How to deepen your friendships in one minute

CONNECTION, featured

Right before I started putting out my Rock Star Challenge newsletter, I was absolutely crippled with uncertainty. I find this happens a lot, right before I’m about to do something meaningful – fear will step in and tell me I need to clean out my house, lie on my bed all day, catch up on the newest Netflix series, anything to keep me from moving ahead on what I actually feel called to do.

I know it’s happening, I can see it happening, yet every molecule of self-doubt rears its annoying, self-destructive head to the point where it’s hard to hear anything else.

So, I’m sitting in this state, beating myself up for my lack of movement when a DM appears in my Instagram inbox from an Internet friend, telling me how much what I’m doing means to her and how much she looks forward to my posts because they help her laugh and remember she’s not alone. And she just wanted to let me know.

It was maybe three sentences long, but WOW. Her quick note changed my day. It reminded me why I was putting this together and gave me the courage to get it out the door. She had no idea before she wrote it the impact it would make – she was just being nice, but I suppose that’s the point.

We often don’t know how people (even our best friends) are really doing and what an impact a small gesture can make. About the effect that just letting someone know we’re thinking about them can have on their day.

I remember the stark difference between having our two kids. With my oldest, we had just moved to San Francisco and didn’t really know anyone. My husband was working long hours and I was on my own, almost all the time, with a newborn and no idea what I was doing. To say it was rough, is like saying Ryan Gosling as a dad is hot. #understatementofalltime

When we had our son, though, I had a community of people around me. People who checked in and filled our freezer with dinners and took our oldest on playdates and made us feel totally cared for, even though they were in the same situation as us with littles and too much going on.

Those small gestures kept me sane during that crazy time. They reminded me I wasn’t alone and I had a community backing me up. And those friendships are seared in my heart for all time.

Now, I know you know where this is going and I want to be very clear about one thing: I am NOT saying the way to have / keep friends is to stretch yourself too thin, giving of yourself until there is nothing left. That road leads to resentment and broken friendships.

I am saying that taking extra good care of your friendships – offering help when you can, telling people how you feel about them, truly cherishing them – is an excellent way to deepen your friendships and support those you care about.


And, of course, I have ideas! You could:

  • send a quick text, telling them your favorite thing about them
  • pop an encouraging card in the mail
  • make double of dinner and drop one half off as a surprise
  • send a friend a book that helped you through a similar time (this is my favorite! I’m always sending people books)
  • when a friend tells you about an important event, put it in your calendar and then text to check in
  • if they gush about something of yours, send them one (I just did this with my mom and my microwave cover)
  • ask them for a dinner or coffee date and then pick up the bill
  • sit on their couch for an evening so they can go on a date
  • if you know they’re stressed, take the kids to the park for an afternoon so they can get caught up or relax
  • ask them if there’s anything they need from their friends right now

I know this is a super-busy time so don’t make this hard! Seriously. What I would love is if you stopped reading this right now, pulled out your phone, and sent one of your friends a quick text telling them how they’ve affected your life. Don’t overthink it. Just say what’s in your heart. YES?!?

Leave a comment below after you do it and let me know how it goes!

Here’s to happy friendships!

  1. Katie K says:

    Kara! I was typing in “Super Soul Oprah” in the ol’ browser and somehow my email came up and I saw your email. I’m so glad I clicked and read. I’ve just texted 3 of my friends that I probably otherwise wouldn’t have, and they deserve those nice texts.

    I have been on the receiving end of those nice gestures and they are really day and game changers. Thank you for sharing today! xoxoxo Katie

  2. Hillary says:

    Kara –

    I never thought about the 1/2 meal suggestion – what a great idea! Granted, I cook like, 3x/month but perhaps the next time I do I will consider this.

    Will definitely be giving some helpful books to a friend going through a crappy time right now.



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