Do you Make These 9 Relationship Mistakes?

I have always had friends. At least I called them friends. But, I never confided in them. I kept my fears and insecurities, my dreams and ambitions to myself. The result – no one ever really knew me.

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

Several years ago when my marriage was close to falling apart, one of my sincere prayers was simple – “Lord, teach me how to be a friend.” Because I did not know how to be a friend, I really had no friends.

God answered that prayer. Today, I have men in my life that sharpen me. They keep me accountable, on target, and humble.

If you are not interested in this kind of friendship, or if you think you can handle life on your own, then you have no reason to keep on reading.

But, if you do want  true friends, and you want to learn from my mistakes, continue reading.

Here are 9 relationship mistakes that I made:

  1. I did not trust. How is someone going to trust me if I do not trust them. A true friendship is built on trust.
  2. I was not authentic. Beyond not trusting others, I had many reasons for not being authentic. Who would really want to know the real me?
  3. I did not listen. I thought I was a good listener. But really while someone was talking, I was thinking about myself. What am I going to say? What do they think about me?
  4. I was not humble. Pride takes on many forms. For me it was an unwillingness to allow anyone close enough to me to feel free to point out my flaws.
  5. I did not want to change. Even if I was willing for someone to speak truth to me, I was unwilling to change.
  6. I ran from pain. I hated pain. Pain of any kind, but especially emotional pain.
  7. I did not invest. Close friendships take cultivation. I acted as if that was too much work.
  8. I made false assumptions. It is dangerous and unproductive to play the game of assuming what another person is thinking. More times than not, your assumptions will be completely off base.
  9. I did not like myself. This is a big one. I focused on all my failures and shortcomings. How can someone be my friend if I do not like myself?

Correcting these mistakes has helped me build long-lasting and life changing relationships. I am a better person because of it. And, I have more to offer others.

What about you? Have you made any of these mistakes or other ones? Share in the comment section to help me and others overcome relationship mistakes and become a better friend.

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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4 thoughts on “Do you Make These 9 Relationship Mistakes?

  1. Life is all about relationships. I truly believe there are God-ordained moments where you meet the right people or friends. It really took me a few years to figure that out. You have to make sure that you always surround yourself with family, Christian friends, people that will support you in life, believe in you and lift you up. I had a hard time realizing that. Then there came a time where I had to end some long term relationships. I needed to cut the ties.
    I think I have found that for me sometimes it was the trust issue. But for the most part I have always found over the years that there were not too many guys that really wanted to invest the time. The important areas of life require small deposits all along the way. There is a cumulative value to investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period of time. Relationships are built on small, consistent deposits of time.

  2. The Lord has been working with me to get all of these out of my character for years. I feel like putting each of them on a scale of 1 to 10 so that I can try to see what all He and I have been up to. The transformation is slow and painful in part because it feels like I’m giving up the essence of who I am. How am I supposed to do life as Carey if I can’t control each relationship so that I don’t get hurt? I think I can see Him teaching me how to let someone be free in a friendship with me, to let them see right through me and lovingly wound me or even misunderstand me, a huge anathema in my economy. A dear friend of mine describes his true, inner self as being a glass menagerie. He lets only a choice, trusted few in there, because the population at large tends to be quite careless.