Why Making Friends Stinks

Why is it tough to make friends? And keep them? The usual suspect: busyness.

But could a deeper reason explain the problem with finding real friends?

Just for a moment picture yourself at age 4 or 5. All you had to do is say, “Hi, I’m Shana. What’s your name?” and — ta-da — a new friend.

Now you’re 30, 40, 50 or more, and friendship is as risky as doing a back flip off the high dive.

The operative word: Risky. And risky stinks.

Friendship Is Risky

If you reach out to a woman who seems friendly, she may reject you. If you open up and share deeply with another, she may draw back. Friendship opens the risk of wounds. It’s safer to keep your distance. A lonely distance.

I experienced loneliness when my family moved 14 years ago. I didn’t know I soul in my new hometown. Neither did my husband. It didn’t bother him. I went nuts and into action. I thought, “I know what to do. Find a friendly church and make friends. How hard could it be?”

For the first month, my friends-through-church plan worked. Lots of people introduced themselves and we discovered things in common. I knew names, faces, their kids’ names and faces, and even learned the best place for ice cream.

Then my plan crashed because I wasn’t the new girl anymore. My “friends” now welcomed other newbies or talked among themselves. I felt discouraged and disillusioned and. . .rejected. Did I do something wrong? Why don’t they like me anymore? Aren’t Christians supposed to care? (No. Wrong question. Yes.)

After crying into my husband’s shoulder more times than I care to admit, I told God these people — His people — need to show hospitality. I opened my bible to the concordance in the back and looked up “hospitality” to fuel my argument.

An “Oh my God” Moment

The verse I found — “Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13) — nailed me. The new girl, I was supposed to show hospitality. Call it an “Oh my God” moment.

The attitude change in me made all the difference. Now I didn’t look to my new friends to meet my needs. I found ways to meet theirs. I risked rejection and opened the gate to wonderful new friendships.

The old saying rings true, “To have a friend, be a friend.”

Join the conversation. Take a sec and answer this question: Do you have too many friends, not enough, or somewhere in between?

Blessings to You and Yours,

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  1. says

    This year i have also reaffirmed the meaning of friendship. We sometimes confuse finding companionship with friendship. You can go shopping or to the park to walk with a companion, but a friend is a much deeper relationship. Sometimes in our haste to be “friends” we forget there are stages. First we are strangers, then acquaintances, then companions, then friendship evolves. Evolves. A word that takes time, takes both parties working together to learn one another. I have found I have many acquaintances, but a true friend is rare indeed!

    • says

      You’re right on, Sweetie. Making a true friend takes time. Once in a while, a person may meet someone with whom they have an immediate connection. . .and the friendship blossoms overnight. Usually, it’s slow growth. And nowadays, with folks on the back deck instead of the front porch, getting to know neighbors is all but impossible. Even the days of welcoming a new neighbor with a plate of cookies are gone.

      This is one reason I looked to making friends at church or a bible study. Same people, same time, same place. :-)

  2. says

    I’m in the midst of this right now. Military Fam & just moved a mo ago. I’ve had locations where I had that instant connection & the other way around where still 2 yrs in I was just settling into a good strong friendship. Now I’m meeting a lot & trying my best to be the friend others need. It’s so hard tho as a military wife bc walking into a church…once you actually find one you can call home…so many women already have their besties & just don’t make room for more than just an occasional friend. I’m always looking for than that & pray that thru obedience to Christ I will find it & even watch it thrive & bloom before I leave 3 yrs from now. :-/

  3. says

    We women sometimes don’t like to let a new person into the “circle” of our established friendships. By keeping the circle tight, we hurt others — yes — and we protect ourselves. Our friendship circles then become like “clubs,” where those who are “in” hold power to keep others out, thus cementing the false belief that we are extra special.

    This is one reason my 15-year-old likes guy friendships. Not so messy.

  4. says

    I just lost my closest friend on July 11th. We met in our teens and have been friends through it all–singleness, dating, marriage, my children, her childnessness, her battle with kidney disease and eventual kidney transplant, then kidney failure again after 14 years, and eventual decline in her health while i lived with my family 1,800 miles away. And then suddenly, she lost her earthly battle just three weeks ago. The good news is that she loved the Lord and is now in His presence–no more pain, no more worry, all joy! But now I am facing life without her. And that’s the painful loss I’m sorting through now.I will celebrate her life and her love for others, by emulating that as I go forward. Thank you, Lucy, for posting on women’s friendships–what you said is so true, and for me, so timely.

    • says

      Kimn, I hurt for you. What a deep loss you’re experiencing. It’s OK to grieve. Celebrate her life and grieve. You may feel so sad some days, angry on others. This is normal.

      You loved her well. A love too beautiful for words. I am praying for you.

      Blessings, Lucy


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