Once upon a time friendship was convenient. You’d see your bestie nearly everyday in class. You lived maybe a few blocks away. If there was ever a dating crisis it was nothing to call an emergency Girls’ Night. Now, as we dive deeper and deeper into adulthood–and further away from our friends–it’s hard to find that easy balance of support. What used to feel effortless now takes energy. All of a sudden you realize you may not actually be showing up for your friends like you should be, and vice versa.
Now, in the midst of social distancing, we’re feeling the urge to lean on our friends more than ever.
The chaos of COVID-19 has introduced a lot of stress, anxiety, and untackled emotion for many of us. We suddenly find ourselves questioning our identities with the loss of jobs, school, social events, and the freedom to breathe (literally). We need our friends to remind us of who we are and where our true purpose lies, as our friends are often the people who see us with the most clarity.
So, how do you begin to repair your friendships? First be honest about the kind of friend you’ve been in the past.
The beautiful thing about friendship is most often friends will provide the most forgiving space for apology–they understand almost instantly that you’ve been busy at work, caught up self-caring, or haven’t found your balance. So are they.
In order to repair your bond tell the truth about how you’ve been showing up:
“Hey, I’m sorry for being so distant lately. This new adjustment has been really tough for me…”
Followed by an initiation to move forward “Are you free for a FaceTime call to catch up? I want to hear how you’ve been…”
If your friendship is carrying the weight of transgressions heavier than ignored phone calls, the process of repair may take longer but can begin the same way. Don’t focus too much on who started the past conflict or how it ended, instead on the importance of your friendship and how you can move forward to fix it. Truly ask yourself if the friendship is worth saving.
Was it healthy and ended over a misunderstanding? Or was it always toxic and needed to end? If it’s yes to the first question, leave your pride at home and make the first move.
To the friends you’re still close with? Show them you want to make intentional time for them, and thus for your own healing. Schedule a Zoom call, create a group message if you don’t already have one, extend that group message to an Instagram and/or Twitter group direct message, and check in on them. Also encourage solo time. Be realistic about the expectations you place on your friends for support, and allow them space to occasionally unplug in the name of self-care.
Most importantly, encourage them to do the same for you. Make sure you’re getting your reciprocity, and if not? Make a decision about which friends deserve this energy and which don’t.
We’ve grown out of the days where you didn’t have to work for your friendships to thrive, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We expect our friends to just be there, but now it’s time to approach these bonds with some maturity.
Social distancing has quickly shown most of us what’s important, and now is the perfect time to keep your good friends close.
A struggling 20-something year old with a passion for lifestyle, pop culture, and all things black girl magic.