We LOVE ‘life hacks‘.
The term is everywhere right now. It’s one of the internet’s favourite ‘Buzz words’.
Our culture is all about being productive. We celebrate corner-cutting and want to find the most efficient way to tick off those To-Do’s.
More information is available at the tip of our finger tips than ever before. If I want to know who the King of Sweden is, or how a rainbows are formed… I literally have to stand in my living room and ask my google home mini and within seconds I have the answer.
Getting to know pretty much anything, is pretty easy.
How does this kind of thinking affect our relationships?
We’re relational beings. We want community. We want to relate to others, to be known and understood.
And there is no google home mini in the world that can tell you exactly what makes your friend tick, what their fears and hopes are or why the have that strange habit.
People are more than a list of statistics and facts. We are complex. And if you want to understand a human, you’re going to have to put the time in.
The photo I used in the Pinterest graphic above was taken a few weeks ago. It shows my friends and I strolling along on a very chilly beach walk. We were relaxed, chatting away and enjoying the fresh sea air.
But what isn’t pictured is the hours of conversations, tears, laughs and cups of tea that we’ve put in to get to that very moment of strolling along a beautiful mostly-empty beach in November.
We didn’t just decide to be close friends. We worked at it. We invested time. We made room in our lives for one another, even when things got busy.
But more than time and energy, the one thing we can offer that is most powerful in building genuine friendships is vulnerability.
How can we expect people to understand us if we don’t give them anything to understand?
I know there will be someone reading this and thinking ‘well that’s great for someone who likes talking about feelings, but that’s just not me’.
I get that. And I’m not telling you to ring someone up you hardly know and spill all your deepest secrets.
But if you want to get to a point where you do feel comfortable talking about feelings, maybe start working on the foundations of your friendships.
I believe that in the right setting, vulnerability is something you can cultivate, regardless of your personality. It’s not just for emotional people, it’s for everyone.
Vulnerability in friendships takes trust…and that takes time to build.
So we need to be intentional.
No cutting corners.
No life hacks.
Just a genuine interest, a lot of patience and the desire to truly see our friends succeed.
In authentic community there is no space for competition, jealousy or bitterness.
So, what kind of friendships do you want to build?