One of the most common barriers women cite as a reason they aren't able to hang out with friends is because of a lack of time. For working women who are deeply involved in their careers, they may struggle to prioritize friendship.
But having strong social support is directly linked to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, so we have to find a way to make it a priority.
Here are 5 tips for the woman who is "too busy" for friends.
1. Redefine your vision of "hanging out"
If you're still defining hangouts as hours long brunches and weekend getaways, then you're going to continue to say, "I don't have time". Because in your mind hanging out is such a grand occasion. Why can't you get with a friend and invite her to grocery shop, drive with you to the doctor, or sit with you while you do yard work? If you can't invite a friend to do these things then challenge yourself to think about why you feel you can't be vulnerable and relax in that way? You might have friendships that are superficial, so you feel like those ideas aren't "good enough".
2. Create friendship rituals
This is when you have something like a standing phone appointment every Friday morning or you go to monthly trivia night. You do this with consistency because it offers security in the friendship knowing you'll see each other and it takes out the mental labor of trying to constantly calculate when you can get together. Like clockwork, you'll reserve time in your schedule for this specific thing.
3. Articulate your intentions
Let your friends know you're in a busy season. Sometimes they interpret our distance as a lack of interest or a lack of effort. A lot of times all people need is reassurance that you're still involved and still care.
If you sense you're about to enter into a period of absence, send a text or schedule a phone call and give them a heads up. Perhaps you can offer something like, "Hey! Just wanted to let you know I think that things are a bout to pick-up at work and so I might not be as responsive as I normally am. But please know that I am counting down the days until our girls' trip and I can't wait until we can link up again! Miss you!"
4. Question your relationship with work and with domestic labor
If you're constantly saying you don't have time, then you might be engaging too much in your professional life. If you think friendship is a frivolous thing, we challenge you with the mountain of research that continues to show that quality relationships are the number one thing that determine our overall wellbeing and life satisfaction.
5. Identify and reduce barriers to spending time together
Are you often trying to do something that requires you to drive far away, and that's a turn-off? Maybe someone in the group us used to doing things that are very costly, but you can find things to do that don't have a lot financial barriers. What are the reasons you resist hanging out, and how can you reduce or eliminate these barriers?
If you're able to do these 5 things, you should no longer be a woman who says, "I'm too busy for friends." We need our friends, and we need to make time for them.
Do you make time for friends but are still feeling lonely? Check out the video below for tips on how to quell feelings of loneliness and form deeper connections.