Maintain distance friendships

Maintain distance friendshipsMaintain distance friendships. If you are the one who is gone or the one left behind, your friendship will need care and attention to keep you in good health. Here are some tips you can follow to keep those friends.

Maintain distance friendships regularly

A 2008 study found that long-lasting friendships share the characteristic of reciprocity. That means that both parties contact and share equally. With busy schedules and conflicting time zones, restricting long distance phone calls can be a challenge. Finding a time that works for both of you and sticking to it can ease this pressure. Maybe your commute is the best time to call, or texting a Bake Off summary once a week will be a solution.

More is not always better

Instead of stopping making phone calls or texting, make sure you’ve communicated with your friend about which method works best for both of you. «Friends need to talk about their preferred communication methods,» says Dr. Irene S Levine, a psychologist and friendship expert. Levine also highlights the importance of talking about how often each friend wants to be contacted. There are alternatives to constant written communication, such as leaving voice memos or having a group chat dedicated to funny photos and memes. A 2018 study found that friends have the same neural responses to videos. Sharing visual images could do as much to maintain your bond as asking, «How are you?»

Practice empathy

You can be the friend who left or the one left behind; The parties to a long-distance friendship will have different obstacles to overcome. «The friend who remains must be sensitive to all the additional time demands placed on the friend who has moved,» says Levine; that one must sympathize with the fact that his friend may feel abandoned. Recognizing the difficulties each friend faces will lead to better communication and understanding. «It is also helpful for the two friends to offer each other the assurance that the friendship is a guardian,» says Levine.

Remember important dates

Anniversaries and birthdays carry even more weight in long-distance friendships. Although technology can make daily communication possible, on special occasions, the extra effort goes a long way. In a 2015 Ofcom survey, sending a birthday card was still the most popular way to send a birthday greeting. Simply keeping a journal that keeps track of friends’ birthdays and other important dates will ensure nothing happens for you (just remember to keep in mind the latest posting dates for international shipping at Christmas and other key times).

Don’t just rely on technology

It’s easy to have a sense of connection through social media, but long-distance friendships, even close ones, may require a more conscious effort to maintain them. Professor Jeffrey A Hall, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, advises looking for opportunities for «friendship renewal» and spending face-to-face time together whenever possible. «Making an effort, in addition to publishing, is what keeps a long-distance friendship intact,» he says.