Phone A Friend
A few weeks ago, a friend I have known for 22 years got a pretty big promotion. I immediately sent a text message, “Congrats! Great news and well deserved”. Few minutes later, I got a text, “Thanks man! Really excited.” Then I did something increasingly rare in this day and age – I PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED HIM. And he did something even more rare – HE PICKED UP!
Although we’re close friends, and have interactions every few days on our WhatsApp group ranging from topics like football (real and NFL), politics, the economy, our next trip, and others, we realized we hadn’t spoken for over 6 months. The connection was immediately refreshed.
The closeness and connection that we can feel in person is exponentially greater than text messages or emails. In absence of meeting in person, a phone conversation (or video chat these days) is a good proxy. With social media and electronic communication, we feel “connected” to many people but studies have shown that meaningful connections with fewer people drive greater happiness than surface connections with many.
It’s a simple suggestion – think of a good friend you haven’t spoken to in over 3 months, and give them a call. The upside (happiness) is well worth the risk (waiting for 4 rings and hanging up).
If you’re sold, you can stop reading. In case you need more convincing, below are some ways to get around common reasons to not call:
1. There’s a time difference
If you have good friends on the other side of the country or world, make time on your weekends.
2. People don’t pick up the phone
Hopefully your attempt will elicit an attempt from them to call you.
If the spontaneous thing doesn’t work for you, schedule a 10 minute “catch up call” with them.
3. There’s nothing specific/urgent to talk about
What are you afraid of – that the person receiving the call will not value hearing from a good friend “just because”? If anything, this would make the person feel even more valued.
Be interesting and interested.
4. I just can’t find the time
If this is your excuse for not calling a close friend, you’ve got issues that this blog will not solve and I apologize for the time you wasted reading this far.
So, who you gonna call?