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Deep & wide (or—Yes, I need friends.)

Making friends as an adult is much harder that I anticipated. I always assumed by this stage in the game I would have mastered the art of small talk and would have this uncanny ability to attract new friends wherever I went.

I’m in my thirties, and I still struggle to find friends.

Twitter followers? Sure, those are easy.

Facebook friends I’ve never actually met in real life or interacted with … ever? Yep. Got ‘em.

But I’ve discovered that I need to do more than build a wide online community of readers, followers, friends, and fans. I need to go deeper—and in real life—instead of wider.

For this introvert, that takes a lot of pretending to be braver than I am. Some days it might look like taking the time to pick up the phone and call a friend in my own town to meet for coffee.

Or making plans for a mini-girls day out to spend a few hours with a couple other toddler mamas with a hot coffee and some leisurely pursuing of the clearance racks at a local shop.

group of friends talking

Ultimately? It’s taking the time to invest in someone else’s life in a way that transcends screens and comment threads and choosing conversations that hold more than 140 characters at a time. We are savoring time together.

I’m not very good at it, honestly. It’s much easier for me to write to you from behind the buffer of this keyboard than it is for me to make eye contact with you in the grocery store and feel confident that we might have something in common to talk about.

I’d rather send you an encouraging email than pick up the phone, and there is something about striking up a conversation with that other mom at the park that makes me feel like I’m the shy teenager with her nose always in a book to avoid social situations.

But I continue to be called to community, to the richness of life where you can reach out and touch the person beside you and watch their eyes twinkle as they laugh—literally—out loud.

In the speed of interacting online and in social media I discover that I’ve become so accustomed to quick responses that I’ve forgotten the art of conversation and how to really listen to someone.

These days, I’m doing my best to step away from my comfort zone and into this space where community doesn’t need to be big, but it does need to have depth.


It’s looking at the two or three people in my life and choosing to live authentically with them, and to watch the beauty of our messy, unedited, imperfect lives overlap one another.

I’d love to know – how do you find ways to dig deeper instead of wider in your relationships?

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Sharen

    I feel like you have written this from inside my brain!! Thanks for the reminder to be intentional in my friendships and to make even small efforts to cultivate those relationships

    • Crystal

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it Sharen!

  2. mel@857notebook

    Over food. Make a simple meal and then talk. Food brings people together and talking leads to more talking. It’s magical.

    • Crystal

      It’s so true – I love how people gather in our kitchen and always look for ways to help. We’ve actually planned to leave things unfinished before so that we could have jobs for people 🙂

  3. Fishburnette

    Love this post – you are certainly not alone, both in feeling unsure about social situations and also in feeling called to engage in real community. Thanks for writing! x

    • Crystal

      Thanks for me!

  4. Dawn

    To help potentially facilitate depth to those relationships I especially want to invest in, I try to “put myself out there,” so to speak. I’ll share openly about any struggles I’m currently working through when asked, “How are you doing?” (or I might share it even if I’m not asked, which can be even scarier). Admittedly, it’s a risk that sometimes doesn’t go quite like you had imagined, but more times than not, I have found that being real with others invites others to be real with me; that admitting that I don’t have it all together invites others to relax and admit the same to me. What an amazing thing for relationships! (I’m not saying this should be done in every relationship, but it’s something I’ve found that facilitates depth in some of my deepest and dearest friendships.)

  5. Dawn

    One manner in which I try to foster depth in particular relationships is to “put myself out there” and be willing to share my struggles. I’ll answer honestly when asked by one of these friends how I’m doing, or I may share even though I’m not asked. Admittedly, it’s a big risk and you don’t always know how it will go. However, more times than not, I have found that my friend will then reciprocate at some point sooner than later b/c she has been invited into the place of, “hey, let’s not pretend we have it all together because we don’t.” The depth that can happen after realness has been invited/reciprocated is really something special.

  6. ohAmanda

    I totally get this, Crystal. The internet has made it easy to shy away from real relationships. Or to move real relationships from REAL to web-based.

    I’m not always good at it either, but I do know the feeling up just buckling up and walking into those real life situations regardless of how I feel. Once I make that first step, I find the rest are much easier and always enjoyable!


    • Crystal

      So glad you’ve become one of those online-t0-real-life friends for me 🙂 You make it easier for me!

  7. Sheila

    This is so timely. I prayed just last night for the courage to step up and make the first move/comment/gesture. I’m also an introvert and it doesn’t come naturally, but I’m going to make the effort. Thanks for this!

    • Crystal

      Love that Sheila – I’ll be praying for you!

  8. Pam

    I wonder how many mommy bloggers or bloggers in general become more introverted as time goes by wrapped in the online world surviving on coffee and soup by the keyboard? Oh wait, that is totally me and you are so right and so brave to address getting out there and being with real folks an making real connections.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post. I really think everyone struggles a bit with this these busy days of the age of “instand everything”.

  9. Pam

    This is an excellent post. I truly feel that everyone suffers a bit from lack of real time friends in this age of “Instant Everything”. I wonder how many bloggers have most of their conversation via chat in Facebook or Twitter never leaving the house all day until it is time to pick up the kids from school?

    I have schedule time away each Wednesday and it feels so weird to sit in a coffee shop looking around at other people. I have become a mom-hermit. I am find at church on Sunday…. but the rest of the week I love in my office-cave working.

    • Crystal

      Ah, mom-hermits of the world, unite 🙂 But separately. And awkwardly over coffee 😉

  10. Erin

    I literally posted something just like this at the beginning of the month, Crystal (you can read it here: Love being your soul sister. 🙂

    • Crystal

      Oh I love that!

  11. Sandy

    TY for sharing this topic. I have group of women who meet once a month for several years continue to try to feel that I fit however not working. Not sure what to do different. Want freindships.

    • Crystal

      Oh that can be so hard Sandy – will pray that you’re able to find the right community!

  12. Peggy Gray

    This post resonated with me also. I am a grandmother, still mourning the moving to another state by my two youngest and dearly loved granddaughters. I am blessed to have 3 friends of 20+ years. I meet two of them monthly for coffee and to catch up. My best friend and I meet weekly and do a book or Bible study. That relationship is deep and precious. But she is going to be moving to another state to be close to her daughters. I don’t know what I’ll do because it takes a lot of time to develop those kind of relationships. Plus my husband and I have moved to a farm in a rural community. I know I need to reach out to women there but I’ve found it hard to do. I feel socially awkward and are more comfortable writing than making small talk as so many of you have said. But I’m giving it all to God because when he takes something away he replaces it with something good or better. Peggy

    • Crystal

      I love this – “When He takes something away He replaces it with something good or better” – praying He’ll reveal that “good or better” part to you soon 🙂

    • Ann : )

      I know where you are. We moved to a rural community where everyone has their friendships established. We’ve been here 8 1/2 years and retired 4 years ago. I joined a service organization — know a few names and faces but nothing that I would call close. Still feel like an outsider. Our church family is 40 minutes away. I’m struggling to maintain close friendships there as I cannot be involved in many ways I would if I were closer. Daughter and family are several hours away. Have tried initiating a Bible study for couples or families there is very little interest. Get very discouraged.

  13. Claire

    You have beautifully put into words what I have been feeling for a while now. My husband and I moved last summer to a new place where we don’t know anyone, and have really struggled to build community and make friends. But I know that a large part of that is fear and not really knowing where to start! I have recently found some crafts groups and local coffees run by like-minded young women, and I don’t know if it will lead to any deep friendships, but I feel like I have to give it a go! I guess we all have to start somewhere…

  14. Naomi

    I’ve been praying for direction on how to cultivate friendships in my life and today I open up my FB and here is your post! I’m 43, single and an empty nester 🙂 My life revolved around my children, but now they are 19 (in college) and 24. I have found myself in new terriority. Single, alone and trying to figure out how to go about making friends at this stage of life. Everyone seems to have thier “circle” of friends, are married, have busy lives,etc. FB has been a great “pretend” social life, but I’m longing for deep meaningful friendships.

    “It’s looking at the two or three people God has put in my life and choosing to live authentically with them and watch the beauty of our messy, unedited, imperfect lives overlap one another. ”

    I love this and don’t know why I was making things so complicated! Instead of looking at the masses I will look at the amazing women God has placed in my life and “live authentically with them”

    Thank you for this perfect message today!!

    • Crystal

      I’m so blessed by this comment, Naomi! How awesome 🙂

  15. Jenn kujawa

    Seriously! Why is it so hard to make friends at 31?! I still feel like that dorky braces faced band nerd from 15 years ago. Being braver than I really am…needed to hear that today. Thanks for your trancparency!

    • Crystal

      Ha! I think we all carry a little of that awkward teenager with us, don’t we?

  16. Ali

    I moved to a new city last year to begin my marriage. It’s been a constant struggle to put myself out there and keep making effort. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and spending days crying missing my old friends (which I have done at times), I’ve been trying to pick up the phone and call someone new. My husband and I have really enjoyed inviting other people over for dinner to our home. I find it’s helpful to at least be in our comfort zone in our surroundings while we’re taking a risk to branch out in relationships.

  17. Jenn kujawa

    Seriously! I’m not a dorky 15 year old anymore. Thanks for your trancparecy!

  18. Sharon

    Soon, I’ll be 44 years old…or wise…forget the old part. My twenties were full of friend collecting, a habit I was sucked into in high school and continued throughout college. Then babies started coming, and I had just as many friends as I did plastic baby-clothes hangers.

    And now I’m picky. I allowed friendships to dwindle and die slow deaths mainly out of a need for peace and authenticity.

    At this stage in life, I have funneled in on specific friend requirements I need. Not everyone fits the bill. What are my requirements? I guess there are two, actually.

    1) My friends must be true to themselves! I’ve had too many friends who try to be me, and I don’t want a carbon copy of me! That wouldn’t be fun at all!

    2) If a friend is true to herself, then the second requirement is typically met – I need friends that I can learn from. If a friend is too busy following my ways, there won’t be many new perspectives from which I can learn. And I LOVE learning!

    Making friends is easy. It’s the choosing that is is difficult. There’s no hurry. Until the right ones come along, enjoy the little conversations with people along the way.

    • Crystal

      What a great perspective!

    • Jo LP

      Love this – and love the last line “Enjoy the little conversations with people along the way” – just to ‘enjoy’ without expectation or what we can get in return is vital to remember x

    • Daphne

      Oh Sharon, you’re speaking my language! I’m 45, happily married with 2 young boys and I, too, am very picky about friendships – especially since being married (10 yrs). Life is so constant and time is so precious and priceless. I will most certainly continue to enjoy the little day-to-day conversations but won’t entertain nurturing a “true” friendship until it’s…authentic. You’d be a lovely friend. Thank you for your perspective!

      • Sharon Larson


        I have to admit I feel relief that someone else can relate! Thanks for the validation. 🙂

  19. Denise Callaway

    It seems like becoming intimate with people is a lost art. I visit a church and I might receive a hello or an introduction but rarely does anyone sit down and try to get to know me. Thus, I sit alone. After a couple of visits like this, I do not return. I am a believer and am not lost. However, it makes me wonder how many we have lost because we have lost the ability to develop relationships with new people. It is frustrating to a newcomer to sit alone and unapproached in a church pew. Even if people has said hello, if the newcomer is not embraced and drawn in…well, as I said before, I do not return. I miss the southern warmth I grew up with where we are embraced and pulled into the fold. I am a lady and I do not feel right to insert myself. Yet…the alternative seems to remain a wallflower, standing on the sidelines.

  20. Kristen N

    Thanks for keeping it real. I’ve given up social media for lent and it has benefited my relationships with those closest to me. Your desire for deeper relationships is edifying.

  21. Debbie D.

    I’m in my fifties, and I’ve observed that mostly what it takes is TIME. For the most part, deep friendships don’t happen quickly; they happen because I’ve taken the time to be with someone on a regular basis, for more than fifteen minutes here and there. I’ve lived through some seasons of life with them. We’ve talked about things that matter – issues of faith, and character, and whatever the important things in our lives are at that point. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t always a lot of light-heartedness and laughter and fun as well, but the deepest friendships are those where deep things are shared and lots of time is spent together.

  22. Debbie

    Thankful I’m not alone in this (always assumed I wasn’t but people don’t talk about this much). Thank you for the challenge, and the reminder that it really is more important to have those few deep relationships than a widespread number of more shallow relationships.

    One thing that some friends and I have been doing is randomly inviting the small group of us over to one of our houses, kind of spur of the moment, for a morning of play for the kids (all under the age of 4) and coffee/conversation for the adults. We often say to pack a lunch and just hang out for the morning til naps. It’s been great for us, even if only 2 of us can meet together.

  23. Kimber

    Ditto y’all. It feels to me like most women already have their cliques/friends and aren’t open to new ones. Or too busy. I feel like I try to invite people over etc to make new friends but don’t get any response.

    • Sharon

      Yes! I agree! It seems everyone already has their friends picked out. It like being the last to get picked for the gym-class team.

      I remember what a neighbor said shortly after I moved in. “I don’t need anymore friends. I just don’t have the time.”

      I can take a hint, but OUCH!

  24. Nikki

    It’s so interesting to have found this post, and the comments that follow, because I’ve been feeling the same way. I’ve lived in Kansas City for 17 years now, married with two kids (8 and about to turn 5), and until we had kids, I felt very alone. Being an introvert I have always had trouble making friends. Kids helped that somewhat. We joined a church and have met some amazing people trough there, and I consider several of them friends, but I have feeling some of them only consider me an acquaintance. I feel like over the last few years, I’ve been counting on those relationships become my long-term, bff’s, and have gotten very sad when it didn’t materialize. It took me a while to come to terms with it its still struggle, so I’ve recently decided I need to go outside of church to find some friends. The problem now is — where? How? With the kids getting better, I’m counting on school friendships and activity friendships to hopefully lead me to these people that I know are out here. My problem is that I think I feel like most of these people are life-long KC residents, they all already have there groups of friends, and nobody is looking for more. So I talk to them and laugh in passing, but never really try to push past that. I need to be brave and bold and just put myself out the. Reading here today, obviously I’m not as alone in my friendship fears as I thought, so maybe they are waiting on me to make the move? I just need to put myself more out there. I also need to stop worrying and obsessing over the friendships I thought I had that aren’t as bonded as I want them. Thank you for writing this, and to those who have commented, thank you. It helps let me know I’m on the right path and need to just do it!

  25. Chris K.

    Wow. You just put it right there. In black and white. Thank you. I am right there with you. About 6 months ago I decided to open up. To start to share and be okay with the outcome. To be brave. It has been, in a word, transformational. I am making new friends. I am sharing my thoughts without being terrified of judgement. I am starting a support network of female business owners. I am not feeling as isolated as I used to and I am able to help my very introverted daughter do the same, gently.

    Thank you for sharing and I support you in building a community of supporters as I am working to do. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been writing about mamas not losing themselves in motherhood and this is one main aspect. I am thankful for your openness and articulation of something that is so important to us as growing, thriving, changing people.

    Sincerely, Chris

  26. Julia

    This has been on my heart and mind for a while now! It is a trick to think the general mass of “friends” who we connect with online are real relationships. I have recently come to realize it is my own efforts that will make real connections in my life. It can be easy to scroll through facebook and instagram looking at other peoples lives and friends, but I want the excitement and the adventure of meeting people face to face. It entirely requires me to emerge from my comfort shell, but it has been getting lonely in there!

    It is my prayer to be that person who will have the courage, love, and boldness to approach the people who are also in their shell and draw them out. To sit next to the new person at my Bible study and genuinely care about their life. Thanks for the reminder that we are all dealing with removing some of our comfort layers in order to get beyond ourself and do what God has given us to do! Thanks so much, I needed to read this and all the comments along with it!

  27. Dee

    Oh, boy, I so understand. I’ve literally prayed for friends. In fact, I was very specific: a friend with kids and a husband my kid and husband would get along with. And then it happened! Prayer answered. We can really relate and we even work in the same field. I also started a book club so that I would have something non-mom-related. It’s work to have/get friends when you get older, but worth it!

  28. Beth

    Thank you! This was so encouraging to me. Gonna go and spend some time with friends.

  29. Katie

    Thank you thank you for caring about this and being willing to make the effort to make real connections. I’m 46 & I didn’t have a cell phone until I had kids (early 30s). FB didn’t yet exist (as far as I knew) and real friendships were vital to me in those early years of motherhood. They still are. It breaks my heart to see moms with littles texting or looking at their phones instead of interacting with other moms around (or even their own kids…a whole ‘nother topic). Anyway, kudos to you. Every effort you make toward real friendship will be worth it!

  30. NJ Rongner

    I think it can be really easy to live life online if we’re not too careful. I’ve noticed that some of my old friendships have fallen by the wayside because I’m trying to cultivate a few new friendships online. I think there is room in my life for both, but I need to be more intentional with the choices I make!

  31. J. Rae

    Did you sneak into my head when you were preparing this post?? In other words, I completely identify with you in this! It’s much easier for me to write this comment than to sit and chat over coffee. Small talk is such a chore. But so important. I suppose we have to choose to be vulnerable. For me, that looks like getting together with some local moms and kiddos in the community and letting our kiddos play while we talk about teething, sleepless living, and potty training type things.

  32. Linda B

    I can relate to this! Given my natural inclinations, I could just stay home alone all the time. As in introvert, that is how I recharger. But I know that it is good for me, and for others, to connect in real ways.
    I have learned (now age 52) to be the first one to introduce myself, find out another person’s name, and to try to be the one to make others feel comfortable. Getting lots of practice with this, as I have moved to a new area, with all new people.
    As far as getting friendships to go deeper: I just have to be brave, and choose to make the comment that brings the conversation into another level. Very easy and safe to keep conversation superficial, but more rewarding in the long run to dare to reveal more, dare to question more, dare to touch the “untouchable” subjects.

    • Linda B

      *an, not “in” Where is the edit button?

  33. marie

    From one introvert to another: You get built up by NOT being with people, but by having alone time. It does make it difficult to have a large friend list! Here’s my story: I decided to serve ladies through hosting and leading a discussion group. I host a Bible Study in my home for ladies from 18 -60 years old. We meet weekly and read through one chapter a week, discussing verse by verse as we go . After about 2 or 3 months, we began letting down our guard -these ladies were unique from every other relationship we had! We have been meeting every week since July 2013. The relationship around the Word challenges us, makes us think logical thoughts, and helps us to question our beliefs when they don’t agree with the Bible. We love each other deeply. I love that it has drawn in all ages. A rich life isn’t lived in age-segmented groups, but with the views of all kinds of backgrounds and perspectives. A few well-spent hours in preparation each week alone has given to me friendships that are truly gifts.

  34. Shelly

    I’m having the same issue right now. Other than being friendly with people at church or online, I don’t have any actual friends that I see in person- other than at church. And, honestly, also being an introvert, that’s really okay with me right now. I’ve got ten kids at home, and we homeschool, so I’m perfectly happy with my life right now. But…someday there won’t be any children to occupy my time anymore. What will I do then? This is something I really need to work on, too.

  35. Jackie

    I’m right there with you! I’m am an introvert and social situations can be terrifying for me. I also feel a strong calling to connect… Staying home is my comfort zone but I’ve decided to commit to, even when every ounce of my body is telling me to run away. It hasn’t been easy but I find the more I try, the more comfortable I become with it all – I still have a long way to go though! Thanks for posting – it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

    • Naomi Liz Figueroa

      I hear you, there, Jackie. My husband is an extrovert and I’m an introvert, so we have a lot of interesting conversations about personality. 🙂 I love quiet time to myself, or just one-on-one conversations with good friends, but I also long for community and deep relationships. I like connecting with people, but I do not want to do it in the same settings where my husband might thrive (big groups where lots of people are already congregating in smaller groups and the only options are sit by myself or butt my way into a group of people I hardly know….*awkward*).
      Anyway, I recently volunteered for an organization that had a child sponsorship table (Food for the Hungry–love them!) at a Christian concert. I could have been super quiet and just keep to myself the whole night, but I just determined that I wanted to make connections and that nobody was going to do that for me. So I made small talk with a couple of people here and there. A smile and a positive tone of voice go a long way in faking confidence. 😉 One of the volunteers asked me about the beads I was wearing and started talking to me about missions and Uganda, and as it turned out, we had a lot in common and had a good conversation.
      I left that night feeling very full. The connecting didn’t drain me. I was involved in something I was passionate about, and I think that’s one thing that really helps me–I’m confident and excited (but not in a “life of the party” kind of way, just more at ease with myself) when I’m passionate about something.
      I totally get how hard it is for us introverts. Sometimes my energy level or emotions are just not there and I feel like it’s impossible for me to connect. But I think I’m learning that stepping out of my comfort zone does not necessarily mean walking up to a group of 6 people that are in the middle of a conversation and trying to jump in. It can be looking for natural ways to make small talk with someone, or even making that effort to call a good friend and plan something. I’ve got a long way to go, too!

  36. Katrina

    My family has moved every year for the last 4 years and for the next 3. (My husband’s going to school.) Because of this it has been SO hard for me to make any real (read: lasting, deep) friendships. It takes me a while to get settled in to a place but by then we’re moving again. It gives me courage to think that wherever we move there might be someone there who needs a friend just as much as I do.

  37. Portia

    Its really a challenge these days with us surrounded by technological gadgets. We are fast losing that humane touch of real conversation that can be done face to face. Most of the time deep realistic conversations are easily distracted by a phone call or a text message. Several times I have tried to talk to friends, I always found myself left hanging in the conversation alone with them walking away with their ears plugged on the cell or eyes glued on the screen tapping on their keyboards. So by the end of the day one loses that natural art of conversation that comes deep from the heart. Most of us are losing that art of etiquette and good manners that comes with real human interaction. The same sentiments are highlighted in the book “The Art of Simple Living” []. However, it is easy to live a more fulfilling life without worrying too much about what is happening around you. Just be your own best friend and be happy.That is what this book highlights. Thanks for sharing anyway.

  38. MicheleStitches

    It’s not just introverts that struggle with this…I am most definitely an extrovert, but find myself really having a hard time finding friends since we moved cross-country 10 months ago. It just seems that everyone out there has their world all filled with established relationships & busy-ness. While people here are super kind and friendly, it is only at a very surface level. I have had not problems meeting people, but that seems to be as far as it gets. 🙁

    Your post serves as a great reminder that we not only need to step out of our comfort zones to try to develop deeper relationships for our own enrichment, but we need to be ready to let others into our lives for THEIR benefit. When you stay in your shell, you are not only depriving yourself; you are also robbing some other person of the joy of having your friendship. Someone out there needs you!

  39. Britt

    This resonates with me too, Crystal. I just finished my university studies about a year ago, and have found that my social circle is becoming smaller and smaller as friends move on to other cities. Being placed in the environment of the education system certainly makes it easier to make friends, or feel as though you have friends, as you see the same people frequently.
    I hear a lot of people, especially introverts like myself, saying “oh, but no one comes up and talks to me” “no one approaches me to be my friend”. As you point out, sometimes its just about finding the courage to step outside your comfort zone and realize that in this day and age, a large majority of the people around you are probably feeling and thinking the same kind of lack of close connection. You might get shut down after approaching someone, but who knows, you could develop a great friendship!
    Stepping out of my comfort zone, I recently approached a young woman about my age at a health fair, where we were both had booths set up. After talking for a bit and realizing we had some things in common, I asked if she wanted to get together sometime. We’ve gotten together a handful of times now, and I see the beginnings of a great new friendship forming. Making new friends at this age definitely feels a bit like dating though – slightly awkward, and keeping your fingers crossed the whole time that you won’t be rejected.

  40. Jo LP

    Thanks for this Crystal! I recently took the plunge of deactivating my facebook account ! *gasp! I know! After the lengthy questionnaire and the list of friends who will ‘miss me’ I figured it would probably be easier leaving a cult! But this has been a fantastic decision of mine and has left the door open to ‘old school communication’ – getting an email is super exciting now like it once used to be!

    The thing I have had to get past is the feeling that if I don’t organize something then I won’t hear from A, B or C – but rather just reach out without the expectation of it being reciprocated and just invest in the lives of those around me – certain people come into our path in certain seasons and your blog really encourages us to be aware of that and not let those seasons pass us by with the people that season brought along with it. x

    • Daphne

      Thanks Jo LP! I had to giggle out loud at your term ‘old school communication.’ Personally, I’ve never opened a FB account for the simple fear of it being a …”time-suck.” (Sorry!) It’s hard enough keeping up with the occasional e-mails from a good friend/family member, let alone added social media. (Quite frankly – it terrifies me! haha.) I’m a lover of snail-mail, though. Love to write and snail-mail a hand-written note, ANY day. (What a lost art!) However, receiving a personal note or card that someone has taken the time to write, stamp, mail, and grace my mailbox along with the ho-hum bills…well, automatic SMILE! That’s the least I can do for a worthy friend – or even someone who’s looking for a good friend! Anyway, I enjoyed your comment. Thanks!

  41. Ann : )

    I’m retired live in a new community where others have already established friendships –I’m still searching. Joined a service group but friendships are difficult to establish when others are already close knit. Family is several hours or days away. Church family is a distance – once or twice a week worship or activities. Feel those friendships are not as close anymore.

  42. Jessie Weaver

    You’re right that this is easier, but especially in the last 2 years or so as parenting has become ROUGH for me I just crave face-time with real women. I have put myself out there asking other SAHMs to get together, planning girls’ nights, just having a glass of wine with my friend who lives in the apartment above mine. It makes such a difference in simply feeling like I am normal, not awful for feeling the way I do about parenting some days. Sure, there is sometimes rejection. And at times I have let that get to me. But someone out there needs you as much as you need her!

  43. Naomi Liz Figueroa

    I identify with this so much. I like the picture you give of going deeper instead of wider–it’s one that’s likely to stick with me and bounce around in this head for a bit.
    I love some quiet time for myself, time to read and journal and just be. But I also long for authentic community with others. After I graduated from college, it suddenly hit me that for my entire life, I had been completely surrounded with people my own age (and in college, I LIVED with about 1,000 of them). I was forced to make friends in that context. But as an adult? Where do I even go to locate people my age with similar interests? It was not the favorite life lesson of my 20’s, but through the void I felt, I have definitely recognized the deep value and importance of community. Even though introverts might prefer to make connections in different settings than extroverts, we’re ALL made for relationships.
    As for how to build that community, I’m still working that one out, too. Inviting people over for dinner. Going out for coffee with a friend. Giving grace when your friend doesn’t text you back with an answer (how many times have I forgotten to respond?).
    Deeper instead of wider.

  44. Kat

    This probably won’t help you much, because while I am a serious introvert, I’m not terribly shy, but for me the answer is SPECIFICALLY digging deep, but not wide.

    I learned early on (then relearned several dozen times) that I would exhaust myself trying to be a social butterfly, but that I was good at, and enjoyed, deepening relationships that just made sense organically. (There is even a term for it! I’m a ‘Relator’ on Gallup’s Strengths Finder. Who knew?!?)

    So, I may only make four or five new friends in any one season of life (the kind of friend you intentionally hang out with, share the deeper things with) but I am blessed to hang onto them for years. So, instead of trying to force relationships beyond my comfort zone I started simp lying being me and then when I click with someone, focusing more energy there.

    And I’ve come to really value the less deep interactions; being real, and present when buying that coffee or even passing regularly in the park has a lot of value that I think people overlook.

    Thanks for a great post!

  45. Katia@MindfulDaydreamer

    Crystal, thank you for your honest story. It is very relatable and I found myself pausing to nod at many of your sentences. It is not easy to delve into a deeper friendship when we have our families, jobs, and other responsibilities. It’s not easy to make time to focus on building a connection. And yet, it is important. I don’t need to have a wide circle of friends, but I have been making a greater effort to build stronger connections with my two close girlfriends. For me, this means getting together for tea once a month, and sending emails or texts in-between, to check in and remind my friends that I care, that I’m here for them.

  46. Signa

    You are not alone in any of these feelings. I’m in my mid-forties and I struggle with these same issues, and the same social insecurities and shyness. I too have the online “friends”, but feel the desire and need for real, live, face to face friends. Our lives, due to the demands our society now puts on us, are no longer designed for REAL relationships. They are designed for distance. It’s a sad fact of a society that values money over connection.

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