Friday, August 23, 2002

Aug 23 2002

Ouch. And Saalon gets slapped down. Sorry to hear that.

Interesting quote from that entry: “I am the single worst maker of friends in the world. The only friendships I have I have lucked into. I have no idea how to make a friend, as every time I try it seems to collapse into this….”

I’ve been struggling with this problem myself lately. How does one make friends? A lot of the people I know want to make more friends, myself included. But how does one do it?

I think it’s a combination of two things: luck and persistence. A major part of finding friends is a matter of stumbling around in life, bumping into people, finding the jerks and the bigots by accident.

But a lot of these people are okay, and that’s where we need persistence. This means, when you encounter an acquaintance in the hall, consciously stopping to talk for a few minutes. Taking them out to lunch. Loaning books or movies. That sort of thing.

The problem is, we can hit rejection at any point in this process, and it can be as painful as the rejection that Saalon’s feeling right now. And the only way to avoid the possibility of rejection is to make no friends, which is just a way of running from your fears. We have to face rejection so that we can find new people.

A man once told my pastor, “I’ve been trying to make deep connections with other men, and I’ve talked to six different guys, and they’ve all turned me down in one way or another. What should I do?” My pastor put a hand on this man’s shoulder and said sympathetically, “I think you need to try the seventh.”

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