A friend sent me an article about intentionality in friendship, saying it sounded a bit like me. (see link here) Actually, this described someone more anal than me when it comes to Intentional Connections!
I’m mentioned this many times, but when I retired, I lost 75% of my daily connections. Our Big Move to Florida created a new set of losses in daily connection. I’m sure the COVID pandemic hit a lot of others similarly as daily interactions disappeared from life. Recognition that being intentional is important in making and keeping friendship connections is a good thing!
Here are some points from the article on how to be intentional in your friendship making actions:
- The author encouraged you to list your friends. She had a listing 25 people she was being intentional about the friendship. I wondered if I have 25 people I’m being intentional in friendship connections! It sounded like a lot. Since I do have lists (is anyone surprised about that statement?), I checked and I have 21 people (mostly women) I consider friends at this point. That surprised me.
- The author also talked about keeping a spreadsheet to track connection timing and key information about the conversations. Just to be clear (friends who are reading this) – I do not do this! I do have my list of folks that I review when I’m setting up something. But I don’t keep track of conversations, which is probably why I can never recall exactly whose daughter has recently moved where or whose son started a new job and lives in Chicago now. Or was it Denver?
- Then there is the idea about planning topics of conversations before meeting. Another thing I don’t do. But now I’m wondering if I should, because I often don’t recall whom have I told about what.
On reading this article, I did realize I have some approaches I follow for my own Intentional Connections. Connection is in my retirement lifestyle vision!
Active Body, Connected Heart, Creative Spirit, Contemplative Mind.
For my long-term long-distance friendships, it is all about maintaining. Each month, I try to set up 4-5 long-distance connects for a long conversation – my beach-walk & talks or a happy hour whine & wine or even a sit & chill. I don’t need to figure out topics because those conversations easily flow topic to topic. I believe that these friends are long-term because we can have those easy long conversations! I do make a mental note of how long between connections, as for most (not all), I’m still the connection instigator.
My Fun Tribe friend list is for when I’m scheduling local things to do. Here, new people I meet start more in the acquaintance zone on this list. I have a 3-invite and out personal principle. If I invite you to 3 things and you say no to all, with minimal excuse and no reciprocation, or even no response at all (yes, that has happened), then you’re off the list. But, most folks on this Fun Tribe list are really appreciative of my finding and logistically coordinating activities. And I enjoy their company! I do hope in time that one or two of these folks will turn into a long-conversation friend!
Do you have some intentional tools for creating and maintaining friendships? Or is all this just too anal?
picture credit: a sunset from this week!