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Taking Your Friendship Efforts Up to a Whole New Level

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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November 13, 2013

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* You can either read the article or watch and listen to the video

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Sometimes We are Guilty of Feeble Efforts or Completely Unaware of the Hidden Obstacles in Our Way

I like that scene in the movie Avatar where Jake states he needs to take things up to a whole new level and promptly jumps on the back of a Turok in the hope of gaining the trust of the Na’vi. Sometimes we need to do the same thing. Figuratively speaking, of course! You may need to take your friendship efforts up to a whole new level yourself and by that I mean several, visceral notches.

One of the huge benefits in taking massive action to draw the kind of friends we desire into our lives is that the issues that were holding us back either get fixed along the way, are voided or are purged from our lives. This is especially so if you make the right approach which I touch on below.

A Good Dose of Introspection

One of the problems that besets us is that we are sometimes lost in a fog and oblivious to what’s holding us back friendship-wise. A good dose of introspection is key. If you are struggling making decent friends stop being like the fly that’s constantly bumping it’s head against the glass pane. Stop for a moment and ask yourself why is the status quo in your life the way it is. Dwell on the following question for a few weeks at least, “How am I responsible for my friendship situation?”

Here are some of the things you may come to realize.

* That your previous friendship efforts were not on  a scale that could get you the results you wanted. By taking your friendship efforts up to a whole new level you now have a visceral sense of several levels of initiative instead of the pitiful two you were maxing out on.

* It begins to dawn on you that the reason you feel your friendship efforts reap little reward is that you haven’t been sowing on fertile ground.  Find the right people to be with. It makes a huge difference.

* That you have had a bad tendency to linger in unsatisfying and unfulfilling friendship situations. For example, you might be hanging around a certain social group that makes you feel a little like the ugly duckling. Assessing friendships, learning to let go and setting sail in pursuit of more promising friendships is a vitally important mindset to adopt.

* That the social boundaries of your life have been too narrow placing great limits on the quality of friendships you have had. Reaching out beyond this boundary in search for good friends is what you need to do.

Are You Living a Herd-Like Group Existence?

Do you live a herd-like group existence and find it a little dissatisfying? Here I’m referring to people who only socialize in groups. They may notice that whereas they hear people inviting individuals in the group out for lunch, to a movie or over to their place such invitations rarely if ever come their way. If so and it’s bothering you a little treat other people like you would like them to treat you. Start showing interest in individuals and invite them to join you for one-to-one activities or hold small intimate get-togethers. For example, inviting four or five friends over for lunch and a board game.

Warning!! Anemic Friendship Efforts

Another thing to watch out for are anemic friendship efforts. Some people may desire friendships but have the funny habit of sitting on their hands.

A friend leaves their activity circle and while they may miss that person and reminisce about the good times they do nothing to get in contact and meet up with that person.

Some might leave one ultra-brief message on facebook that could easily get lost in the deluge of messages and facebook activity saying they would like to meet up sometime. They never think to follow it up if they don’t hear from the person.

Some of these people are what I call chronically passive friends. They may be people you’ve taken a lot of initiative with and shared many good times with. However, if you cease taking initiative with them you will never hear from them again.

If you are this passive kind of person and you recognize things aren’t so rosy friendship-wise stop a moment! Have a good think about the friends you have including those you haven’t seen in a while. Which of these friends are worthy of a little initiative? Who would you like to see more of? Contact them and arrange to meet up. Get in the habit of showing some initiative.

Send a clear, solid signal that you are interested in others. Pick up the phone, get in touch and invite the people you like out to lunch or over to your place.

Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to improve your friendship situation. Things like making positive changes to your lifestyle, habits, beliefs and attitudes. Increasing the amount of time you spend socializing and the number of people you socialize with. Gauging friendships and consciously determining whether to continue them or not.

Do you feel as though you need to take your friendship efforts up to a whole new level? If so, jump in the deep end. One of the first things I did was make an active friendship list of the people I wanted to be friends with. I then opened up my life in a big way to others. First invite was to two co-workers to join my family and I for a Christmas meal. After that I started hosting regular group events.

I suggest you commit to holding at least one event a month. That will give your initiative muscles a good workout. It might be a series of parties you hold at your place. A monthly hike that you organize. A book club that devours international best sellers.

The second is to check out the local events in your area. Go to meetup.com and check out the groups on facebook. Take notice of the kind of events your friends are going to. Go and attend some of these events till you find a social group you’re happy with.

Don’t be so limited in the scope of your social endeavors. Try doing things you don’t typically do. The experience will be good for you and you may find it exciting and refreshing. Most importantly, if you keep doing this and make a good effort at developing friendships you’re going to find what you’re looking for!

If what you’re doing doesn’t seem to be working you may need to scale it up, do something different or move onto a new group of friends.

Beware of the agonizing spiral crawl. That’s when instead of directly ascending to a whole new level you slowly and painstakingly spiral up to it. Like I said before, jump in at the deep end!

If you go all out in your friendship endeavors like I did you’ll be surprised at how you’ll grow. A greater capacity for friendships. Initiative levels that are effectual. Greater discernment in your friendships. Social confidence on a scale you have never experienced before. If you go into this experience seeking distinctions on how to live on a higher strata of satisfying and rewarding friendships you will find an abundance of them.

I wish you well in your friendship endeavors.

Friendship Efforts initiative

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