The Friendship Effect

Monday, August 12, 2013

I got some good questions as a follow up for my post 3 Ways to Create Life through Friendships I'd love to answer today. If you have more questions, please send them my way and I will do my best to answer them.

Q: When making friends did you feel drawn to people or do you look for qualities? 
A: My mindset was simply "I need friends." My theory is that I need to be where people who would likely be my friends are. Take me for example: I'm a wife and a stay-at-home mom who used to be a journalist, so where can my friends be? Another good way to answering this question is: what time am I available to spend time with my friends? My answer is Monday through Friday from 8 - 5 p.m. Where can these friends be? The local library was a good place because a lot of moms take their kids there. God blessed me with a great friend at the local library. Church is another natural place for people to meet and maintain friends. In my case it's not a great place because we minister 3 times and we have small kids, so if we are not singing, praying with someone or getting ready for the next service, I'm making sure my kids have eaten and are doing well (we spend 6 hours in church every Sunday). In order to maintain friends I make at church I have to meet them outside of church so we can have time to get to know each other in a deeper level.

I usually don't feel drawn to people. I don't know how I can look for qualities either. I usually look for interesting people I'd like to get to know better. If we both feel like the friendship is worth pursuing we'll exchange numbers and we'll be sure to meet again. I have hung out with many people who were interesting but there was no place or push for the friendship to go deeper. There is nothing wrong with them or with me, it just didn't happen. Instead of feeling rejected, I choose to think that I did my part by being a blessing to that person and letting go of any expectations so that God can fill me with other friends who will be a better match for me.

I believe that it's difficult to "look for qualities" in people because my judgement can be very deceiving and distorted. The only way to really know someone is to stick with them for a long time. Watch them and walk with them through easy and hard seasons. I am a believer of simply looking for people who seem interesting and who would have time for the friendship.

Q: Did you wait for people to ask you out for lunch? 
A: The easy answer is No. I was trained by people who taught me by example that relationships are important and friends are worth pursuing. I was trained by people who aggressively invest in friendships so I decided to aggressively pursue friends. I'd say that in my experience most people did not ask me out, I took the first step. I also never say 'let's do lunch' unless I plan to execute it.

I hope these answers were helpful! Leave me a comment and let me know how do you look for new friends.