My wife always brought to my attention, “Why do we have little to no friends?” and I always responded, “Because it’s all we need. It just is what it is. Ain’t it weird to purposely look friends? Kind of creepy, just a tad?” Honestly, I didn’t know the answers. I came up with what I could to sound sure and secure of myself and our marriage.

The question obviously made me think a little. Are we doing something wrong? Am I talking to people enough? Being friendly enough? Are we too private? Wait, do people even like being around us (me) at all? Ok, WHY do we have little bit of friends?

After several discussions, we realized that we don’t have a I-need-a-friend-in-my-life problem. We have a social one. A relational one. That social emptiness, which led my wife to question me endlessly, clearly showed us that we haven’t been connecting with people as much as we should as artists, entrepreneurs, and human beings.  

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell

I personally believe that someone can have multiple of friends (virtual ones too) and still be relationally handicapped. The more I look inside myself, the more I see this to be true. Thankfully, the problem is not that severe. We can have normal conversations with anyone, after a few minutes of us breaking out of our shell. But I’m tired of the “normal conversation.” That’s so status quo in relationship building. It hasn’t taken us, or anybody if I can boldly say it, anywhere. It’s all been transient.

John Maxwell in his book, Relationships 101, shares fours reasons why people fail to understand others:

  • Fear
  • Self-Centeredness
  • Failure To Appreciate Differences
  • Failure To Acknowledge Similarities

My wife and I look at this and conclude, “We have to some stuff to work on.”

Are the differences in people overshadowing the similarities? Is Fear and Self-centeredness paralyzing your spiritual, career, family, and even financial growth? I hope I’m not alone here.

Building relationships is key for my wife and I this year. We desire the habit to connect with people more than usual. Me? I want to understand them. And understand myself through them. I want to finally witness how we are all the same, even with our unique differences.

Goal for this year: Once, maybe a twice, a month treat a person or a couple for lunch or dinner. Have a conversation. Have a good time. Connect.

[This is part of The Essentials Series]

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