How to Build Lasting Friendships: Embrace the Awkward
The start of a new school year always signifies a time of new beginnings. A chance to start over. To get involved in new ministries, to try new activities, and to build new friendships.
Much easier said than done. I've been reflecting a lot on friendship recently. More specifically, trying to figure out what it is that makes some friendships last and some wither away like yesterday's flowers.
Whether you're the type of gal that needs only one close friend, or the type that craves an entire community, the bottom line is that the desire for friendship is found in all of us. So, how do we go about building friendships that will stand the test of time? For the next four weeks I'll be exploring a different aspect of developing long-lasting friendships.
Step 1: Embrace the Awkward!
Unless you're one of those girls who was blessed by the fairies at birth and spend your days frolicking through life gathering friends as easily as my tennis shoes gather dust, then chances are you've experienced the awkwardness of navigating new social situations.
I'm here to tell you to embrace the awkward! All new friendships have to start somewhere.
You'll probably encounter those awkward silences when trying to come up with things to talk about. Keep trying. Friendship, like most things, takes practice. The more you reach out to those around you, the easier it will become. Eventually, you'll find that instead of awkward silences you're rushing to get in everything you want to talk about with this new friend of yours. And hopefully, you'll be able to look back and laugh about your previous awkward encounters.
When you walk away red-faced from yet another awkward interaction, don't beat yourself up over it. Forgot someone's name yet again? Embrace the awkward and ask them one more time. Show yourself grace. Laugh if you need to. Remember, not everyone is going to become a close friend, no matter how much you try. That's okay!
The more you walk through life with arms wide open ready to embrace the awkwardness, the higher your chances are of finding someone that will embrace you back.
Are past hurts or the fear of an awkward situation holding you back from pursuing deeper friendships? I encourage you to lay these things before the Lord and step out in faith. You never know what amazing, life-giving, soul-encouraging friendships may come from a moment of choosing to embrace the awkward.