You could skip it, but don’t. Renew those connections.

Aaron Holmes

Follow on Twitter @aaron_holmes

Tuesday, April 2 2013

“Look us up when you’re in town.”

That isn’t just an idle way of getting rid of people. It’s an invitation to continue the relationship. It would of course be easier not to, but make that connection.

Staying connected with old friends and extended family relies on these occasional face to face connections which cements and renews relationships.

If you accept the case that relationships and experiences are what make life worth living (and happiness studies bear this out), opportunities to reconnect provide both.

Maybe you’re in an unfamiliar community and can experience the city with a local guide, with whom you also go way back, or maybe you get to show off your knowledge of your community with an old friend or two.

In most cases, it would easier not to make the effort and renew those connections. Staying in your comfort zone is always more comfortable. In this case, stretching a little is worth it.

Without those occasional connections, each of those friends will slowly become another label on a christmas card list or a Facebook friend with no substance to it.

Those aren’t the friends you can count on when you’re in trouble.

Instead, keeping those relationships fresh by making the connections when it’s convenient will mean they’re there for you if you ever need them, and enrich your life in the process.

Then there’s the regret angle: You’re far more likely to say ‘I should have looked them up when I was there’ than ‘I wish I hadn’t looked them up’. After all, these people are friends or family. If they are unable to connect, you haven’t lost anything. If they can, you may have a wonderful time. Even if you can’t connect, you’re no further behind.

Make that call. Send that text. Write that Facebook message. When you open the door to opportunities you invest in the relationships and experiences that make life worthwhile.

This week’s homework: Connect with a cousin or long lost friend. In person if you can, electronically if you must.