If you want friends, then you must show yourself friendly… Has anyone ever said that to you? Now you would probably agree with that saying. You might even think to yourself of course that makes sense, duh… But how many adults actually put that principle into practice? When is the last time you showed yourself friendly? Not to those that you already call friends or acquaintances, but someone new… When is the last time you were intentional about making new friends…
I have some great friends who I have had in my life for a very long time. I am grateful for each of them. Fortunately, I have not had to experience a move in which I was uprooted from all that is familiar and placed in a new environment. But still relationships do change over time. Or it probably would be more accurate to say that the dynamics of relationships can evolve due to marriage, divorce, children, aging parents and such. Sometimes the relationship that you could count on for a spur of the moment get together becomes a relationship that time together has to be scheduled and planned in advance. That’s life…
Take a journey back in time with me if you will to elementary school. Life was so simple then. Remember how easy it seemed to make friends. You could just go up to someone and introduce yourself. The next thing you know, you have a new friend. Maybe even a best friend. It was not a complicated process and your similarities far outweighed your differences. You like dresses, me too! You like the monkey bars, me too! You like tether ball, me too! I do not recall ever thinking that the person was too much of this or not enough of that or what is the benefit for me. I remember having friends and having fun.
A friendship that is not authentic or sincere,
in spite of the appearances.
Although the friend-making process changed a bit in middle school and high school, it still seems easier than it is today. At first I considered that the ease of it came because you went to the same place every day and saw the same people. But there are women who go to work every day, but still have a hard time making friends, those that they connect with outside of work. I think we want the process to be as simple as it was in elementary school, but we have become more complex individuals with expectations to match.
Let’s face it, true friendships can be messy. Why because none of us is perfect. We all have issues, some less than others, but issues all the same. To be intentional about pursuing new friendships, we have to be willing to go through life with people. We have to be willing be fully present and fully engaged with our friends, just as we would want someone to engage with us. Enough with the pseudo-friendships! Let’s purpose to show ourselves friendly. Let’s purpose to be intentional in the pursuit of authentic friendships!