How to Make Better Friends

This is Part 1 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

The room was absolutely packed with college graduates and young professionals.

Summer was beginning, and everyone was home from school and excited about seeing old friends and making new ones.

Good friends are not necessarily easy to come by. Real, honest, faithful friends are something all of us desire to have. How can we make better friends? How can we improve and deepen our relationships? Here are some very practical suggestions.

Our church was having its first summer event for our age group.

We were all having dinner together at The Spaghetti Warehouse.

I arrived solo, hoping to be seated at a table with some of my long-time friends. However, when I entered the room, there were no chairs available at familiar tables with my familiar friends.

I walked around the room feeling a little lost.

I’d been away at college for the last four years, and most of my high school friends had moved on – making new friends.

My heart was starting to beat a little faster as I tried to decide what to do next.

Where would I sit?

Who was I still close to?

Where would I fit in now that I was back in town?

Perspiration was starting to gather on my upper lip, and I was beginning to feel very alone and uncomfortable.

I needed a place to sit, and I had no idea where to turn.

I actually thought I might just turn around and head back out to my car. It was that awkward.

It was in that moment that the most amazing thing happened.

A beautiful brunette that I’d never met before came up to me and invited me to come and sit at her table.

She pulled out a chair, invited me to sit down, and introduced me to a whole table of her friends – none of whom I really knew.

That’s all it took for me to meet a great group of women that would become some of my favorite friends over the next months and years.

In a very uncomfortable moment in my life… a woman I did not know gave me the most amazing gift. She gave me exactly what I needed – friendliness.

She practiced incredible generosity, kindness, and hospitality that day.

And, I believe, she taught me a valuable lesson – a biblical lesson.

You’ve likely heard or read the Proverb: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.” (Proverbs 18:24)

Jesus stated it this way, Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

So, How Do We Make Better Friends and Enjoy Better Friendships?

If we want to enjoy great relationships and meaningful friendships, we must:

First, we have to get over ourselves!

To really enjoy others, we’ve got to get past our insecurities and be willing to put ourselves out there. You can’t be friendly and stay “safe” at the same time.

Most of us don’t want to feel the discomfort of making the first move. So, we keep to ourselves and miss out on the fun, the fellowship, and the companionship.

Friendly people are courageous people – willing to make the first move.

To have better friends, you are going to have to be open to branching out into new territory. Click To Tweet

It might feel really strange, but it will be worth it!

Second, we have to actually take risks and put ourselves out there!

To make new friends, we may have to send the first text, make the first call, or initiate the first lunch or coffee meeting.

Just do it anyway. Pick up the phone. Send the email. Walk up to the person at work or at church. Chances are, they will really appreciate your gesture of kindness. Likely, they will respond favorably.

I remember when my husband and I moved to a new city for a job. We really didn’t know any people. So, we started inviting other couples over for supper. We would cook out, talk, and usually, play a board game or two.

We had to invite several couples over before we both really hit it off with the other couple. At times it was a little uncomfortable, but with each invitation, we got a little braver.

In time, we made some wonderful friends. But, we had to first put ourselves out there.

To have better friends, you are going to have to take risks & put yourself out there! Click To Tweet

Third, we have to give to others what we need!

Pastor Adrian Rogers used to regularly say, “Give to others what you need. If you need kindness, give kindness. If you need a good word, give a good word. If you need friendship, give friendship.”

Good friends are not necessarily easy to come by. Real, honest, faithful friends are something all of us desire to have. How can we make better friends? How can we improve and deepen our relationships? Here are some very practical suggestions.

That’s the idea here.

If you are lonely and in need of companionship, give companionship to someone else.

Give friendship because you need friendship.

If you are new to a place, a church, or a city, reach out because you need someone to reach out to you.

Care because you need someone to care about you.

I have personally practiced this principle over and over in my life. And, I’ve seen it work again and again. When I unselfishly give to others, I gain. Somehow in the reaching out to others, I am blessed and encouraged.

Sometimes others will respond favorable. Sometimes they will not.

Reach out and be friendly anyway.

Do it because it will change you – no matter how they react.

Do it because the Bible tells us to.

Do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Do it because you want to have better friends.

To have better friends, you are going to have to give to others what you really need! Click To Tweet

By the way…  

That beautiful brunette who reached out to me that night at The Spaghetti Warehouse became my life-long friend.

We were in each other’s weddings and we’ve been close friends for almost 30 years now!

It’s all because she reached out and was friendly to me when I needed it most…

Many of you have mentioned to me that you are lonely – in need of friendship.

That’s why we are focusing on friendships for the entire month of August.

It’s my hope and my prayer that you will be encouraged as we think about better relationships and more meaningful friendships over the next few weeks.

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?

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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.


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-

20 thoughts on “How to Make Better Friends

  1. Hi Melanie~when I went to a high school reunion the same thing happened to me, but no one asked me to sit with them. I didn’t see anyone I knew & I did get up & leave. I never went to another class reunion & have been out of high school 47 years now. That’s pretty sad. I really appreciated your article, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Marcie,
      I think we have ALL been there – alone, awkward, uncomfortable! It’s the worst feeling, isn’t it!
      Amazingly, I read a book by a very popular author and speaker recently. She shared about this same thing happening to her.
      Sadly, I think it’s part of life.
      The good news – we can be the ones to reach out and be kind!
      Praying God will bless you with much sweet fellowship this week.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. I agree making friends takes courage. I have reached out to individuals and at times it has worked and other times it doesn’t. I think the key is to keep reaching out anyway.

    1. Amen, Tona!
      Keep reaching out! Don’t give up.
      I believe there are some precious sisters out there who would love to be your friend.
      I will pray that God bless your friendships and fill your life with women who will encourage you, support you, pray with you, and sweetly build you up!

  3. Melanie, this was exactly what I needed! “You can’t be friendly and stay “safe” at the same time” is such a timely word for me! Just coming back from the She Speaks conference, I was put in this same position that you mentioned here. Except I didn’t take the plunge and step out. I hid in my room!!! I know God has been calling me to step out more in this area. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    1. Hey Alisa,
      It’s so good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by today and leaving a kind word!
      You are too precious and have way too much to offer to hide in your room! I double dog dare you to take the plunge! Honestly, you have so much more to gain than to lose!
      I would love it if you would do this 30 Day Friendship Challenge with us and let us know if it helps!
      Now, I know how to pray for you!!

  4. This post has been most helpful in explaining step by step how to make friends. I will pass this on to someone who struggles with making friends.

  5. Such great tips here. Taking risks and being an initiator have helped me. It’s also been important to give God the friendship and let Him develop the ones he wants to take deeper.

    1. Thank you, Ginger! I’m so glad you stopped by today.
      And, we do have to step out there and take those risks, don’t we!
      Love it when the Lord sends friends and takes them deeper as well.
      I’m sure grateful for you and for your friendship~

  6. Melanie, This post spoke such encouragement to my heart at this season in my life of very few friends.

    I live in a notoriously “clicky” area of the country and as such, it is very hard to make friends. I tend to shy away from reaching out because I just assume the answer will be no. There is such truth in what you said that “Being friendly takes courage”.

    I was greatly encouraged by the insight to “give what you need”.

    I have been so blessed by my visit here today. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Karen, for your visit and your kind words today.
      Making new friends can be such a challenge! However, I still think it is worth it to put yourself out there – no matter how hard!
      I pray that God will fill your life with great friendships, companionship, conversation, laughter, and joy!
      There is likely another sister in your area/neighborhood who would LOVE to have a friend like you!
      I’m going to ask God to put you two together!

  7. This is going to be AWESOME, Melanie! As women, we struggle with friendship, don’t we? What a needed resource this will be!!

  8. I love tip #1 – Get over yourself. Rev used to ask our Bible class what they thought about more than anything else. The answer is always – myself! To make great friends we have to look out and see great friends. I love that your friend reached out when you needed someone to make you feel welcome. What a blessing. And you do practice these points and reach out to others through friendship. I’m so glad to be among them. You bless me!!

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