#24: 7 Questions to Reveal if You Really Want Friends (part 2) [podcast]

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Gerry Duffy felt helpless around chocolate bars. He rarely, like never exercised. When did his life change? So, how did he end up competing in 10 triathlons in 10 days? It started after he had a picture taken with legendary golfer, Seve Ballasterso. As Duffy looked at the photo, he was shocked how chubby he had become. His next steps were literally a walk. Everyday he went on a walk. Those small steps started a journey that led Duffy to competing in 10 triathlons in 10 days.

Making friends is similar to Duffy’s story. The first step is deciding you really want to do something about it and then start moving.

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These 7 questions (4 last week and 3 this week) help you realize what is holding you back from starting. I have used each question as an excuse to not put the effort into friendships. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I have made.

Go through these final 3 questions and learn which ones are holding you back. If none of them are holding you back from starting, then what is?

 

5. Do I have the Time or Energy to be a Friend?

While time is limited, I find time for the things that I find valuable. The hard part for me is stopping my normal pattern to invest in friends. How do I find time and energy for friends?

I put slots in my calendar for friends. One slot is every Sunday afternoon. Lunch mid-week is a good time to connect. The other thing we have done as a family, is limit the number of activities we are involved in to have the freedom to invest in friends.

How do you find energy? For me, I remind myself that I feel energized after I am with my friends. It is similar to how I feel after a good run. I can be tired or refreshed, but I know for sure that later I will feel great.

Finding time and energy in our culture, simply won’t happen on its own. You have to be VERY, VERY intentional to make this a reality.

6. I will make friends once I am through this phase of life. Right?

(Okay it isn’t a question-sorry) I honestly think this ALL the time, once the kids are raised and out of the house, we will have tons more time. Yet, there is this fear in the back of my head that every phase of life has gotten fuller and busier. I remember when I thought High School was full, then College was full, then my first job was full, then I got married.  You can see where this is going.

The other question to ask is, “Isn’t this the most crucial time to have friends?” The answer is yes.

7. Is the fear of being hurt by friends stopping me?

I believe that the vast majority, like 99%, of the people want to do right by us. Their problem and mine is this selfish thing.

Most hurts arise from misunderstanding and redirected hurt, in my opinion. Misunderstanding is a huge one. We think the other person should know or does know what they should or should not do around us.

I have found many people nursing unresolved hurts from their pasts. Instead of dealing with the hurt, it leaks out onto other people. A major help is to learn their story. When I learn about someone’s story and past hurts, I can be far more understanding, merciful and forgiving. We have someone in our lives that grew up in a very critical home. So, what should I expect from them. The same critical nature. Yet, they have come a long way, so I can give them large amounts of grace.

The other huge key is many of miss the great rewards of Great Friends because we imagine there will be hurts. The rewards WAY out weight the hurts. If we focus only on the hurts that we get, guess what, we will only see how others hurt us. If we focus on how great it is to be connected to another person, we will see how great it is to be connected. Please talk to someone that has developed meaningful friendships and ask them if they are never hurt by their dear friends. You will hear that they are still disappointed or hurt by their actions, but the good way out weigh the bad.

 

What steps do you take from here?

Many people stop themselves from ever starting to make friends, because they talk themselves out of ever starting.  Take a small step today. Make it a meaningful step. Here is my request.  Go do 4 coffees over the next 4 weeks with friends. You get bonus points if you met over lunch. If you have one person over for dinner at your house that counts as 4 points and a gold star.

Question: What fear keeps you from starting a friendship?

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