After watching and listening to Ruthie interact with her friends for 10 years now, she has taught me 4 Ways to Make a Friend Feel Special:
Set Aside Time
Ruthie and Aunt Linda have taught me a valuable lesson about friendship: set aside time to be with her. Aunt Linda tags along with her girlfriend to run the most basic errands, just so they can catch up in the car ride. Ruthie has a tight-knit group of girlfriends of over 25 years. Each of them are crazy busy, but each one sets aside time to be together, even if it is just to get their toes done.
So make her feel special, call your girlfriend and schedule a time this week. Maybe you can set aside the same time every week, month, or even an annual getaway!
Reach Out, When It Counts
Every time I talk to her she is: leaving to drive a friend to the doctor, supporting a friend during knee surgery, bringing food over to a co-worker who suffered a great loss, helping someone to move, or getting off the phone with a friend who is going through a really tough time. Ruthie has the one of the most insane schedules! She works full-time, goes to the gym 5-6 days a week, volunteers regularly, cooks everyday, babysits our son every weekend, has an impeccably clean house, and yet, still makes the point to reach out to her friends when it counts.
Maybe a friend has a husband deployed like Maude, or her kid has been sick, like Katie and Audre, or suffered a loss, like Thi. Send her a card, drop off a meal with no obligation to stay, offer to pick up her kid, pick her up groceries while you are already out, accompany her to the doctor, or just call or text to say, "I love you."
We all have crazy stuff happening, but reaching out, when it counts, will make her feel special.
Return the Invitation
Ruthie and her friend of 35 years rotate houses each time they get together. They take turns inviting each other to dinner, game night, and movies. They even take turns hosting New Years Eve! If your girlfriend invites you to wine, a jog, shopping, a playdate, a double date, or a trip; returning the invitation will make her feel special.
Support A Dream
A dear friend of Ruthie's lost her husband to cancer before she turned 60. She told Ruthie she had always dreamt of traveling for her big birthday. Ruthie agreed to her wish, not asking or knowing when or where. She traveled with her friend to the South of France!
Maybe your friend hasn't taken the first step towards her dream, or perhaps she has put a dream on hold. Encourage her to go after it! Suggest to take a photography class with her, offer to read her recipes for her cookbook, invite her to join you for a networking event, or offer to watch her kids while she trains for her marathon.
Showing your support for her passions, her dreams, will definitely, make your friend feel special.