Friendships are tough. In a recent poll in our Instagram stories we found that 85% of Christians admit that they’re lonely, and that 82% of them want closer, deeper friendships.
Why are so many of us so lonely when we’re surrounded by the ability to be in touch with anyone at a moments notice?
You’ll notice that a lot of these points will be about you, yes, you the person reading this article. The purpose of this is not to guilt you, but these are all things that I was personally really bad at for a long time.
I thought I deserved others to do all the work in a friendship, and I could just kick back and enjoy the benefits. It took me way too long to realize how selfish that is.
Here are a few of the tips I’ve learned along the way:
How many times do we find ourselves wondering why we’re usually the one who always reaches out, and we wait for others to reach out first?
In a recent poll, we found that 85% of Christians feel like their friendships are one-sided, and that they just want the others to reach out. That means that the person you want to hang out with, and waiting to reach out to you is likely waiting for YOU to do the same thing!
I know sometimes it feels weird, but it’s totally OK to be the initiator of a friendship. I know as you’re reading this theres a friend you haven’t seen in a while that you’d love to catch up with.
Send that text.
2. Actions, Not Words
Recently, a friend of mine and his wife suffered a miscarriage. When I was speaking with him, he shared something profound with me that I’ll always remember.
He told me that so many people in church said things like “Let me know if you need anything!” or “Call me whenever, I’m here to talk whenever you need!” Those words are nice, but let’s be honest, it’s really awkward to actually ask when you’re in a place of hurting or hardship.
What he said was theres a part of him that wishes people just did something to help instead of just offer. Instead of saying “Let me know if you need anything”, send them an UberEats gift card with a message saying “I know you’re hurting right now, and this can’t heal you, but I hope this can make things a little easier”. Instead of saying “I’m here if you need!”, actually call them and ask how they’re doing.
Most people in their lives know someone going through a hard time. Don’t just say you’ll help, do something.
3. Pray For Them, and Write It Down
Journaling is something I’ve never had an interest in, but it’s something that is so incredibly important. So many times with our friends they share things they’re struggling with, and we genuinely want to help them.
Write down what your friends are going through and genuinely pray for them. Go back and revisit the things you wrote and make sure to check in on them when the time is right.
These small actions make a big difference and shows people that you genuinely care.
4. Be The One Who Takes Things Deeper
I hear from men and women all the time that they want one of those movie-level best friends where you just understand each other so well, do everything together, and just have that amazing connection where you know everything about each other.
Yeah, that’s possible, but it also takes work. One of the ways we can do this is by being the one to take things deeper. As humans, the thing that tends to make us be open and vulnerable with others is when others are vulnerable first. When they’re not, we can be stuck in a cycle of being stuck in a shallow friendship.
I was out with a friend of mine having a beer recently who was a newlywed. As we were talking I had mentioned something that I had struggled with early in my marriage. As he froze in place he said “Oh man…I’m struggling with that right now!” He and I had a great talk and honestly, it took our friendship which was always admittedly shallow, to a deeper level.
It’s awkward to be the first one to be vulnerable and open. What if they judge us?
Usually I just tell myself “How would I react if they opened up to me? I wouldn’t care! I’d probably love it because it can help me be a better friend to them”
Christians Who Curse Sometimes is a brand looking to deepen your faith in real practical ways. Personally, I am a husband, father, and meme creator. I love connecting with real people, and showing that no matter what your story is, you can have an impact and change lives.