July is known for fireworks, grilling out, and enjoying time with friends. What better way to celebrate the independence of a nation than in exercising your freedom, including the ability to spend time with whoever you like.
Put That Cell Phone Away!
Cell phones have really changed our relationships, for good and bad. We can stay connected with things like Facebook but we can also be rude, especially when we’re sitting in front of our friend and they stop listening to look at their phone.
July is “Cell Phone Courtesy Month,” which is a good reminder for us to put things in perspective when it comes to our phones. We’ve gotten totally off-track with what it’s like to sit down in front of a friend and just listen, talk, and even enjoy moments of silence.
Picture yourself enjoying an afternoon with a friend at lunch where you leisurely talk about everything going on in your life. The only way you’ll be able to accomplish this is to put your cell phone away when you arrive so you won’t be distracted. Taking a call, or texting, while you’re with another friend is not only rude but prevents you from truly enjoying the time with your pal.
How do you know if communication is an issue you need to work on? Here’s some signs:
- You suspect you haven’t really listened.
- You know you check your phone constantly while with a friend.
- Your friend has told you that you’re a terrible listener.
If this has been a problem with you, check out these ways to improve communication between you and a friend.
Clean Up the Park
Since July is “National Recreation and Parks” Month, it’s a good time to give back by protecting our natural resources. You can do this in big and small ways, like help pick up trash, use your park system more often, and encourage others to treat our parks with respect.
Parks are also an often overlooked place to have a quick friendship date. Meet a friend for lunch there or bring the kids and catch up on life while they play. There’s a peacefulness that comes from nature that can help you and a friend connect on a much different level than if you’d have met at a coffee shop or even over lunch at a restaurant.
Volunteer at Your Local Food Pantry
People sometimes forget about the food kitchens in the summer months, but they need assistance just as much as during the winter. You could gather some friends together and have a volunteer day, or just go it alone for a way to give back.
If you’re looking for a few more friends, volunteering offers a lot of benefits. You’ll be interacting with others, doing something good for the soul, and presenting your most positive self to the world. This sets up the perfect environment to meet new people. Here’s some more places that welcome volunteers as well.
Forgive a Friend Who Hurt You
Do you think of forgiveness as a kind way to treat a friend? How about forgiving as a way to be kind to yourself? Because that’s what forgiveness really is.
July 7th is “Global Forgiveness” day and that’s a good time to reflect back on the anger you might be harboring for the way a friend treated you in the past. Very often, we’re most angry about the things a friend did who isn’t even a friend anymore.
Perhaps you ended a friendship like this as a way to protect your emotional health, and yet you still hold on to the resentment you feel over how they betrayed you. It’s time to let it go. I’ve got tips on how to forgive and also some of the myths people believe about forgiveness. Allow these to work on your feelings and then feel free to share your thoughts on how you managed to forgive your friend. Other readers can benefit by your own personal experience.
Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day is perfect for gathering new and old friends together to mingle. Help a friend you suspect is lonely but inviting them into your backyard BBQ and introducing them to your other friends.