Making Friends: Part One
Searching for Deep Friendships in Shallow End Seasons.
Every couple of years or so, there seems to be some new way to define your personality. Myers Brigs, Love Languages, DISC training, Enneagram, so forth, and so on.
Who would guess that people would like tests after years of being tested in school? But all these personality tests are fun and informative they don’t solve the problem they are seeking to answer.
What is that question?
I believe it is more the question of, how I connect with other people.
We seek to know more about ourselves so that we can have a glimpse of what other people see in us to pull others toward us or away.
What personality tests can’t tell us is… how to make friends.
Ten years ago, our family moved across the state to be closer to family. While we had a lot of family in the area, we were leaving behind all the friends we had established over the first seven years of our marriage. Those are those first seven years of marriage where we had no kids (or at least an infant) and life was full of events to encourage friendships.
But as an adult with kids, making friends is hard.
As a kid, you make friends with whomever you are around with some sort of common ground. Whether it's being part of a team or group of some kind. This model of making friends stretches through college mostly.
But then we enter the workforce, get married, and start having families. This is when the how of making friends becomes challenging. As our families grow so do the obstacles to developing deep friendships.
Now I know there are two types of people. People who are friends with many people on a surface level, and those that have a few really deep friendships.
And in many cases, you make friends with the parents of whoever your kids hang out with. But for those relationships to grow and strengthen into deep lifelong friendships is a rare gem.
I don’t know about you but friendships are hard for me. I describe myself as an extrovert trapped inside an introvert. This has me tend toward wanting a few really deep friendships rather than a lot of surface-level friends.
But in my current season of motherhood, deep friendships are hard to come by. This is because of the kid/service-centered world our family finds ourselves in. It is a good place, but to say hey let’s go out and just hang out isn’t my first inclination. (I usually want a nap)
It has taken me a few years to be okay with this.
Don’t get me wrong, I want deep friendships. I want lifelong friends my husband and I can go on trips with or have a night in with sounds lovely.
But being okay with hanging in the shallow end with the friends I do have is good too.
'Cause truthfully, we are in a season when any one of our kids can cause us to get swept up in an undertow, and this is where the future deep friends are found. Those that are willing to pull you out and go to bat for your those are the good ones.
In Rachel K. Adams's Better Together Devotional, she says, “busyness isn’t the only thing that can keep us from developing deep relationships. There is no doubt in my mind that the enemy is after our friendships, and he will use anything, including fear, past hurt, insecurity, comparison, independence, and laziness to keep us isolated.”
Just like anything important, we have to be willing to fight for it. In a study at the University of Kansas discovered that “it took about 45 hours of presence in another person's company to move from acquaintance to friend. To move from casual friend to meaningful friend took another 50 hours over three months, and to move into the inner close friend circle took another 100 hours.”
To be intentional with friends I’ve had to set up a goal to have lunch with a friend once or twice within a month. This is a doable goal for me. Not always successful, but a way for me to be intentional with the people I know.
How are you intentional with friendships as an adult?
Who could you reach out to today?