THE IMPORTANCE OF CHECKING IN ON YOUR FRIENDS

Updated: Jun 19, 2021


My friends have always been a very integral part of my life. Over the years, the numbers have dwindled but the ones left are friends for life.


As a kid, I was able to make friends with ease. Maybe, because I had less inhibitions and insecurities. I remember making 5 friends in prep-school when I was about 4 years old. It is not a surprise that I am still friends with all of them but I do not really

remember the last time I spoke to them. This got me thinking, what actually made many of my friendships distant and some redundant. (Fun Fact: one among those 5 people is my best friend today and over all these years we have never for once lost touch despite of studying in different schools, colleges and now living in different cities.)


I think adult life, ambitions and dreams take us to places where we end

up surviving on our own. At the same time, I think that this physical

distance should not come in the way of the friends that we make on our

way.


I know a lot of people who tend to focus only on the people who are physically

around them. This does not mean that they have forgotten you, it is just that they’ve

been busy. I do not follow this notion but neither am I against it. You see, getting

old has broken a lot of my notions on how things should be and one of them is

relationships between friends.


This brings me to the most important part of of my thought. Sit back and think, how

many times have you really spoken to a friend who once was so close to you that you

would spend days with them. I know we cannot live off nostalgia but are you really that busy that you cannot pick up the phone and call them on their birthdays (I absolutely abhor birthday wishes on Whatsapp and social media).


Many a times we think about few of our friends but we hardly ever reach out to them.

Sure, we follow them on all available social media pages and like all of their pictures

and sometimes leave a comment. There is nothing wrong with that ! You know the

hard truth, that what we see on social media is also a lie. We lie to ourselves and we

lie to the world about our never ending happiness. This has forced me to think, how I

have failed to reach out to my friends and checking up to see if they are doing well.

Honestly, I hardly do this with about 3 friends right now but I intend to inculcate this

in my life.


You may have friends who you would think have a very strong personality, but they

may be in need of help. I have seen that the strongest people are the ones that do not

speak up about their emotional needs.


Do not exhaust yourself : I am well aware how difficult adulting can be. Living

away from family, building a home and social circle and up-keeping takes a lot of

time. Besides, we all have our own problems to take care of. Please do not try to

exhaust yourself trying to take care of others.


Do not shy away from reaching out: I think social media has made it that much

more easier for us to know what is the probable state of mind your friend may have.

If you see someone who matters to you a bit off than their natural self, please do not

shy away from asking them if they are doing fine. Many times we may think and

easily term such outbursts as “drama” but that my friend, could be a cry for help. I

do not see any harm if you spend 5 minutes of your day trying to reach out to

someone you know who may or may not need help. I strongly feel this is the way to

make this world a kind place.


Start with small things: If you know someone has lost a family member, ended a relationship or lost their job, please pick up the phone and call them. Do not leave a comment, or scroll up without extending your help. Mental health is real people, as much as you may think it’s a state of mind that people pretend to be in. It is not possible for a human to remain calm and joyous at all times. If you know someone who has not been doing well in ways of their lives, please reach out.


There is this food blogger that I follow on Instagram. I recently read a story where

she claimed to have panic attacks and not do well. She was not a friend; in fact she

did not even know I exist. I liked her work and she was a stranger to me. Yet, I chose

to take time out to speak with her. Imagine what I would be willing to do for a friend

then.


Listen and acknowledge without judgement: I am guessing this