Do you struggle keeping in touch with people? In this video you will learn a painless non-creepy system to avoid neglecting your relationships, coming up.
Looking for the video on the article? Here it is:
I’m Nick Redmark, your effectiveness coach. If you are looking for rational self-help advice, subscribe.
I’m an introvert. From time to time I get unhappy about how I manage my social network. In other words: I realize I’ve been neglecting my relationships with the people I supposedly care about. With age it seems to get worse. Life happens, time goes by faster, and important people get forgotten simply because they aren’t part of your daily life. This time I got really scared when I realized I hadn’t heard from some of my best friends for 6 months, and they live in the same city!
So, what exactly are we trying to accomplish? What we want is to have as many meaningful relationships as possible. What makes for a relationship meaningful? A sense of shared story. We all have a story of where we come from, where we are and where we are going. People who are meaningful to us know our story, we know theirs, and our stories have touched in some significant manner. So it seems to me that as a bare minimum, to claim you have a meaningful relationship with someone, you should nurture that sense of shared story. Do you know what is going on in their life? Do they know what’s going on in yours? That’s the basis.
So, what you need is a way to keep in touch with people and update each other’s stories. I found this system on the riskology.co, it’s called the friends game.
What you need to do is to open a trello board (an excel sheet would work too!). Create a column “Before”. Then a column for each month. Now, in the “Before” column, add all people you would like to keep in touch with. Then, move them to the month you last had contact with them.
The game, then, is to try to pick the people that are further behind and move them to the current month. Depending on the kind of relationship you have with the person, you will feel it’s enough to just send a whatsapp message, have a phone call or invite them to a dinner for a serious update. I find treating people in a systematic way kind of creepy, so I like that this system gives you the room to follow your intuition about what would be meaningful to do with each particular person.
The cool thing about this system is that it’s no big deal if you neglect it for a while. A couple of months later you can easily update it and continue “playing” from there.
I hope this tip is helpful to you. See you next week.