Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Make Surface Level Friendships, Deeper Friendships

Creating deep friendships can be a daunting task to any of us. It can sometimes feel safer or more comfortable to keep people at an arms length. And in general, this is even easier to do. But it truly is not God's best for your life. 

The only time that God created something that He was not fully pleased with, was when He birthed man to live by himself. In Genesis 2:18 it says, "God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone."

We were actually created to be in relationship with other people. And not just in a 'Hey, How are you?' 'I'm fine, thanks." kind of way, but in real intimate relationship where we share life together. Taking that surface level friendship into a deeper, more intimate dynamic can be scary, but is so worth the health it brings into your life.

So how do we create these deeper friendships? I started to talk about that here and now I have a few easy tips that will help you on your journey to creating that deeper friendship. 

Make that nerve racking call and set up a time to meet

I understand that the first time you invite someone to hang out, it may be a bit overwhelming, or make you slightly nervous, but it's ok. Our God is bigger than a small spout of nervousness and He will help you in reaching out to someone. Once you reach out and let someone know you are serious about spending time to get to know them better, a deeper level of friendship can finally begin to develop.

Create one on one time

If you are anything like me, this may be the most nerve racking idea of all. Just a few years ago I was terrified to ask anyone to hang out one on one. What if the conversation is awkward? But there came a point in my life where I needed to just force myself into doing it, and I am so very thankful that I did. When you allow yourself one on one time, that is where you can truly start to build real intimacy with another person and connect to their heart. It really is so super important for creating a deeper relationship and will allow that friendship space to grow.

Send a text or two throughout the week, seeing how they are doing

It truly is so nice to look down on your phone and read a text that says 'Just thinking about you. Hope you're having a great week,' or something along those lines. People just want to know that they are seen and their life is important to someone else. Sending that message can not only brighten someone's day, it opens up room for someone to give an honest response as to how their day is going, thus leading into more intimacy in your friendship as well. 

Pay attention to what someone is telling you about their life, and then check up on them later

This is a crucial part of creating a deeper friendship with someone. If you are in conversation with someone and they tell you a big part of their life (someone has cancer or is sick, they're up for a job promotion, their marriage is a bit rocky), checking up on them after the fact to see how that situation is progressing not only let's them know you care about their life, but it builds your friendship with that person as well. Now they can feel that they have someone to go through this stage of life with, confide in, etc.

Become invested

This goes hand and hand with the last bullet point, but is so completely true. Becoming invested in someone's life will help grow your friendship exponentially. Maybe that friend has a young child with a recital that you can go to or maybe they're moving and really need help with the packing. Whatever it may be, becoming invested in that person's life will help them to realize how incredible your friendship is and that it is not just a surface level relationship.

Invite them into your space

This may seem a little strange, but your home or your space is extremely personal. It is a reflection of who you are and what you find important in life. Inviting someone into that space can help that person to see who you are even better and can grow your friendship to yet another level of intimacy.

I truly understand that creating intimate friendships, who know you better than just your first and last name, can be a bit intimidating. But having someone to go through the ups and downs of life with makes life more exciting and worth while. Those people will stand next to you on your highest days and hold your hand on your lowest days. 

I love the friends that I've established deeper relationships with. They are like family to me and we have been through it all together. Don't miss out on the incredible journey of friendship that God has for you!

In what particular ways do you help grow your relationships into deeper friendships?

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