The other day I was having a pity party. Yes, I’m 35 and I was feeling sorry for myself. You see in college I met 3 ladies that I was very close to. Of those 3, I stay in regular contact with 2 of them. But all three have come to both of my parents funeral services and I know I can call them for ANYTHING! Then I moved to Michigan and I got plugged in with an amazing group of people. When everything went down in November they sent gift cards and they wanted me to come to Michigan so that they could watch my kids so I could just go sleep. They cared deeply about my well being.
Now I have moved to Iowa and I have met some nice ladies but I haven’t developed those deep bonds yet. Those ones where you can call someone sobbing or upset and they point you in the right direction. I’m sure they are here and maybe I haven’t been vulnerable enough to create these relationships. Anyway, I was reflecting on the amount of families we have had over for dinner and it feels like a lot. We then could only think of 3 people’s houses we had been to for dinner. I started to wonder if everyone else was out having dinner at people’s houses and we were being left out. But what I really think is that everyone is sitting at home thinking the same thing…. they don’t get invited anywhere either.
So what can we do? We need to reach out and put ourselves out there more. Look for ways to connect with people. We don’t have to include everyone in everything that we do. I can’t have every family I interact with over for dinner. Also realize it’s not easy to do something for someone else. It takes time to make a meal, to watch someones kids, to go out for dessert, etc. We all are so busy and only have time for so much. Don’t go crazy but what if you just connected with one family a month for dinner or asked one friend one time a month to go out for dessert or a walk. That could certainly be manageable. Just imagine the difference you would make in someone’s life. What would it look like if we were all pouring into one another? or lifting up those that are down in times of need?
I want to challenge myself to go deeper in my relationships as well. So many times I know someone has 3 kids, a dog, they homeschool and attend church. But do I really know them? Can I tell you what makes them tick? We can learn a lot of surface level stuff with people in a short amount of time.
So I started this post several weeks ago and I want you to know I have reached out to many people and it has been a wonderful experience. Since my husband was out of town and my kids at grandmas I got to connect with two wonderful people. We also had a family over for dinner and were able to hear more about their lives. We also scheduled two more. Now don’t think you have to do what I do. Not everyone wants to go out to dinner or have others over for dinner. I love people and relationships and realize it’s not everyones way of working.
Here are some ideas:
- Write someone a card and put it in the mail.
- Text/message someone to ask how their day was or to thank them for a something they did or said.
- Give someone a hug (This is not my love language but I will hug you if you initiate!)
- When you are at the store and see something that makes you think of someone buy it for them.
- Invite someone to go for a walk with you and just talk.
- Point out a quality you like about another person (Their new haircut, that they always smile, their honesty, etc.)
What are other things that you can do to reach out to others that fit your personality?