Busy lives and fast minds sometimes wreak havoc on friendships. Add ADHD to the mix and it is a recipe for a lot of lonely times and hurt feelings between friends. Here are a few tips to help make staying connected with friends a little easier.
1. Go through emails and contacts and sort people into one of three categories. Intimates – these are people who are dearest to your heart. They are the people who will come to your aide at 2 in the morning if you need them to. Friends – These are people that you do things with outside of the context of the environment. For example if it is a friend from work, you would socialize with them outside of work. They aren’t intimates in that you would not confide everything to them, but they are fun and they add pleasure to your life. Acquaintances– these are people you see in church, at the dentist, at book club but you don’t socialize with them outside of the environmental context in which you know them.
2. Look at your calendar and enter a reminder to contact your intimates once a week and your friends maybe once a month. Acquaintances will just be on the list unless you decide to move them up to friends. The contact could be an email, a text or a phone call.
3. Have a friend journal in which you record things like important dates your friends and intimates mention, their children’s names, their significant other, special gifts or treats they like. This will help you avoid forgetting the important things in your friend’s lives. If it is a special date like an anniversary or birthday, take time to write it on your calendar.
4. Make plans to do something with your intimates at least once a month and your friends at least once every other month or so. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just doing something you both enjoy.
5. If you have shared interests, that’s a bonus. You can plan things to do surrounding your interest. I have a client who has an intimate who is long distance. They get together on the phone on nights Dancing With The Stars comes on and watch it together. You could also use face time or skype. At a particularly busy time in my life my best friend and I scheduled dinner out every Thursday night. We both had small children so it was an extra fun time to visit with each other without the demands of the children. One of my clients has a friend that he goes to the firing range with and shoots. They do this probably once a month or so.
There are a lot of other things you can do to keep up with your friends, but this should get you started. Let me know if you have other ideas. I’m always looking for good ideas!