to match theirs. I’m not suggesting you change your personality but if you are speaking to a ministry leader after church and you’re cussing like a sailor, he or she is going to feel very uncomfortable. Read other people’s body language and try to pick up on their reactions to what you are saying.
3. Build trust
Don’t be a flake. If you make plans with someone, try your damndest to stick to them. I am so guilty of this sometimes and I absolutely hate that about myself. If you don’t want to do something, learn how to say no. Try not to make plans with someone just so you can cancel at the last minute.
4. Include others
Introduce your friends to other friends! Don’t get jealous when Jane gets along with Sarah. You’re building a tribe and strengthening your bond with each person at the same time. Embrace the fact that you’re bringing likeminded people together for wine, The Bachelorette, or anything else you can all enjoy together!
5. Words of encouragement
When you notice that someone is passionate about a project or topic, encourage them to chase their dreams! Even if you HATE cats, say “you go girl!” if your friend decides she wants to open a cafe for kittens. Who are you to crush her ambition?? And plus, you’ll be able to demonstrate your best friend material by offering support when her cat idea inevitably crashes and burns.
6. Stay in touch
Is there someone you’re close to that you haven’t talked to in a while? Shoot them a text saying how grateful you are to have them as a friend! Keep in contact with the people who matter most to you. Even though I live 2000 miles away from most of my best friends, I still reach out to them frequently in order to keep our relationship strong and growing.
If you’ve just moved to a new city and are having trouble meeting people, check out my recent blog post on How To Make Friends In A New City.
Remember, there’s strength in numbers!