Learn how to create a system for keeping in touch with friends.
When doing your catch up, search for everyone whose NEXT CONTACT DATE is today or earlier. Then call! When you're done, set a new NEXT CONTACT DATE. If they told you they’re about to discover infinite clean energy, follow up soon. If they told you how happy they were to be abducted by aliens and used for medical experiments, schedule that follow up for a few years from now. You probably don't want them thinking about you too much.
If your address book won’t do a NEXT CONTACT DATE, just enter their birthday and use that. Call your friend on their birthday, wish them happy birthday, and ask about their life. It's all about them, which will make them like you. People rarely call on birthdays these days, so you'll really stand out. And every year you do it, you're helping them recover from that traumatic 3rd grade birthday party with the slightly-too-scary clown.
Contact Friends When You Travel
When you travel, connect. Print out everyone in the city where you're traveling. Schedule a few in-person get togethers. Even if you don't have time to meet in person, call and say, "I'm passing through. I won't have time to socialize, but I wanted to make sure to say 'Hi!'"
Try Keeping in Touch With Friends All at Once!
You can also invite all your friends living in that city or nearby to meet at a restaurant for dinner. If you have limited time, it's a really fun way to connect with many people at once.
The advanced version of socializing as a group is to set up a regular tradition. My social circle from college rents an RV every year and we come from all over the country to be part of a weekend spring party our old living group holds every year. We all stay in touch and even make new friends when current students are brave enough to drop by and hang out.
Keeping in touch requires work, but it’s worth it. Get a contact system, capture everyone’s contact info as well as their parents’. Have a next-contact-date system to remind you went to reach out, and do it in person or by phone if possible. If you keep in touch online, at least strive for conversation. Use travel to see people, and get together with groups when there are too many friends to see individually.
Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!
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