Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said; “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Ponder that for a minute.
What is it about a person that attracts you to them? What kind of people do you best enjoy being around?
If you’re like me, you’re probably drawn to the people who are genuinely interested in you and who go out of their way to get to know you. Unfortunately, we humans and our busyness have a tendency to get wrapped up in ourselves, and neglect to spend much time thinking about others. Hey, life’s busy; it happens.
Because the majority isn’t overly interested, or simply too busy, to listen to our every words and spend tons of time getting to know us, it’s easy to get trapped into feelings of loneliness. Even if you’re surrounded by several fabulous people, it can still creep up on you. For example, I often find that, while I have many friends, most of my friendships are pretty casual (ya know, “Hi! How are you? Bye! *keep walking*). The close friendships I do have are precious–but when those people aren’t around, it’s easy feel lonely, and as if nobody really knows me.
So what are we supposed to do? Remain in a state of discontentment because people are too busy to realize how fantastic we are?
No. We’re gonna have to step up and be the change we want to see. We’ll need to get over ourselves and our desire to sit in self-pity, and be the kind of friend that we’d want to have. This means purposefully getting to know someone and listening to them–lots and lots of listening. Listening not only to their words, but also to their actions and body language.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: ; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…”~James 1:19
We don’t have to go out and be “super friends” to every person we meet. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” By starting small with one or two people, however, not only will we learn more about selflessly caring for others– we’ll also forget about our self-pity/loneliness and develop deeper friendships. Besides, who knows what kind of influence your kind actions and listening ears will have on a person’s life?
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”~Proverbs 27:17
Who is one person you’re interested in getting to know better? What can you do to cultivate a stronger friendship with them?