Do you have friends?

friendship-circles

Do you have friends? Maybe that sounds like a weird question.

But the truth is that I know a lot of people who really don’t have many friends.

  • Friends with whom they can be really, truly honest. 
  • Friends with whom they have shared significant stuff.
  • Friends with whom they’ve known a long time, through the ups, downs, and monotony of life.
  • Friends outside of their marriage.
  • Friends outside of their family.
  • Friends outside of their workplace.
  • Friends with people who don’t give a crap about who you are or your fancy title or your work responsibilities.

Scott Rubin summed this up in his rant at the Middle School Ministry Campference last year… “Do you have people in your life with whom you can put your worst foot forward?

And the result of not having enough friends?

When you don’t have enough friends in your life it starts to show in unhealthy ways.

  • You put expectations on your marriage or relationship with your significant other that aren’t fair for your spouse or significant other.
  • You wrap up your work with your friendships in an unhealthy way. Obviously, you can be friends with people you work with. But that can be a double-edged sword if those become your only friendships.
  • Same with your family.
  • When you have problems inside your marriage, family, or work… you don’t really have people with whom you can process stuff with. Consequently bad things tend to compound.
  • When you don’t have people with whom you can be “just you” with, without today’s titles or roles– you kind of forget who you are. 
  • You make bad decisions or run with bad ideas and don’t have anyone in your life tell you it’s a bad deal.

2 Questions

  1. Do you have significant friendships? How are you celebrating that? 
  2. Are you lacking in significant friendships? How are you rectifying that?

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2 responses to “Do you have friends?”

  1. Peggikaye Avatar
    Peggikaye

    One of my friends was a little frustrated with me because, while she felt she could tell me everything, she knew I was fairly restrictive what I shared with her that wasn’t pretty much ‘public’ (ie on FB) She knew a little more than FB does, but not much and she suspected that there was a lot more.
    She was also aware that I use ‘facts’ to deflect deeper questions : How is it going, really, how is it going? — my answer might be — well, Don is still coughing 2 to 3 hours a day, and spending more time on the bipap.
    This does give information (it sucks at times) but it also doesn’t tell them how I am REALLY doing — most people can be deflected rather easily with facts (especially uncomfortable ones like that) and will not push for “but are you afraid?” type … and it’s a coping mechanism I’ve used for years —
    She was concerned that I had too many deep deep secrets and painful ones that no one knew (she knows my family and knows there had to be some!). But I told her that I don’t think I have *any* deep ache (particularly on going) that NO ONE knows about — someone has been told –but there is NO ONE who knows EVERYTHING —
    I have a group of select friends – close, deeply gratifying, edifying and encouraging friendships –and each of them has a puzzle piece of the enigma that is me — but no, there is no ONE friend that I can tell ANYTHING to — but there are a few friends who have the puzzle pieces.

    My reasoning may be trust issues, but I suspect that it is more to do with why they have that piece — one is encouraging (always) one is prayer partner (always) one is a sympathizer/comforter (always) one is a “let’s look at this, analyze it and reframe how you’re seeing it” (always) … and it just depends .. if I know I need comfort, and I already know what TO do — I go to the comforter friend. If I’m discouraged and weary — I go to the encourager. If I know only God can — I go to the prayer-er, If I know that I’m acting like the stubborn toddler that still tries to exhert herself, I go to my friend who is an exhorter and let her help me whip myself back into shape.

    But I know if I’m being stubborn and I go to my comforter — that stubbornness is going to dig deeper and I will feel justified — if I go to the encourager when I need to be praying – I sometimes get in over my head and forget that it’s a God moment.

    So it’s not that I’m guarded, as much, as it is … careful and trying to use wisdom in who I share what with.

  2. Christopher David Wilson Avatar
    Christopher David Wilson

    answer to question 1) No. Answer to queston 2) Yes. Answer to question 2b) rectify it?? I wish I knew how ……

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