Keeping In Touch…You Don’t Need A Reason

My very favorite phone calls, emails, and texts are ones that start out something like, “Hey, I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hi.”  I don’t get those very often, but when I do, they make my day.  I know how good it feels, so I make a point to do the same for certain other people in my life.  I don’t necessarily wait for a reason to contact them.  I just check in every so often.  For some people, it’s more frequently than that.

I guess it would be fair to say that I do this most often to the people with whom I really want to stay connected, even if they don’t always return the favor.  And if there happens to be a reason to contact someone like something that just made me think of them, I usually take advantage.  There are those people who I have given up on maintaining contact with over the years though because it was always one-sided. It is sometimes easier to reach out to people whom I know will reciprocate.

What prompted me to write this post was one particular relative who feels he needs a reason to contact myself or my kids.  A couple times now the reason has been that he came across something he wanted to pass on to me and asked if he could drop it off and visit for a bit while he was here.  In between these visits, there is almost no contact initiated by him.  I have made it clear multiple times that he does not need to wait until he has a reason to talk to any one of us before he initiates a call or email. He can contact us at any time just to see what we’ve been up to.  That’s not his nature though.  He’d rather wait for a reason, which doesn’t happen very often.

Unfortunately, not only has he wasted a lot of opportunities to spend time with and get to know my kids and me, but he has also given us the impression that he is not all that interested in maintaining connections with us, or in us at all for that matter until very recently.  For many years now I have not felt like he views me as an important person in his life because of the lack of contact on his part all that time.  He is one example of a one-sided relationship that I grew tired of trying to maintain all by myself.

Even though it takes some conscious thought and a little time, making the effort to let someone know you were thinking about them however often can have a huge impact.  You may be putting a smile on someone’s face that could last for a while, and it feels just as good to know that you made someone else’s day by letting them know they were on your mind.  If you’re thinking about someone right now that you’d like to reach out to, stop what you’re doing and just do it. You might just make their day.

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2 thoughts on “Keeping In Touch…You Don’t Need A Reason

  1. I am the type of person like your relative. I do not quite know how to initiate a conversation that does not involve something specific to have to say. Even with my mom, we email regularly while she is at work for the day, but unless I have a reason to email her, I wait for her to start (which, she normally has something to say anyway, so it works out).
    Same with a “long-lost” (so to speak) relative that I have, for the past year, put off speaking with. I have the phone number, and I can call at any time, but I don’t know what to say. So I haven’t. For a year. But, at the same time, they have my number, so I know I’m not the only one in the family like this!
    For some people it’s just difficult to say “hey, I was thinking about you today, so hi”. That’s a lot of pressure. You’re the one who called, you’re expected to have the conversation ready to go. I am not built for that.

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    • Exactly…it is a two way street, of course, and everyone is different with respect to how much and what kind of contact they need/want from others. (Funny, I have a blog post written on that topic as well that I’ll post eventually.) With your mom, sounds like you have pretty regular contact, so I can see it feeling a little odd to write just to say hi and check in. I was thinking more along the lines of friends and family with whom I don’t have regular contact that I will contact every so often just to check in. I’ll share a little bit of what is going on in my world briefly and ask what’s up with theirs. The conversation or email exchange just flows without there being a predetermined agenda, and sometimes it’s just a Facebook message and a reply and we’re done. Every so often someone will do the same for me, and it is always such a nice feeling just to know someone cares enough to take a few minutes to ask about me and to know they were thinking about me. I just think it’s one of those things that does come more naturally for some, but if someone doesn’t make the effort, then people just drift apart. And it’s a way to show someone you value them and that they are important to you. That’s how I feel anyway when someone else initiates contact with me. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you think of it from the other person’s perspective and how they will feel, then maybe it’s easier to make the call or write the email.

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