Happy New Year!
Perhaps now is a good time to celebrate your friendships! Maybe you celebrate all year long. And maybe you have never really thought about celebrating your friendships. Think about it, how wonderful (and powerful) it is to express how a friend has impacted you and your life in a positive way.
The act of acknowledging your friendship is a valuable expression of appreciation and recognition. It can include talking about what the friendship means to (each of) you or the gifts of your friendship to each other. And you can toast each other, and your friendship! Here are some ideas that we hope will inspire you.
Celebrate with rituals. Rituals are wonderful ways to acknowledge your friends. It can be as simple as sending a birthday card or a funny greeting card to your friends telling them what they mean to you, what their friendship means to you, and expressing your gratitude. Another ritual might be planning to meet for dinner or drinks and using some of that time to express gratitude.
Celebrate across the distance. Sometimes we might be celebrating reconnecting with old friends we hardly ever get to see. The challenge can be to create these opportunities. And to fully enjoy them when we do.
Celebrate using social media. Sending an email with pictures is one way of celebrating and remembering a friendship/shared history/fun times together. Starting a Facebook page or Dropbox account are some tools that can help a group of friends share pictures and stories as a way to stay in touch.
Celebrate with phone calls. Reach out over the phone lines and talk to or leave a message for a friend. Tell your friends how much something they did or said meant to you. Imagine leaving a celebratory voice message — bet your friend won’t erase that phone message!
Celebrate the story of your friendship. Celebrating might include the story of when and how you met. What made you want to be friends with that person? What drew you to them and what has sustained your friendship.
Celebrate the strength and tenacity of your friendship. Perhaps one or both of you has just been through a particularly challenging time and the need is there to celebrate new beginnings in other parts of your life. Or to celebrate an ending. You might be celebrating milestones together. Like knowing each other for a year, 10 years, 20 years and more.
Celebrate your common interests, goals or passions. Maybe you and your friend are passionate about a certain activity like skiing or training for a triathlon. So you might celebrate your achievement together as well as the fact that your friendship made it through the challenges of training together. Or you might be grateful that your friend enjoys finding new ski adventures for the two of you to enjoy.
What have you learned from each other?
What are other ways you have celebrated or might celebrate your friendships in future?
What has been the impact of celebrating or acknowledging your friendship?
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Copyrighted 2014: The Smart Art of Friendship- Ruth Tamari and Amy Greenleaf Brassert