One Sure-Fire Way to Improve Your Friendships

What if one–just one–simple insight could improve the quality of your friendships for the better?

If you’ve ever wondered, Why do I have to be the one to initiate? Why does she take forever to respond? Is she trying to avoid me? 

Or if you’ve thought, Oh my goodness…how did I forget to call her?! or I’d love to reach out, but what if she says “no”?

If you want to make your friendships better, the next few sentences may change your life. They will change your outlook.

Two of the biggest barriers in friendship are:

  1. Failure to initiate
  2. Failure to respond

We know this. We’ve lived this.

In all likelihood, you’ve experienced the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when a friend doesn’t respond. You’ve probably also experienced the same stinkin’ feeling if you’ve failed to reach out when you should have, or failed to show up when you could have.

I have.

Friendship takes someone to initiate and someone to respond. Without both, the relationship is destined for failure.

But here’s the mind-blowing concept that can change our perspective on friendship: Some of us, by nature, are initiators. Some of us though, are not; we are responders.

Recently, I came across an eye-opening insight about friendship: Mutuality does not mean equal initiation.  In her article,  “Five Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Friendship”, Shasta Nelson, M. Div. writes:

“Oh-so-many friendships never get off the ground due to the fear in us that whispers, I invited her last time, the ball is in her court now. So not true. We all have strengths to give to our friendships, and initiation and planning are just that — a strength that we all have in varying degrees. I never think, Oh I had them over last time… it’s their turn. I think, Oh I want to see them again, let me email them to see if they can come over!And they reciprocate in the friendships in plenty of other ways…Mutuality is important. But mutuality is not 50/50 in each task, but whether we both are contributing to the friendship overall.”

Friendship is not about who called who, last. Friendship is about both people bringing something to the relationship that makes the connection worthwhile.

Does a good friend initiate? Sure. Does she respond? You bet. But don’t define the quality of your friendship based on both parties doing every task equally. Rather, define your relationship by this:

A good friend is one who propels you to be the best version of you--the one God had in mind when He created you. Click To Tweet

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Does your friend uplift you? Encourage you? Inspire you? Support you? Speak truth to you?

Does your friend make you, a better you?

Do you make your friend better, too?

If the answer is yes, don’t worry about the rest. Relax. Extend grace.

And enjoy one of God’s greatest gifts–

A good friend.

With love from your good friend,


PS.  This month, I’m writing and teaching a new Bible Study on healthy friendships, called “Get Healthy: Friendship”. For more information on this resource, go to Crossline Church Women and click on Media.

For information on other Get Healthy topics, click here.

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