10 ways to build an intentional friendship
Throughout the circuit breaker, I’ve grown more comfortable being by myself.
As I become more absorbed into my own personal space, finishing my tasks for the day and switching off with Netflix, I increasingly forget about connecting with friends. I tend to assume they’re okay since they’re not calling or texting me about anything. As a result, I don’t check in on them and usually wait for them to initiate a conversation.
When I realised this wasn’t a healthy practice, I made it a point to connect with my friends more intentionally. Even though I’d prefer to focus on my own things, I recognise that I am placed in my community for a purpose: to encourage, love and help one another.
Here are some things that I found helpful in becoming a more intentional friend.
10 WAYS TO BUILD AN INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIP
1. Note down important details
I’m quite forgetful, so whenever I catch up with friends I note down the important details and updates they share. From their food allergies to the current struggles they’re facing, it’s all compiled in my notebook.
You can do the same so the next time you catch up with your friend, the things that were mentioned before won’t be left hanging. You can come back to the same topic and follow through on the things that are close to your friend’s heart.
2. Remember important dates
Beyond taking notes, you can also set reminders on your calendar for important occasions and milestones!
Your friend’s birthday, anniversary, graduation or ORD might be taking place during the circuit breaker. Part of being a friend means celebrating with them, albeit virtually.
Perhaps there might be an important work presentation coming up – you’ll want to remind yourself to check in on your friend about how it went.
They’ll remember that you remembered.
3. Pin important conversations
Sometimes conversations can get buried by group chats or other messages. I tend to forget about conversations once they’re out of my sight.
So a useful tool I’ve found is pin certain conversations to the top. WhatsApp and Telegram both have this function.
Another tip my colleague offered was to make use of Telegram’s folders. Folders in Telegram can help organise your chats better, sifting out work chat groups from friend chat groups, broadcasting groups from more personal ones.
4. Ask a random question
I’ve always thought conversations with friends had to be productive.
But you don’t need an agenda to connect with a friend. Talking with a friend can be fun and spontaneous.
While asking “How are you?” goes a long way, why not try asking more random questions? You can try asking “would you rather” questions or maybe even these random ones I found.
You don’t need an agenda to connect with a friend.
5. Start a project together
While we adjust to life with COVID-19, we can stay connected to friends by starting small projects like cooking a particular recipe together or exercising over Zoom. You and your friend can also read a book together or follow a devotional plan.
Spur each other on to set goals and achieve them, like reaching out to mutual friends in this season.
6. Take a personality quiz together
Personality tests help reveal things about your friends you may not have known before! Plus, many of them also fun to do.
For more comprehensive personality tests, you can do the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) quiz.
There’s a lot to be gained: Knowing my friends’ enneagrams for instance, helped clarify why they would be motivated to do certain things I wouldn’t.
We can be better friends when we know our friends better!
7. Tag them on social media
There are quite a few challenges on social media you can do with your friends. You can tag them on Instagram to get them to do bingo templates or quizzes that they can share on their IG story – we actually have a few that you can try here!
These might seem silly or insignificant, but I think our friends will appreciate these small but fun connections. It brings to mind what Maya Angelou once said: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
8. Send snail mail
While we can keep up with our friends online, there’s just something special about a handwritten note.
The letter doesn’t even need to have beautiful calligraphy or other fancy things. Start with a simple postcard or even just an sheet of paper.
You can make someone’s day feel special with snail mail. So, if you have a few spare stamps at home, why not send your friend a letter to surprise them?
9. Pray together
One of the best ways we can be there for a friend is to pray for each other.
You can opt to set a synchronised time to pray with a group of friends, or simply ask your friend if you can pray for them over a video call.
You can also set prayer goals together, such as a goal to pray for a different friend every day or a goal to pray for three friends every week.
10. Bless them
Finally, the most practical way we can connect with our friends is through meeting their immediate needs. Maybe one of your friends needs extra cash for an emergency or a particular item. If you have the means to help out, why not bless them or send over that item?
Some friends also need extra emotional support during this time. Perhaps they’re having a hard time working from home due to their family situation. Maybe the lack of social interaction has taken a heavy toll on them. You can take time out to be a listening ear for your friend.
I hope these handles encourage us to be friends who are intentional during the circuit breaker and beyond – the love and joy we can share will be more than worth the effort.
THINK + TALK
- How have your friendships been doing since the circuit breaker?
- Think of someone you’ve been meaning to reach out to.
- What is one way you could be an intentional friend to him or her this week?