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:
- I did not trust. How is someone going to trust me if I do not trust them. A true friendship is built on trust.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- I did not want to change. Even if I was willing for someone to speak truth to me, I was unwilling to change.
- I ran from pain. I hated pain. Pain of any kind, but especially emotional pain.
- I did not invest. Close friendships take cultivation. I acted as if that was too much work.
- 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.
- 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.