Erasing Loneliness is a 6 week challenge to help you move past loneliness and foster more meaningful connections. Get the scoop HERE.
If you haven’t done so already CLICK HERE to download the Erasing Loneliness JORNAL. It’ll help you track your thoughts and transformation towards authentic friendships throughout the challenge. You can find WEEK 1 here, WEEK 2 here, WEEK 3 here, WEEK 4 here, WEEK 5 here. Feel free to go at your own pace.
So you think you’ve found ‘the one’. Your new [potential] BFF. You’ve asked them over for coffee but they politely decline. You’ve invited them to a concert but they can’t make it. Your next attempt involves extending an invitation to an afternoon BBQ [boat ride + sandy beach included], yet they still can’t attend.
What the what?!
Because discouragement is easy but useless [and boy there were moments when I ‘went there’]. You know, crying-on-the-curb-outside-the-post-office-discouragement ‘went there’. Self-pitty is effortless when you’re feeling lonely and longing for quality time with others.
But self-pitty and discouragement won’t bring you friendship.
So here’s the deal. Don’t take it personally when someone says, “Oh, I can’t today.”
Yes, you can be bummed. Maybe for a few seconds [or minutes if you must]. Yes you can acknowledge the struggle and frustration that sometimes comes along with fostering fellowship. But let’s remember 98% of declined invitations probably have nothing to do with you.
It’s NOT that you’re not good enough. Not fun enough. Not worthy of meaningful, true, friendship.
Need an example? After settling into my new town I’d ask acquaintances if they’d like to go running. Folks would turn me down repeatedly. And you know why? It’s not that they didn’t want to spend time with me — but because they despised running. Yeah.
It’s not about you. Once you lift that weight off your shoulders and scrub that lie from your heart — it becomes exponentially easier to extend invitations. Resiliency is possible.
Sometimes it takes several tries to find common interests with others. Continue to suggest a variety of activities (different times/days) to those you’d like to get to know.
I’m not talking about calling new acquaintances once a day, “How ’bout now? Wanna hang out now?” Simply look for opportunities to meet others where they are.
Is there a new mom you’d really like to get to know? As crazy as it seems, maybe what see really needs is you to come over so she can shower while you hold the baby, and then you can sip juice boxes and peel on some string cheese together. Want to befriend a teacher? Maybe you hit the park together while she grades papers and you read.
Try to take into account their lifestyle, life stage, personality. Do they seem introverted? Extroverted? Planners or spur-of-the-moment? A late night person or a crack-of-dawn person?
If they “can’t make it”, try responding with, “Is there a day (time/activity) that would work better for you?” Often times they’ll suggest just what they’d be interested in.
Repeatedly extend genuine invitations of fellowship with a variety of people and you’ll be well on your way to forming new friendships.
– Who do you want to get to know? In the comments below tell me what you might invite them to do.
– Want to decipher the perfect activities from what little you know about these new acquaintances? Scribble a few notes in the Erasing Loneliness JOURNAL that I’ve made just for you!
– If you’ve gained value from the Erasing Loneliness Challenge, I’d love for you to share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtag #erasingloneliness so others can benefit too. Grateful you were alone for the journey!!
Erasing Loneliness In Review
– Pre-Challenge Question
– Wise Advice for Your Biggest Hospitality Fears
– Wk 1 Challenge Activity: Embrace Alone Time
– Wk 2 Challenge Activity: Everyone’s Not For You
– Wk 3 Challenge Activity: Engage in All Areas of Life
– Wk 4 Challenge Activity: Extravagantly Share Your Gifts
– Wk 5 Challenge Activity: Enjoy Intergenerational Friendships
Image via Ary B – Creative Commons