Building Better Friendships

She was one of the most stunning women I’d ever seen.

Standing nearly six feet tall, with long blonde hair and in the best shape of any woman I’d ever met, this girl would show up each day looking fabulous.

Her clothes were always in style, her hair and makeup great, her form perfect and her body in perfect form.

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

We were exercising in a women-only gym.

There were women everywhere.

Short.

Tall.

Fat.

Skinny.

Old.

Young.

And everything in between.

But, this woman stood out.

She ran past us, worked out all around us and exercised amongst us about three times a week.

However, I noticed that she was always alone.

No one ever talked to her.

She went through her workouts by herself and then left alone.

One day, I felt the Holy Spirit pushing me to talk to her. I kind of resisted, because she was so “gorgeous” and rather intimidating. 

Until that day, I don’t think I’d ever heard her speak.

Reluctantly, I saddled up to a machine near hers and said something like, “Hey. How’s it going today?”

At first, she looked shocked.

Then quietly, she turned to me and uttered some words I’ll never forget, “Are you talking to me? Because NO ONE has ever spoken to me in here before.”

My heart was instantly warmed to this woman.

In spite of her incredible exterior, she was just a young woman “dying” on the inside for someone to be her friend.

She was lonely and in need of kindness.

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

All of us have moments when we need a friend.

No one, no one, no one gets through this life all by themselves.

We need other people.

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends.

God created us for relationships!

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

So, today we celebrate the Power of Friendships.

The Bible encourages friendship. We see the values of companions in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 

 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.

But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm.

But how can one be warm alone?  

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.

Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Maybe today, you find yourself surrounded by many wonderful friends, associates, family member and buddies.

You are most blessed!

Thank God today for these friends. And, thank your friends for being there for you~

But perhaps today, you find yourself without as many friends.

~ Maybe you’re in transition, in a changing season, or just coming out of something.

~ Maybe you’ve been greatly hurt, and you are still wounded and in recovery.

~ Maybe you’ve recently said “good-bye” to someone very close to you.

~ Maybe you’ve changed jobs or moved to a new city.

Or, possibly, you’re just in the midst of a long, lonely season.

Whatever the case, you don’t have to stay lonely.

You can do some very practical things to get back out there in the world of relationships again.

It may not be easy, but you can move ahead.

You can make new friends and begin again.

(And just an FYI, my husband is an interim pastor. We move from church to church to fill in as needed.

In this last year or so, we’ve been in 10 churches.

So, I understand what it is to be new, to feel strange and to have to put yourself out there. 

The good news – there are amazing people everywhere. I meet them all the time!

The hard news – you do have to try {and it might feel very awkward}!!)

So, here is my best advice for getting out there and making new friends: (simple but it works)

1) SMILE – just tell your face to curve upward when you meet new people.

It is very rare to smile at someone and not have them smile back.

Smiles are contagious~

2) SAY SOMETHING – open your mouth and use words.

For those like me who enter a room mouth-first, this is no big deal. You can walk into a room and meet anyone.

But, some of you are not as comfortable meeting new people and starting conversations.

And, for you who are more shy and introverted, here are some samples for you to use:

  • “Hey, it’s nice to meet you.”
  • “Hi. My name is…”
  • “Hello. My family and I are new here.”

3) ASK A GOOD QUESTION OR TWO – just have 2-3 in the “hopper” that you can pull out at any time.

Here are some questions that I like to use:

  • “How long have you been here/coming here/a member here?”
  • “Are you from this area?”
  • “Where do you like to eat around here?”
  • “What sort of work do you do?”
  • “What sorts of things do you enjoy doing outside of work/school/church?”

4) INVITE – when you meet a person that you’d like to get to know, invite them to get together.

You could meet for:

  • Coffee
  • Lunch
  • Take a walk/run
  • Play a round of golf or tennis
  • An event – like a movie or concert
  • Ask them to show you around the city/church/workplace.

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

5) FIND COMMON GROUND – you can usually find something in common with everyone.

When I first meet a person, I try to find a topic or subject we can comfortably talk about for 5 minutes or so.

  • Kids/Grandkids
  • Work
  • Church
  • The city you are in.
  • Even something they are carrying, wearing or reading.

6) GIVE IT TIME.

Ask God to lead you to friends and to bless you with good friendships. It may take a few efforts and a little time.

Pray over your new relationships and friendships. Give them to the Lord.

Let Him bring the people around you that He wants there.

7) DON’T GIVE UP

If your first attempt doesn’t go so well, keep trying.

There are others like you out there who would love to have a friend just like you.

Scripture clearly tells us that, “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. 

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

Making friends, engaging in relationships and seeking companionship is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS WORTHWHILE.

I pray that God will bless your life with many wonderful companions~

As I close, here are a few photos to celebrate friendship:

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!

And, my favorite:

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us for relationships! This article offers several practical ways you can build better friendships - starting today!


**And, would you do me a favor — if this article has encouraged you today — would you share it with someone else? 

Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?

This blog occasionally uses affiliate links and may contain affiliate links.  Melanie Redd is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. For more on my disclosure policy, click HERE.

~ I regularly link to these AMAZING SITES~

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The images after the title picture were found:

© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

19 thoughts on “Building Better Friendships

    1. Thanks, Renee!

      And, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      I’ve entered your name in the drawing for one of the books. I hope you win~

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend – and maybe we will even see the sun~
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  1. The scripture Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is very special to me. I have 2 friends that when we were single we read this & it meant so much to us that we made a bookmark for our bibles out of cord. To this day if we see each other or call each other -it’s like we pick up right where we were 30 years ago. They both live in Mississippi, but thanks to email & phone we catch up. I mentioned you to one of them. I can’t wait to tell her about this & how much you touched my heart with this blog. Thanks for the Lord leading you in ALL your work.

  2. Not sure how I would make it without some of my friends! This is a great reminder that it is not all about us and we sometimes need to make the first move to speak or meet people. We might just be a blessing to someone and be blessed in return.

    1. Hey Celeste,

      Thanks for stopping by for a visit and leaving a comment!

      And, what a good word you’ve added. I love this, “We might just be a blessing to someone and be blessed in return.”

      Hope you and your family are doing well.

      I’ve added you into the drawing for one of the books. I hope you win~
      Blessings to you,
      Melanie

  3. Such encouraging words for today. I’m working on getting outsidey comfort zone to meet new people. This is just what I need today because I’m not the outgoing type. Thanks Melanie

    1. Hey Kathy,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It’s great to hear from you!

      I’ve entered you in the drawing for one of the books! Hope your name is drawn~

      And, it does take a little “shove” for some people to step out of their comfort zone. You CAN do it!! I may feel weird and odd, but the results are always worth it.

      I encourage you to go for it~ You can do it!

      Hope you and your family are doing well.
      Blessings,
      Melanie

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a good word, Mom!

      I’ve entered you in the drawing for one of the three books. Hope you win~

      Love you,
      Mel

    1. Hey Lisa,

      Thanks for stopping by for a visit and leaving a nice word.

      And, I’ve entered you in the drawing for one of the three books. Hope you win~

      Hope you and your family are doing well. It’s been too long since we’ve bumped into you.
      I hope to see you soon.
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  4. I love this melanie. I always have to reminder myself that to get a friend you have to be one. That means putting yourself out there. Its hard sometimes but so worth it. Great encouragement!!!!

  5. Dear Melanie ~

    I’ve been in the deep woods of Bluegoose, MS w/o Internet a great deal over the last 6 mos. Needless to say, I’m behind on posts, emails, laundry, & pretty much everything. BUT GOD…
    Knew I needed to read this TODAY!

    W/O getting into all the details of the spiritual, physical, emotional, & psychological battles my family has walked (& is walking) through this season; I’d love to tell you about some of my sweet friends who have loved, prayed for, & encouraged me along the way.

    During these fiery trials I’ve been consistently encouraged by these precious ones. One friend took time from her busy schedule to make a long Starbucks afternoon w/me & even brought me a basket of goodies.

    Another surprised me by digging up some plants I had admired in her yard. She planted them in a concrete urn, & delivered it to my house… w/o asking for help to lift it!

    I’ve been telling my Mom & Daughters what wonderful friends I have. Today I had just said, ‘God has blessed me with such wonderful friends & I stink at being a good friend in return’ when my husband handed me an envelope.

    It was a card from yet another friend just oozing with love & encouragement. What amazes me is that she just finished a round of chemo & is facing surgery soon. BUT SHE thought of me & reached out, despite her own battles.

    I’ve been praying for personal revival for a while now. Today’s
    sermon was titled “Grace to Finish Well” (Nehemiah 4:6-15)
    There are so many things to glean from that passage.

    Our Pastor spent a good deal of time encouraging us not to grow weary & quit in the middle, but to “Press On”! (I smiled as I thought of you). He also cautioned us against negative influences from Satan, the Lord’s enemies, & even from among our own.

    We’ve probably all heard this before. (I didn’t catch the stats so I’ll mega embellish). It goes something like this: ‘It takes like a Go-Zillion positive statements to diminish one negative remark’.

    During the invitation we sang the Hymn & Contemporary combo version of “Just As I Am” & this section filled my heart to overflowing:

    ‘I come broken to be mended
    I come wounded to be healed
    I come desperate to be rescued
    I come EMPTY to be FILLED
    I come guilty to be pardoned
    by the blood of Christ the Lamb
    And I’m welcomed with open
    arms, Praise God, just as I am’

    I’m so very thankful for Jesus’ loving sufficiency in every need I have; and for the people He’s planted in my life to encourage me & spur me on. That list isn’t all inclusive, and it would definitely not be complete without adding you. Thank you for fulfilling your call as an “Encourager” in so many lives!

    As much as I value all of that, my prayer for the future is that God would prompt & empower me to be a good friend & encouragement to others.

    Love ~ Jackie T.

    P. S. If I’d known this would be so long, I would have emailed you. (You’d think that I don’t know me at all!) By the time I knew, it was too late because it wouldn’t let me copy & paste & it has way too many words to start again. BTW…I resemble the remark you made about “entering a room mouth first”. I am so stealin’ that line, Sista!!!!

    1. Hey Jackie,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice note! Long it okay!!

      Sounds like you have been blessed with some very precious gifts of friendship. Isn’t it sweet for God to send us kindness from other women? It is so good to hear you share these things!

      You also are a sweet friend and a wonderful encourager in my life, and I appreciate you~

      And, just for what it’s worth, some of us have to walk in mouth first or the room would be very QUIET!

      Love you,
      Melanie

  6. I am someone who has never had a friend since the age of 10 when I had to move in with my dad. It was with him I learned that men yell, hit, and hurt you. Come home from school, Do your home work and your chores. But most of all keep your mouth shut. All these things have kept me from learning how to not only make a friend but how to keep a friend. That women who noone spoke to was like me. Those I thought were a friend only took and left. I am now 61 and handicapped. I live with my daughter and grandkids and only go out to the doctors. Yes all people need a friend (other than family) so if my story will get someone to reach out and talk to another person who seams alone. It just might be the best thing they ever did. It might just mean that person won’t end up alone and at times hurting.

    1. Hey Barbara,

      I am very sorry to hear that your life has been so difficult.

      You have touched my heart with your story, and I am going to pray for you every single time God brings you to mind. Asking Him to comfort you and to give you some wonderful conversations, fellowship, and friendships.

      It’s never too late! God can still answer your prayers!

      So, I am praying today that He will give you hope — much hope~
      Melanie

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