What Keeps You from Meaningful Relationships?
Feeling Alone can be Overwhelming
Loneliness can lead to a lot of other issues; such as, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and even thoughts of suicide. If you’ve been feeling lonely, know it’s not God’s plan for your life. He wants us to have friends and to love each other as He loves us. In this episode, I talk about loneliness with Amy, Tim, and Rebecca. We’ll talk about what keeps them from having meaningful relationships and how they can find and build friendships.
Girls Don’t Seem to Like Her
Amy wishes she had girlfriends to go out and have fun with. When she’s not with her boyfriend, she’s at home by herself. She says, girls don’t seem to like her. Amy is asking the question, why? Why does she lack meaningful relationships, especially with other girls?
It’s a challenge to maintain long-term relationships. We live hurried, busy lives and don’t always take the time to develop them. We get prideful and don’t want to appear like we need others. Sometimes we don’t know how to find and keep deeper relationships. Or it’s easy to take offense or decide we are better off without people in our lives.
Afraid to Reach Out
Many times, when we ask, why am I lonely? We already know what the answer is. The challenge is it’s too emotionally risky to solve the problem. Most people know what to do, they just don’t know how to do it or they are not willing to pay the price to remedy the problem. What are some reasons people are afraid to reach out?
- Pride – Amy doesn’t want to look like she’s trying too hard to make friends.
- Fear of rejection – you have to put yourself out there and you don’t know how the other person is going to respond.
- Confused about how many friends you really need. Amy is thinking about a lot of friends but one friend at this point is really all she needs. Most people only have 2 or 3 really close friends anyway.
- It’s hard when you’re lonely to think that other people around you are lonely too. Some camouflage their needs really well. It’s not like they have a sign on their forward that says, “Talk to me I’m lonely.”
- Some people don’t understand there are sacrifices to developing new relationships. Amy may have to cut back on her time with her boyfriend to take the time to make friends with other girls. It’s worth it but it’s not easy.
[bctt tweet="Lonely? It’s not God’s plan for your life. He wants us to have friends & to love each other." username="thehopeline"]
Show Yourself Friendly
Amy needs to put aside her pride and be willing to make the first move toward gaining a friend. She needs to begin to show herself friendly. She can’t just wait for friends to come to her. This means she has to set aside time to get to know other people. She’s going to have to get out of her comfort zone and do activities with people other than her boyfriend. Amy has the tools to do this and with God’s help she can.
Grief and Loneliness
Tim was an only child and both of his parents died. He said they were very poor but he never lacked for food or clothes, his parents took good care of him. It’s been 5 years since they died. Tim works in the oil field and makes good money but the girls he’s dated think he’s gullible and lonely.
Lonely people have often been struck with major hurts and tragedies. Sometimes through no fault of their own, the very people who would help fill the gap of aloneness are snatched from them. Grief and loneliness can come hand in hand.
Tim has really been through it…losing both parents can be devastating. Ye he’s the only one who can make the changes in his life that will help develop deep, important, and potentially long-term relationships with others.
Tim, however is constantly reminded he’s all alone. He’s had shallow relationships with girls who don’t care about him. At the same time, he’s observing others who are enjoying the good family life. So, what hope does Tim have?
[bctt tweet="Lonely people have often been struck with major hurts and tragedies through no fault of their own." username="thehopeline"]
God’s Help for Loneliness
He needs to remind himself how God helped him when he was very young. The same hope he had as a child when God put the food on the table from a very poor family is still available to him now. That same God who helped him back then, can and will help him again with his fears and loneliness. King David wrote, “The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand. I once was young and now am old, yet never have I seen the righteous abandoned or their children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:23-25
The good news for Tim is he already has a relationship with God. He speaks of God’s provisions but it’s hard for him to apply that to his feelings of loneliness. As Dr. Billy Graham once said, “Nothing dissolves loneliness like a session with God’s Word.” Tim needs to seek the Lord with all of his heart and then friendships and relationships will fall into place. Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
Be a Good Friend
Rebecca is feeling lonely and wants more friends. She has 2 friends at school, but they are in different classes, so she doesn’t see them much.
Rebecca needs to understand this is not a little thing we are talking about. God’s will is for her to have friends. If God wants us to have friends, then he will make the way for us to find them. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
God’s going to help Rebecca. Part of His plan is found in Proverbs 18:24, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” As I mentioned to Rebecca, if she is a good friend and shows others she’s approachable, then people will want to be around her.
One key to making friends is shared experiences. This is why teammates can become so close as well as roommates, coworkers, and people into the same interests. They share experiences together and get to know each other while doing similar activities.
Rebecca needs to find a group to join; whether it’s a club, team, community service group, study group, or youth group. This way she can get to know people through shared experiences. Meaningful relationships do not develop overnight. They take time and must be cultivated.
[bctt tweet="Meaningful #relationships do not develop overnight. They take time and must be cultivated." username="thehopeline"]
Did Today’s Episode Get You Thinking?
God does not want us to go through struggles alone. He wants us to have friends, who will stick with us through thick or thin. Proverbs 12:12 says, "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
A friend can make all the difference in your life whether you are going through a really hard time or you are doing well. A true friend, as the Bible says, can stick closer to you than a sister or brother.
My prayer for you is that you will find the right kind of friends and they will help you and you will help them and you will have a much richer life. God bless you as you seek to find those friends.
Resources for help with LONELINESS:
- Check out my eBooks: Understanding Loneliness and Understanding Friendships.
- Check out my blogs: 10 Tips to End Loneliness, Just Say Hi, How to Make Friends, and 9 Tips for Being a Good Friend
- Check out this story of hope from Leigh who struggled with loneliness: Isolation.
- Need to talk about loneliness? Sign up for an Email Mentor, an online coach who will email you and come along beside you to offer support.
- Need prayer? I believe God wants to change your life and mine, through prayer. If you need prayer and would like to have someone pray for you, go to the ThePrayerZone.com and check it out.
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Join me for my next episode on verbal abuse in the family. The words of an abuser can cause all kinds of agony and can set one on a lifelong destructive course. In this episode, I speak with Lance, who’s verbally attacked by his parents. I also talk with Sarah who endures verbal abuse at least twice a day trapped in the car with her dad. And the most difficult conversation I had is with Tameka, whose father emotionally and verbally abuses her. He calls her names and puts her down every day. If you need help dealing with verbal abuse in your family, then this one is for you!
Remember, whatever you do, Never Lose Hope!