When I was writing MY TOP PRIORITIES, I realized that I didn’t have space for ‘friends’ on my list. This is something I’ve become aware of after becoming a mom and with my businesses picking up, but it wasn’t until I made that list that I realized how little I truly have time for friends right now. Which is okay! Throughout life, there will always be ebbs and flows with your priorities, and while friends were a top priority throughout college and my twenties, things have changed. That’s not to say I don’t love and value my friendships because I do. It’s just what I’m able to give my full attention to right now, and honestly, a lot of my friends feel the same.
Whether you’re in a stage where friendships are hard to prioritize OR you’re feeling like you want to prioritize them more, here are my thoughts.
Quality over quantity
I’ve always been someone with a small circle of friends. I’d much rather have a tight-knit crew of people vs. being acquaintances with everyone – it’s always been quality over quantity for me. This works best for my personality and for maintaining relationships since I know that even if I go a while without talking to a friend, the relationships are strong enough to last.
I know it might feel like you need to be friends with everyone, especially in your 20s, but you don’t. If you feel stressed about keeping up with too many people, think about the friends that make you feel the best. Who does it feel natural with? Forced? Positive or negative? Who can you sit with 1:1 on the couch without an agenda? Who do you actually trust? Who do you feel like you’re performing for?
Make people feel special in your own way
People that don’t know me well are always surprised to find out that I’m a thoughtful person. I know I have a hard exterior and an IDGAF attitude but I’ll always make time to send a friend something for her birthday or when they’re pregnant or whatever. Even if I don’t talk to that person daily or haven’t seen them in a year, it’s my way of letting them know I’m thinking about them.
I’m not saying you need to buy your friends gifts to prioritize them, but those thoughtful acts come naturally to me, so I act on them. Just like we have those friends who are amazing at checking in or planning things, I’m the friend to buy you a cute birthday present LOL. Find the love language that you like to give and then shower your friends with it.
Schedule in-person time
I’m the worst at texting. I honestly hate it – same with phone calls. It’s not personal, and luckily my friends know this about me, but it comes down to the fact that I’d always rather hang out with someone in person vs. catch up over the phone. I’m much more present and a better friend when I have quality time with friends in person so I try to make that happen when possible. This is obviously harder with friends who live far away but scheduling girl trips once a year or even meeting a friend for lunch keeps the friendship going for me.
Be there for the important things
In this stage of life, I might not be able to make every birthday lunch or whatever, but I’m always there for the important things.
Don’t stress if you don’t see your friends for every celebration but don’t miss the important things. You’ll know what those are.
Another reason I have fewer friends is that I can be honest with and vice versa. I’d always rather have someone say ‘Hey, I love you but I’m super busy right now with work and I can’t make it’ vs. stringing me along with bullsh*t excuses.
Be real with people and if they’re your true friends, they’ll understand.
Are you in a friends stage of life? If not, how do you still prioritize them?