I still think friending people best occurs in the wide open spaces of the here and now. I know people can start relationships online. I know people can share content about themselves and virtually keep in touch. But let’s remember these are cyber alternatives to the real deal. I am also willing to say that establishing friendships without firewalls in place is way more satisfying.
“Whoever loves a pure heart and whoever speaks graciously has a king as his friend” (Proverbs 22:11 GW). Kindheartedness, respectful talking, and a willingness to listen don’t just ingratiate a person to the high and mighty. They gather a circle of friends among ordinary people in our everyday lives. Many lonely people are looking for a nice person with whom they can just talk and talk. If they see you as that person, they will open up.
My wife works in a local bank. I am very proud of her service to our community. She meets interesting people and expresses amazement at the things they are willing to tell her. She’s concerned that Internet banking could make her position obsolete. But I’ve noticed that the most significant contribution she and her colleagues make isn’t keeping track of people’s money. It is befriending them the old-fashioned way. And that is why folks keep walking through the door.
This is how we do it in a small town: a) look people in the eye; b) smile; c) say, “Hi!”; d) start a conversation; e) and be ready. If people trust you they will tell you anything.