Alright, I am going to start out brutal- but stick with me. Evaluate your current circle of friends. Do you feel genuinely loved? Supported? Do you feel like your friends are like-minded? Do you feel like they push you harder to obtain your goals? The moment I surrounded myself with like-minded friends, my world changed. For me, being a creative warrior who works a full-time career and owns a small business, finding friends who understood that Friday nights were late night blog writing, timeline creation and steaming linens for clients was difficult. As awful as this may sound, surrounding yourself with people who are in line with your goals, your lifestyle and your career, will help you find common ground and support. Friendships are so much more than random texts and the occasional coffee date. Lasting friendships are genuine, loving, supportive and something worth celebrating.
Meeting new friends can seem difficult, scary and just sometimes impossible. Never be afraid to reach out to other like-minded individuals, people you admire or people you want to be friends with. You would be surprised how supportive people are when you just reach out. Also, never be afraid to talk to strangers- yeah, I know. The world has told you your whole life that talking to strangers is a bad thing. Don’t hang out with me if you don’t want to talk to strangers. I am wildly known for approaching anyone for just about anything. Ok, obviously use your best judgment, I am not asking you to walk up to danger- but you should know the different between someone you admire, someone who you love their style or someone with great hair vs. someone dangerous looking.
Listening is one of the most incredible qualities a human can have. People love to be heard, but in reality, we spend so much time wanting to just talk about ourselves. Take time to genuinely get to know people. Ask them small details about their life. Ask them how their day and week are going. Remember what they said to you, and always remember to follow up. If your friend mentions they are having a rough time, in a few days, don’t hesitate to reach out and check in.
Celebrating is so underrated. I believe in celebrating every aspect of life. Some of our favorite accomplishments are the littlest. Take the time to recognize these little victories in your friends. Did your friend recently get a new job? Finish a class they struggled with? Make an awesome root beer float? Get an award? Celebrate with them. Send them a card, take them balloons, invite them over. Celebrate things that are basically random. Celebrate the change in season, time change, their vacation- just sending them a reminder about how awesome it is going to impact their life. Little victories are still steps towards a greater goal, and deserve reward. Make it seem like a big deal, believe me, people are taken back by this, and love it. I know this all sounds crazy- and extreme, but I promise you, you will change the lives of your friends around you. When they flip through their mail, open their text, are embraced by a hug- their world will change a little bit for the better.
Always be available to help your friends. As humans, we struggle. Help can come in so many different forms. In my industry, sometimes help is just a cup of coffee while I am working on a wedding layout, sometimes help is setting floral at a wedding, sometimes help is just advice on which photo to post on Instagram. Take the time to serve your friends. Helping them grow can be such an empowering, incredible feeling. It is a selfless task that can change their life, show your support and remind them how proud of them you are.
The simplest things can go so far. Wishing each of your friends a happy day via text can change their entire morning. Reaching out to your friends throughout the day to let them know your thinking about them. Also, in your own busy life, schedule time for friends. Stop turning down breakfast dates, dinner and late nights under the stars. No matter how busy you are, focus time on the friendships, it is good for both your soul and theirs.
I know I am a little crazier than the rest of the world, but I take time to celebrate friendships and build relationships with my friends because at the end of the day, they are the ones who support me, love me, celebrate with me. They make me laugh, they build memories with me, they travel with me. They create with me. They help my career, the least I can do is remind them daily how much I love them, how proud I am, how happy I am to have them in my life.