Call An Old Friend to Keep in Touch and Build Your Network [STEPS]

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We all need a network of family, friends, and acquaintances who support us when we need it.

Build weak ties to people you don’t meet every day and increase your network.

Start with your old friends!

This will also help you become better at networking!

call an old friend

Sometimes you bump into old friends on the street or a shopping mall. You chat for a few minutes and say goodbye. You think to yourself that you should do that more often but then life interferes and you never quite get to it.

Do it!

Keep the people you care about close!

old friend quote

Make new friends, but don’t forget the old. One is silver, the other is gold. ~ Unknown

Friendship breakups

Friendship breakups are weird. Especially when there’s no beef. You are just not that close anymore.

You thought you would be BFF, but now you just say “Hi” to avoid the awkwardness.

The most important thing in your life is the people in it.

The size of your network is proportional to your success. The more people you are connected to, the more opportunities you have in your life.

Find out what happened to your classmates or ex-colleagues you spent so much time with. Select the relationships you want to warm up and ask them for lunch. Or you may have a reunion of the people who have worked with you at company X over the years.

Keeping the relationships fresh will take less time than forming new ones. As you get older, people in your life will drift away. Make an effort to keep your network together.

Next step: Take some time and for the next 30 days call or email someone you haven’t met for at least a year. Have one lunch with one old friend every week.

Create a network of weak ties

Make a decision to give yourself a huge benefit of building a network of weak ties. The weak ties are connections in your network you meet only a few times a year.

The “weak” in this case means that they are far enough from your inner circle to bring you the new information you are not exposed to in your daily interactions. For example, research has shown that people who find new jobs through personal contacts most often find them through weak ties.

It’s refreshing to meet people you haven’t talked to in a long time. Find out what they have been up to and what they are doing right now. If you plan the encounter in advance, you can think of things that might be useful for the other person or come up with a small way to offer your help.

old friends quotes Herd

Love, friendship, networking – these are all critical connections and the foundation of a healthy, happy life. ~ Whitney Wolfe Herd

Call. In the case where you haven’t talked to the friend in years calling them just to say, “hello” is a great idea. You don’t have to have any specific plan. Call them, ask how have they been and suggest that you might meet for a coffee or drink at a specific time in the near future.

When and where? Have a place and time ready so you don’t waste time or lose the opportunity because you can’t come up with the details. Just to ease your own cognitive load you can arrange all the meetings in just a few convenient places.

Meeting an old friend will bring up memories that will make your day brighter. Getting new information about your friends family, work, friends, etc. will create new opportunities in your personal and professional life.

Old relationships may fade a bit, but if you revive them, you will have deeper connections than the ones you have with more recent acquaintances that you meet every day. Don’t let your relationships disappear as they are one of the most valuable resource you have.

Read next:  Host a Party to bring Friends and Family Closer [VIDEO]

Is it weird?

Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. “Is it weird to contact old friends?”

No!

The sheer number of people who ask this shows that many people are looking to reconnect but feel weird about it.

Don’t!

Imagine the situation where you are feeling weird about connecting with a good old friend and you never do. At the same time, the friend is weirding out about connecting with you. So, you never connect and miss out on all the wonderful moments that you might have had.

If you think calling people after 10 years out of the blue might seem weird then find excuses. Occasions that warrant a call:

  • birthdays,
  • anniversaries,
  • holidays,
  • new job (yours or theirs),
  • new baby,
  • weddings, and

specific events you have experienced together in the past. It’s not really that hard, and you can reuse the same excuses on different friends.

When you browse the internet you see that people ask a ton of questions about how do you talk to someone you haven’t talked to in a while?

frienship quote marlene dietrich

It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter. ~ Marlene Dietrich

How to reconnect?

A frequent question revolves around “How do you reconnect with friends after years?”

How do I talk to my friend after a long time? Take the phone, send an email, connect on the social network.

What do you say when you reach out to an old friend? Say something like, “We used to have a lot of fun together, let’s meet up sometime soon.” You meet, if the friendship is still there, then you can build form there. If not, then you can go your separate ways. Use the occasions I listed above if you want a reason to call.

What to talk about when you meet?

Start with the more neutral things you loved doing together. If you did something really weird, then maybe leave that for a later meeting. Maybe you had common dreams and aspirations. Talk about the olden times and people you used to know.

How do you keep in touch with friends who live far away?

How do you keep in touch with a friend who moved? The answer is not that hard:

  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Video (Skype, Messenger, Zoom, Meet, etc.)
  • Visit as often as you can

If possible, have vacations together. But there is no right answer. Your relationship will become more distant when you are not in the same location. It will take effort to not fall out of touch.

How often should you keep in touch with friends?

As much as you can.

The strength of the friendship depends on the time you spend together. With your closest friends you might meet several times a week if not more.

Also, younger people tend to meet more often as they don’t have the obligations that family and career puts on you when you get older.

The habit of keeping in touch

Make it a habit!

If you would call one person in your weak tie network every day, then you can contact 180 people twice a year. With this level of connections, you would probably be the most connected person in your network. A central hub with ties that can help you out in every situation that life throws at you.

old friends quotes Cicero

As in the case of wines that improve with age, the oldest friendships ought to be the most delightful. ~ Cicero

Using a CRM to keep up with your network

One idea I had when writing this article was to use a customer relationship management software (CRM). To keep up with the people whom you don’t meet often the CRM could be a great idea.

Read next:  Celebrate Your Wins, Big and Small to Improve Your Life

Businesses use it all the time to interact with their customers. Special software is at this than using a plain spreadsheet.

I haven’t done it myself, but now I will try.

The main obstacle is finding a suitable CRM solution. When you are using it for personal network, then it should be free, or low cost.

I will update this article when I find something that works for me.

Dunbar’s number

Dunbar’s number says that we can manage a network of 150 personal relationships. Make the most of it! Here’s what you should do:

  • Open a spreadsheet and brainstorm a list of people whom you want to keep in touch with. The first 10 or 20 are easy. Then dig into your email history, Facebook chats, and other places where you can find people you don’t interact with very often.
  • In the second column add the date when you last contacted them
  • Third column for their birthdays.
  • Use the next column for notes about what interests them, personal facts, family, etc.
  • And in the last column put the notes about the latest interaction you had.

Call several friends and host a party to remember old times.

Now go right ahead and call an old friend or a relative, colleague.

frienship quote wilson

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. ~ Woodrow T. Wilson

Here are the steps to keep up with old friends.

Time Needed : 10 minutes

How to Keep in touch with more people?

  1. How to create a network of weak ties?

    Get in touch with people who you haven't met in 6 months or more. It’s refreshing to meet people you haven’t talked to in a long time. Find out what they have been up to and what they are doing right now. If you plan the encounter in advance, you can think of things that might be useful for the other person or come up with a small way to offer your help.

    call an old friend

  2. When to get in touch?

    If you think calling people after 10 years out of the blue might seem weird then find excuses. Occasions that warrant a call:

    birthdays,
    anniversaries,
    holidays,
    new job (yours or theirs),
    new baby,
    weddings, and

    specific events you have experienced together in the past. It’s not really that hard, and you can reuse the same excuses on different friends.

    host a party

  3. How to keep track of your weak ties?

    Create a spreadsheet of people to keep in touch. Open a spreadsheet and brainstorm a list of people whom you want to keep in touch with. The first 10 or 20 are easy. Then dig into your email history, Facebook chats, and other places where you can find people you don’t interact with very often.
    In the second column add the date when you last contacted them
    Third column for their birthdays.
    Use the next column for notes about what interests them, personal facts, family, etc.
    And in the last column put the notes about the latest interaction you had.

    weak ties spreadsheet

  4. How to make it a habit?

    Take some time every day over the next 30 days call or email someone you haven’t met for at least a year. Have one lunch with one old friend every week.

    celebrate calendar

Tools
  • Google Sheets
Materials
  • Time 10 minutes daily

______________________________________
Image: Phone girl by Martin Lundgren

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Robin

    I started to connect with my old friends from high school and college. This really adds value, I got a new employee and two leads that converted to business for me. Now I do it regularly.

    1. Priit Kallas

      I’m happy it works for you Robin! I try to do it regularly but sometimes the habit slips. I’ll try to have at least two conversations every week with people whom I haven’t spoken to in 3 months or more.

  2. Pingback: Building Your Network [PRESENTATION] | Fix Willpower

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Priit Kallas

Founder of FixWillpower.com. I created FixWillpower to help you reach your goals. I have struggled my entire life to be consistent and avoid procrastination. The goal is to have a good life, do the things you love and get your results with minimum effort. FixWillpower website is about how I create motivation and productivity in my life. I write about the tools and techniques, best books, scientific research, and everything else that helps you move faster and stay on track. Minimum effort doesn’t mean slacking off. Minimum effort is about effectiveness and productivity. If there is a way to reach a goal in a shorter time or with less exertion, then you should use that. I will help you be smarter and reach goals faster. About FixWillpower
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