Do you ever struggle with making friends? I’ve had season in my life when it seemed I couldn’t strike up a friendship if my life depended on it. And I’ve had seasons when I just struggled with how to make friends.
For years I lamented the fact that no one ever invited me to lunch or the movies. “No one sat beside me at the meeting.” “No one ever invites me to go shopping.” Didn’t anyone want to be my friend?
I’ve found that many women feel that same sense of loneliness, isolation and inability to connect with others in friendship.
But my mother, a master friend to so many, taught me as a young girl:
To have friends, be a friend.”
So finally I decided it was time to stop waiting on friendship and create it instead. I decided to find friends, search for friends, befriend friends.
Here’s my simple remedy for making new friends. It requires courage, persistence and vulnerability. (And it will clue you in to the title of my new book on friendship, too.)
When you find another, invite her.”
When you find another woman who shares your interest or unique life path or pursuit or season of life, invite her:
- to lunch
- for a walk
- to a museum
- to sit with you at the game
- to play a round of golf
- to discuss a book
- to ride with you to the meeting
- to sit beside you at church
- to do just about anything and everything you have in common with your “another!”
So repeat that back to me: When you find another, invite her!
There’s just something about receiving an invitation. Don’t you get a kick out of being invited to join someone else for…anything? Sure you do. We all love being thought of, considered, anticipated and included.Simple, awkward and gracious invitations are often the beginning of the sweetest friendships. Click To Tweet
Still, so many of us fail to offer invitations. Instead, we wait to be included. We focus on that which we weren’t invited to rather than creatively planning opportunities for including other women in our lives.
Or, if you’re like me, you keep a tally. Maybe you extend an invitation. She accepts. You both enjoy. Then what? You wait a while and nothing happens. If you’re determined and resilient, you invite again. She accepts. You both enjoy…again…even more. And, once again, you wait. Nothing happens. Do you invite again? Hmm. It’s a daunting proposition, isn’t it?
Look, I feel your angst. We’ve all reached our quota of extended invitations at some point only to notice that we’ve received nothing in return. That is, indeed frustrating.
Allow me, however, to let you in on a little secret. The sweetest, dearest friendships I have ever experienced all began with one woman (admittedly, usually not me, but the other) pressing in more than the other. Someone has to press in. Someone has to decide a potential friendship is worth a little awkwardness, a little perseverance, a little humility.
The sweetest friendships I've ever experienced began with one woman pressing in more than the other. Click To Tweet
I’m so very grateful for the women who pressed in when I backed away shy. I’m thankful for the women who asked again when I first said no. I’m thankful for the women who kept offering until I finally got the hint and offered back.
You and I can be that kind of woman, too. We can be friendship initiators. It will take moxie and vulnerability, but what a gift our perseverance will prove to be when that initial invitation eventually leads to an enduring friendship.Beginnings take moxie. But what a gift when my simple, awkward invitation leads to friendship. Click To Tweet
So what are we going to do? When you find another, invite her. That is the charge to repeat in your mind when you’re looking for a friend. It’s your responsibility. It’s my responsibility. We have to take the initiative if we truly long to have friendships that produce fruit in our lives.
This post is a brief excerpt from my new book When You Find Another: a conversation about friendship among friends. You can order this book here on my website or here with Amazon. I do hope you’ll check it out. It makes a great book for your nightstand — quick and easy to read. And it’s also a great gift for a friend or two.
By the way, if you’ve already read When You Find Another, I’d love it if you’d leave a review on Amazon.com here.
I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and friends at her Coffee for Your Heart link-up. Check it out for more great, encouraging blog posts for a woman’s soul.