It’s really important to me that I am seen by others as a good friend. I spend quite a lot of time analyzing whether I am living up to my own expectations. One of the things that is important to me with my friendships is when those close to me remember important details about my life or what I am currently involved with. It really makes me feel great if someone remembers something I have said, something I like, or something I am working on and enquires about it.
My mum knows I don’t like custard, my ex boyfriend knows my favourite flowers are purple tulips, my school friend knows I love making lists, my besties from Joburg know I love receiving thoughtful cards and those people close to me will know what I am doing this weekend or if I have an important event coming up.
These small details to me are hugely meaningful and it makes me feel really cared about when people remember these things or ask me about them. In turn I try to remember important details about other people and follow up with them on the significant things happening in their life.
If you also place importance on noticing these small details about your friends and family here are some tips on how to be successful at it:
1) Be present
There is no way you can listen properly to what your friends are telling you if you are not present. Don’t be distracted on your phone but be fully in the moment giving 100% concentration to what you are involved with in the here and now.
When you are chatting to your friends. Really listen to them. What are they saying, what information are they giving you, what are they telling you? Given them your full attention and pay attention to note anything critical that they share with you. Remember the salient points so you can refer back to them at a later date.
3) Write things down
When you pick up on something of significance about someone that you think you should remember, one trick is to write it down, especially if you do not have a great memory. You can often be involved in a conversation and become aware of something that was said, thinking to yourself that is a worthy fact to remember at a later stage. If a friend admires something, you could make a note to get it for a future gift, if they tell you about an important event in their life, jot it down somewhere to remind you to ask them how it went, you can make a record of anything you want to follow up with them at a later date. Some people add a calendar entry in their diary to remind them to connect with their friends or colleagues about something happening in their lives.
4) Allocate time
It can be useful to actually allocate specific time to keep in touch with people and recall what specifics you want to ask them about. If you have written these things down it is easier, but if not, you need to think back to the last time you chatted to them and what they said was going on in their lives. One tip is to set aside a specific time each day and contact one or two people from your friendship group, to ensure that you don’t forget to keep in touch.
5) Use an app
There are some great apps that help you keep connected with friends. One I recommend is Loop. This app provides a notes section where you can make a note of anything you want to ask your friend about next time you get in contact. I think the beauty of this app is it is simple, but does everything needed to notify you of who you want to speak to and refresh your memory of what you want to chat about.
When you enquire about something important a friend has told you or you ask how something went that they have just done I am sure they will really appreciate it. There is no need to feel that these methods are contrived, it just shows that you want to be a good friend and care about significant events in the lives of those people who are important to you. It’s a great way to keep in touch especially if your friends are miles apart from you.
I’d love to hear in the comments below how important you think remembering small details is in friendship and whether you have any advice of how to do it.