What keeps you from inviting others into your friend circle?
For me, it’s two things:
It is easier to not do anything. It’s easier to continue chatting with my friends instead of leaving the circle to jump into a potentially uncomfortable conversation with the new person. It takes some energy to grow a new friendship so, I’ll stay nice and comfy with the friends I’ve got.
There’s not enough (fill in the blank) for someone else to join. Not enough room in the car, not enough seats at the table, not enough space in my calendar to allow someone on “the inside.” If I let her in, what if they like her more.
The solution: humility
Welcoming others takes bravery and effort, but mostly humility.
Humility to remember how it felt before I was welcomed into a friendship.
Humility to demonstrate God’s generous welcome –no coolness required.
And humility to recognize when I am being selfish and extend an invitation or a “how are you?” when I see someone who needs it.
Friend circles will grow when warmth is at the center. Warmth keeps our hearts from becoming hard towards new potential friends. A study by sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst at Utrecht University shows that women change their friend group every seven years which means we should come to expect changes to the circle.
Don’t hold too tightly to the way things are now. Life circumstances will inevitably change your friend circle: people move across town, your kids fall into different hobbies or perhaps you were only friends for the duration of a particular year in college.
Always be learning how to let people in…you never know, that new person could become a lifelong friend.
Questions to consider:
What are your barriers to inviting others in?
How do you see humility moving your heart to welcome friends into your community?
I is for Introduction – the value of saying “hello” through a bible-based lens