How to Make Friendships that Last

Watching people
on social media have friendships …

you wish you had can be very lonely can’t it? Or the times your scrolling through social media and you see your friends together and they didn’t even invite you! Don’t worry we have all been there before. There was a time in my life when this was happening to me often.

Two and half years ago, my husband and I became a part of a youth pastoring mentorship program called, The Cadre. This program runs 1 year at a time with 60 other youth pastors from all over the nation. Twice a year, we get together to be trained in ministry and meet the people who are also in this program. My husband, Kyle, and I entered our first retreat intimidated to make new friends; however, we were determined not to let our intimidation dictate the quality of our weekend. Why are our peers so scary!?

On this trip we were given small groups at random, after spending hours together and letting our guards down, we began to realize that deep down inside we were all hoping for someone to relate to us and say “I know exactly what you are going through.” Fast forward two years later, here I sit writing this from my living after returning (yesterday) from a weekend away with almost all of these ladies who were in that small group.

 

 

We made a joke when we reunited …

that it felt like we were just together last weekend even though we haven’t physically been together in over a year. These friendships didn’t form over night, they formed with consistent care and hard work on both ends. What a special bond that we have created. Its truly amazing, despite being hundreds of miles from one another we feel like neighbors.

I know that it’s less intimidating to become friends with the opposite sex. It makes sense, there is no comparison game, no insecurities, no fear of what they might think, etc. But those truths don’t take away the need we have for friendships with people going through the same things in life that we are going through. I am not encouraging you to form an exclusive club that no one else can be a part of, I am inviting you to build friendships that are healthy.

Three of us from this small group of ladies announced our pregnancy weeks apart from one another. We formed a three way text group to keep in contact during the pregnancy. We didn’t expect this, but it has become a place where we can ask each other questions daily some weeks and know exactly what the other one means when we say we are tired wihtout needing to go into detail and explanation.

 

 

Here are a few easy steps
to cultivate friendships
like the ones I just told you about:

  • Be a kind listener. If someone wants advice, they will let you know. Typically people just want to know you actually care and you show them you care by listening and caring about what is going on in their life.
  • Don’t share other people stories with out permission. If it’s not your story to share don’t share it. If you would like to share their story, ask first! If you do this, even with good intentions, you will break trust.
  • Relationships take time and sometimes life gets busy. If one week you hardly connect with a friend, it doesn’t mean they don’t like you… they could be genuinely busy. If you aren’t apart of their busy week it doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
  • Look for cues. Learn the people you spend time with. Everyone is unique in their own way, get to know your friends.
  • Don’t be afraid to be YOU. Be confident in who you are and the life you have — this will help remove any game of comparison like…
    • who has a better marriage
    • who is skinnier
    • who has a better life
    • who makes more money
  • Don’t get jealous of their friendships with other people. Celebrate them, in all ways. If you see your friends together with out you, celebrate that! We don’t need to be invited to everything, we really don’t!

Even though you might be ready to be friends with someone they might not be the right fit for right now and that is okay.
If you have a great group of friends, take some time today to let them know how much you are thankful for that… i promise it’s rare.

What are your thoughts on making friends and keeping them in your life?

 

 

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About the author : Cassie Littel

Cassie Littel

Cassie is a wife, mommy, youth pastor, and blogger. Cassie’s public high school physics teacher won her for Jesus, winning people for Jesus and encouraging others to stop at nothing to reach the lost is her greatest passion. Her speaking experience varies from student services and camps to Sunday morning church experiences. You can read her blog at cassielittel.com. Cassie is currently working on her first book and will release more details towards the end of 2016. The best is yet to come!

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