The words “I love you” mean a million different things. However, it always, always is a way to strengthen bonds and demonstrate affection without having to physically show affection. Even when we say we love food or a book, we are affirming and establishing an emotional connection.
The feeling of love can be romantic or platonic. So, no need to freak out when you feel the need to tell your friends that you love them. The human collective has had a rough few years, so say it when you feel it. You have no idea who needs to hear it.
Well-Maintained Friendships Are Worth More Than Gold
One of the benefits of a well-maintained friendship is it reduces YOUR stress. Face-to-face time has been a little difficult for a while now, but staying in touch is enough to give you both the time you need to vent about anything and everything without judgement. That emotional connection is priceless.
Humans need a sense of belonging. And we all know that has not been an easy feeling to have during the COVID-19 pandemic. Friendships are bonds that can’t be broken by stay-at-home orders or social distancing. We need to know we are not alone and that we have connections outside of our home and work. Motivation, health and our overall well-being depend on us knowing we are not alone.
Today is a good day to tell a friend that they aren’t alone. Your person likely needs to hear it.
Put Yourself First and Focus on Friends
Everyone knows that college classmate or former co-worker who has decided to chase career highs rather than personal ones. They work 16-plus hours a day, constantly travel for just work, and you see them less and less. The shiny new things they have might reflect happiness, but they typically end up in an echo chamber where friendship no longer exists. The singular focus on a career can rob us of joy and make us feel utterly alone.
That said, you can be high-performing in your organization and be super-fun and interesting, too. It is about balance. Sure, it is hard to develop and keep friendships going because being an adult is often chaotic and difficult. But it is so worth the effort. It is not about the quantity of friends, either. It is all about the quality. You want someone that will have your back and you have theirs. Without trust, you only add another stressor to your life.
Authentic and trusting friendships recharge our batteries, too. We aren’t computers, even when work makes us feel that is all we have to offer. We are humans, and humans need human connections. Those connections are good for your physical and mental health. Friends motivate, listen, and encourage us to be better people. And some of us need all the help we can get.
You deserve to be happy and healthy both at work and at home. Prioritize the human connections that matter to you and I’m sure you’ll see your productivity flourish in other areas of your life.
Make Time to Tell Your Friends You Love Them
We all struggle and have darkness we hide in our day-to-day lives. It helps when we know that someone has our back and believes in us. Let someone be your person. Set time in your day or week to focus on reaching out to your friends. Check in with them and have a laugh, and let go of the baggage of the day. You’ll feel better for it.
Be there for them, too. Tell your friends what they mean to you. Not just that you love them, but why you love them. It doesn’t mean you have to be all dramatic and declare it to the world. Sending a text saying you’re proud of them and that you’re there for them as much as they’re there for you could positively change someone’s entire day.
To whomever needs to hear this, you aren’t alone.