The key to magical, meaningful, relationships is this: make it all about the other person! Relationships are like a bank – we can only withdraw what we deposit. Let me share seven ideas how you can invest and create rich and rewarding relationships.
1. Meet new people. If you want to have healthy relationships then you have to meet people. Just like quality time comes out of quantity time, quality friendships come out from meeting quantity people. If you want to have rich friendships, you have to take the initiative to start and build that relationship.
2. Add value to others. This doesn’t mean it has to be a one-sided effort. However, magical relationships are all about caring and giving. When you think of a person, put yourself in their shoes – what do they need? What is their love language? What are they going through emotionally? What can I do to improve their lives? When we add value, we become valuable!
3. Spend time together. People spell love, T-I-M-E. Don’t just say, “Hey, let’s get together soon!” Create appointments. Set down date, time, and place to meet. When we make time for each other, we’re saying, “You’re important to me. I need you. I appreciate you being in my life.” Do activities together. An activity gives us the opportunity to make memories. Play together. Watch a movie together. Cook and eat together. Go on a mission trip. Worship together in the church. Serve together. Learn together. Laugh together. Create content to add to your relationship. Do something today that you can look back and reminiscence tomorrow.
4. Ask questions. When we ask open-ended questions, we invoke people to express their feelings. When we listen to them, we are validating their thoughts, fears, and feelings. Ask questions like, “What’s going on in your life? How’s your family? Talk to me… Tell me more…” Then lean forward and just LISTEN attentively (guys, this is not our time to fix problems).
5. Update your expectations. We’re all going through different seasons of life. People’s wants and needs change with time. The best way to fill their emotional tank is to meet their needs. Ask, “What do you need from me right now? How can I be a better friend to you?”
6. Give gifts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to add magic to your relationships. However, occasional gift conveys, “Hey I was thinking about you. I went out of my way to put a smile on your face.” I have a friend who brings me nuts from a specialty shop every time we meet and I feeeel the luuv. Magical relationships are built on being thoughtful. Send a card. Call to celebrate a special occasion. Buy someone coffee or a meal. Keep a mental note (even better write it down) what people like, their hobbies, decorations, food, books, movies and bring it to them.
7. Pray with people. All of us are going through something. We need people to share our hearts with. We need each other for encouragement, validation, and hope. When we pray together, we unleash the power of God to work in their lives. When God becomes part of our problems, then there’s nothing we cannot overcome. Don’t just say, “I’ll pray for you,” go a step further and pray a sixty seconds prayer with them right there, right then.
Friend, there are plenty of people in the world who are waiting to experience the gift of you. Remember, God has many kinds. You don’t have to agree about everything with everybody. Find the gold in people (and leave the dirt alone). Step out and offer to be a friend to someone. Every friendship has misunderstanding, jealousy, arguments, tears, disagreements, but a real relationship fights through all that with faith and love. Invite God into your friendships. He is the infinite Source of love, forgiveness, and joy. If you want magical relationships, let God be part of your friendships. A threefold chord cannot be broken. If you haven’t heard it lately, I love you and I need you in my life. Let’s talk!