Friends, loneliness, and relationships

Image: Friends, loneliness, and relationships

Do any of these things keep you awake at night? They did for me...

The things that gave me the most griefs and worries as I was growing up were not my circumstances, my looks, my body image, my parents or my school work.

The things that worried me most and kept me awake most at night were my friendships and relationships.

From the age of four, when the most attractive child in the preschool wouldn’t give me time of day, I realised that this friendship thing was just not as easy as I thought!

One of the problems was I just didn’t understand how relationships worked. My mother’s constant advice was “if you want to have friends, you’ve got to be friendly”. On one level, that is as true as anything is ever going to be. But on another level, it didn’t always seem to work. I thought I was always friendly. So why were there times when I didn’t have any friends?

Most of my posts on this year will be written to help you understand relationships – how they work, what they are all about, and why they’re important. It’s to help you see the richness of great relationships, and the tragedy of poor ones. And then to give you some tips on how you can have better relationships.

I’m convinced I’m not the only person out there who has swung between loving the world and everyone in it, and then feeling completely alone and alien. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered why friendships go wrong, and questioned how I could relate to people better.

A friend of mine is a high school teacher. She sometimes runs a course on relationships for the teenagers in her school. On one course, she asked this question as an opener: “Who goes to bed every night and thinks about their friendships?” Every single person in the room put up their hands.

If you’re a young person heading into adulthood, the single most important thing in life is to be right in your relationship with God. The second most important thing is to get your relationships with people right. And it’s never too late to start working on it.

(If you’ve got questions about your relationships, either a leave a comment below (you need to be a Fervr member), or send them to me at I can’t promise individual replies, but I’ll use your questions as the basis for future posts here, so check back here for answers.)


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