How to Stay in Touch With Friends You Rarely See

Going home for the holidays and break is great because you get to reconnect with your hometown friends. Everything is so fun until your distant family friends or people you don’t talk to every single day start asking you question after question about every little detail of your life and start to guilt you about not “keeping in touch.” But what exactly does it mean to keep in touch, how often should you talk to who, does talking in group chats count, and how personal do you need to be with everyone?

Family friends and relatives require individual attention. Grandma and Aunt Carol are not going to be happy being thrown into a group chat and being sent a bi-weekly “Miss you!” text. They barely know how to work their phones, so all they want is a good old-fashioned phone call. And here’s the trick, after seeing them at Thanksgiving, call the week after so you’re staying in touch just like they asked. Call them again a couple days before heading home for winter break and boom, you’re in touch. To them, you've called twice and both were right around when you saw them so it felt very frequent. But in reality, you had two 5-minute conversations three weeks apart. 

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Communication gets a little dicey when it comes to high school/hometown friends because there are so many subcategories: best friends, additional friend groups, teammates, school friends, etc. In short, the level of communication here is really dependent on what your past relationship was and how important any present/future relationship is. 

You probably already talk to your best friends on texts, FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram messages, and every other form of social media, so not too much to change there. Additional friend groups are totally fine to be covered in a whole group chat as those usually stay semi-active when everyone is involved. Teammates, the ones you weren’t necessarily super close to outside of the sport, don’t require much, but it's important to send old photos, talk about your team and its current players, or send memories when it’s relevant. 

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And finally, you’re probably still pretty close with your school friends because let's face it, you went through some pretty stressful times together. Therefore, reaching out to these people just to say hi and catch up can be really nice and shows that you care about them. But these kinds of conversations really only need to happen every six weeks or so. Just enough to reach out, but not develop the relationship into anything more than it was. 

All in all, friends and family are great to see in person, but seeing them so frequently at home makes you feel kind of guilty about not keeping in touch when you’re away at school. By using this general guide you can ensure that you’re keeping in touch with all the right people for just the right amount of time. This way, your relationships can stay relevant without feeling guilty about the lack of communication. 

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