I used to be terrible at staying in touch with friends. It’s a habit I’ve been developing since high-school. Missed phone calls, not replying to texts, no-shows. Cheers to anyone who ended up being a victim of mine. A straight-up terrible person.

Naturally, there is an origin story behind it, but that’s not important now. What is important is that I used to be terrible at staying in touch with friends.

But I am not anymore. I choose not to be this way any longer.

It was time to take my iron-willed self-development war machine to a new front.

I’ve been contemplating this a lot recently. This gave me some food for thought, as well as discussing life with my beloved parents. Finally I realized it was time to take my iron-willed self-development war machine to a new front.

If I can be so thorough and disciplined in other areas of life, do my work as planned, go to the gym without skipping a workout, read daily and pretty much complete whatever plans I put in front of myself, why wouldn’t I be able to change this as well?

Sure I can.

So how would I tackle this? It didn’t take long to realize that most projects I manage to complete always start with some sort of visualization. Putting things on paper. Drawing. Making them more tangible.

So I did this. Witness my Tree of Friends:

TreeOfFriends

Clearly, it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes of work in my notepad, answering the following questions:

  • Who I care about?
  • Who cares about me?
  • Who have I neglected?

I scanned the picture and carry it around with me in Evernote. When I get back home I will post it at my desk as a constant, visual reminder of where I should channel my friendship energy.

The idea is simple. To look at it daily and ask myself: “When was the last time I reached out?”

And to do it.

Stay in touch with your friends.

P.S. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so I blurred out the names. If you made it to the list then you can be sure that I am not letting our relationship die out! Things have changed for good in this department.

Do you struggle keeping in touch with people as well? How do you manage this?

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#Reflections is my short, quick, more flow-driven post format. My mind. A sheet of (digital) paper. Direct transfer. Here I cover thoughts I have during the day that could be of use to someone else. Or not. You will judge that.

Find more of them here: wojciechmendyka.com/reflections

Wojciech is a trainer, teacher and life-long learner on the topic of effective communication. He believes that speaking clearly, effectively and with confidence is essential to our success and taking advantage of all life’s opportunities. READ MORE
  • Piotr Wieczerzak

    Good read! I came to similar conclusions in my life and started with a small “experiment’ of spending 5 minutes a day to make an effort to contact someone I haven’t spoke to for a while. I’ll try “visualisation” method as well! Thanks

    • Hi Piotr. That’s a great idea as well, especially that it has potential of becoming a routine. I’ll consider trying this one too by perhaps combining it with the visual approach. Thank you for the insight.

  • I used to have the same problem. Always busy, not having time to give a buzz or even to write a short massage and when I appear on someone’s birthday party i was there just for one hour explaining myself that ” I do have a lot of staff to do today”. This all led to shallow relations.
    After making exercise from one of Covey’s book I understood it will lead to nowhere, so I have decided to change it – I have add to my weekly to do list task “stay in touch with xxxx” and it works 🙂