Mastering the Art of Staying In Touch During the Holidays: A Guide to Meaningful Connections

A group of friends sit around the table and catch up

“It’s been forever,” you say to an old friend who you have been playing phone tag with for the past 2-3 years. There are many characters that enter and leave our lives for various reasons: you no longer work together; they moved away, they've been harder to schedule time with since they had kids, or they were someone you always meant to stay in touch with but the last time you spoke was graduation.

Life can be busy, and it’s difficult to juggle work, family, and social life. It can be easy to fall out of touch without easy access to face to face communication as we work from home. As people grow older, their interests and lifestyles change, sometimes it's just difficult to relate to each other.

Reasons why we suck at staying in touch 

1. We don’t focus on it.

We expect our friendships to remain the same, but don’t put the effort into nurture them.

2. We’re too busy.

We’re so focused on our own lives that we forget to make time to talk to friends.

3. We feel stuck.

We don't want to put in the effort to make a plan or to keep up with a conversation.

4. We have different expectations.

We don’t know what our friends expect from us, or whether they would be open to us reaching out.

5. We assume our friends are doing better than us.

A sense of competition colors our conversations, so we only check in when we are "winning" and never when we "lose". 

6. We don’t want to be a burden

We assume that our friends are too busy and don’t want to hear our problems.

7. We’re embarrassed.

We're ashamed that we let things get so out of touch, so we avoid it.

8. We’re afraid of rejection.

We don’t know if our old friend will still want to be friends with us, so we don’t reach out. 

Why does staying in touch matter?

Friends provide emotional support and understanding. Being able to communicate with your friends helps you stay connected and involved in each other's lives. Communication can take many forms; from sharing fun experiences to discussing deeper issues, staying in touch with friends is important for anyone looking for strong, lasting relationships. 

Here are some tips for staying in touch with friends:

1. When you see someone take notes about what they say afterward 

Keeping a log of your friendships is an easy way to stay knowledgeable about your friends and what they’re up to. It’s an easy way to score points and help your friends feel important.I can imagine it now - “omg, {{insert your name here }} I can’t believe you remembered my dog’s birthday - no one ever remembers that!” - and you think to yourself - I didn’t - I just set an alarm for myself last year to remember.  

2. Stay top of mind by using social media (duh)

Having easy ways to remember friends and then leveraging social media to stay in touch is an easy and effective way to stay on your friends’ radar. Whether it's seeing what your friends are up to, sending funny pictures, or connecting with old friends, social media can help you stay up-to-date on your friends' lives, news, and interests.

3. Calendar hangouts and important dates

Your calendar is your best friend when it comes to maintaining a social schedule. Invite your friends to do something fun, like playing an outdoor game or going out for coffee. Reconnect over something that you love, or try something new, planning ahead of time can help prioritize friendships within a busy schedule.

4. Send a text when you think of someone 

Texting is an instantaneous way to stay in touch and a great tool for discussing topics that don’t necessarily require face-to-face conversation. Texting is also more personal than social media and can make your friends feel more connected to you. It’s a quick way to pop into someone else’s day and share a common memory to break up the monotony of the workweek.

5. Set up regular phone calls (and use calendar invites)

Scheduling a weekly or monthly phone call with a friend can help you stay in touch and check in with each other’s lives. Even if it’s just a quick 10-minute call, chatting regularly can give you the consistency to help keep the connection alive and make your friendship stronger. It can be something that you look forward to week to week.

6. Be the source

Seek out shared interests and share invitations. Find activities like rec leagues or cooking classes can be an easy way to bond and stay close to friends. Try finding opportunities to explore shared interests with your friends and connect in new ways. When you find an article that reminds you of someone, just send it!

7. Introduce your friends together

Getting your mutual friends to befriend each other should be easy - they both have you in common! If you can arrange it, see if you can get your friends together to meet. If they hit it off they can hang out and then they’ll naturally think of you when they do something new. 

How to start a conversation after not having seen someone in a long time:

When you contact someone after a long time apart, it can be a bit awkward or uncomfortable at first. It can be helpful to make the conversation light and casual, rather than trying to jump right back into a deep conversation.

Here are a few conversation starters that you can use: 

1. “Hey! How have you been?” 

2. “It’s been a while! What have you been up to?”

3. “I know it’s been a while since we last talked, but I thought about you and wanted to catch up.”

4. “I just wanted to say hi and see how you’re doing.” 

5. “I miss you and wanted to hear what’s new in your life.” 

6. “How have you been? I’d love to catch up and hear what you’ve been up to.” 

7. “I haven’t talked to you in a while and I miss hearing your voice. What’s new?” 

8. “I’m so glad we’re reconnecting. How have you been?” 

9. “It’s been a long time since we last talked. What’s new?” 

10. “It’s been ages since we last spoke. I’d love to hear what’s been going on in your life.”


Staying in touch can be challenging, but leveraging the tips found here can help you strengthen your friendships.

December 18, 2022
December 17, 2023
 Published by: 
Shannon Williams