Have you ever thought any of the following?
– I’m not interesting/exciting/cool/sporty etc.. enough
– They wouldn’t like me if they saw my mess/knew…about me
– People don’t want to spend time with me
– I don’t have anything to say
– Why would they/he/she want to spend time with me
– I am too much and/or not enough
For me, whilst I’ve always struggled with self-belief and self-worth it’s only in hindsight that I can see how my subconscious low self-esteem as a teenager and early twenty-something influenced how I behaved in my friendships. I maintained friendships but didn’t give myself to any of them. I shared little, expected people to come to me, make the effort with me, to seek me out. I was also so caught up in my mess that I rarely stopped to ask friends what was going on with them. If I did, I rarely asked any follow up questions.
I was so fortunate that friendships stuck with people I met along the way who were similar to me, where it was easy and, in hindsight where I could coast. I have spent too long in one-sided friendships, expecting all the effort to come from the other side because I’ve believed I haven’t had anything to bring and I am grateful now to be in a position where I am repairing some of the hurts and addressing those missed opportunities for deeper relationships.
If any of this rings a bell with you please believe you are worth the effort. I believe God created us to live in community and relationship with each other, not just our families but our friends, neighbours, work colleagues and fellow humans. We weren’t created to be isolated self-sufficient people.
It can be so scary and uncomfortable putting yourself out there in friendships if you haven’t before but take it from an extremely rambling and awkward first-step-taker, it is so so worth it.
Whether you believe in God or not, He loves you and He wants you to be surrounded by fun, life-giving, trusting and supportive relationships.
Some key things to think about:
– Do you believe you are worth the effort?
– Do you believe people might want a deeper friendship with you?
– Is there anyone in your life that you wish you had a better relationship with?
– What’s currently getting in the way of that? (Time? Location? Effort on one side?)
– What one thing could you do today to move that friendship forwards?