How to Expand Your Friendship Horizons

This is Part 5 of a five-part friendship series.

You can catch all of the friendship articles by linking to them below:

How to Make Better Friends – Week One

How to Begin & Enjoy a Mentoring Relationship – Week Two

How to Enjoy Mutually Encouraging Friendships – Week Three

How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend – Week Four

How to Expand Your Friendship Horizons – Week Five

 


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 shape.

We need friendship, conversation, laughter, meaningful dialogue, sounding boards, workout buddies, accountability partners, and friends. God created us to enjoy time with other people. Here are some simple suggestions for how you can expand your friendship horizons and make more friends!

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.

All of us have moments when we need a friend. Click To Tweet

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!

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 members 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.

You can EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS!

And just an FYI, my husband has served as an interim pastor. We moved from church to church to fill in as needed. In the last few years, 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 expanding your friendship horizons:

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 it to form 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.

You just freeze up when you have to talk to a stranger or someone you don’t know very well.

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.

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 to enjoy time with other people. Here are some simple suggestions for how you can expand your friendship horizons and make more friends!

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! Click To Tweet


And, here are the other four articles in this friendship series:

How to Make Better Friends – Week One

How to Begin & Enjoy a Mentoring Relationship – Week Two

How to Enjoy Mutually Encouraging Friendships – Week Three

How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend – Week Four


Were you encouraged today?

Would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?

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.

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© 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.

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-

12 thoughts on “How to Expand Your Friendship Horizons

  1. Such great advice, Melanie! Breaking through our own shy, scared, or insecure barriers is so important in making friends. Usually, from my experience, doing that brings walls down and friendships are made. Sometimes it just may not, though, and we need to hold onto to truth in those moments and not feel rejected.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Moments of Hope, friend!

    Lori

    1. Thank you, Lori!
      We do have to put ourselves out there, don’t we! It is hard sometimes, but I’ve never regretted reaching out!
      I’m enjoying the Monday link up! Thanks for hosting.
      You bless me~
      Melanie

  2. I loved this article. The scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is special because I met 2 other girls when I was single. We lived in an apartment & our friendship grew from the closeness & bond we formed back then. One girl told me she found a scripture that was ours. The three cord is hard to break. If I needed either of them I know I could count on them.
    Wow you never meet a stranger..

    1. Hey Amelia,
      Thank you! I sure do appreciate you and your kind words tonight!
      Don’t you love to meet Jesus people – friends who love the same Savior that you do?
      You are a blessing to my life~
      Melanie

  3. Wow! It’s like I read Proverbs 18:24 for the first time!! Yet I have read many, many times! “Those who have friends must show themselves friendly”.

    I am an introverted extrovert. Those that I know I am extroverted with. My husband’s ministry of pulpit fill has stretched me to be more outgoing in new situations and I think it is easier because it is just for a moment in time. It is the situations, like I find myself in now, where we are attending a new church and it still feels awkward.

    I’ve always been “good at” smiling at those I don’t know, but it is the walking up to and talking to and inviting that I fall short.

    I appreciate so much your suggestions for making friends and the efforts you have put into this series.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you, Karen!
      Your words are so kind and really encourage my heart tonight!
      And, I think we all can feel a little awkward when we are new to anything! Even extroverts like me face that racing pulse and uncomfortable feelings! Going up to strangers can be really hard sometimes!
      But, we are pastor’s wives… so guess what? We have to “get over it!!”
      Praying that you and your family will settle in, make many wonderful friends, and start to feel at home as quickly as possible in your new church!
      You bless me~
      Melanie

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