What are barriers to genuine friendships and how to break them down.

Who you associate with is everything.

Audio version available here.

What my post on Monday was all about was on building connections for businesses. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There’s more of an underlying problem with people specifically. And the best way I can sum it up is in a video Jay Shetty put together a while ago.

It’s a powerful video but it says one thing about people. That we’ve gotten so dependent on technology that it’s replaced so many things in our lives. It’s a big problem to the point that it could replace the people around us.

And I think we see signs of that already in the form of superficial friends.

Of course, Jay has given us advice on what to do with technology. To monitor it carefully and strive to spend time with those around us. But what are some other causes to superficial friends? And how can we fix those?

One of the biggest ones is our economy

Specifically the economy that’s running in our head. We have become so accustomed to trying before you buy anything that it’s become our way of life. We’ve created a “try before you buy economy” more or less.

Of course some people will still buy a product in some cases and devote many years to that product. The same can be said with some friendships, they can last many years. However it might not create an authentic and genuine connection. There is still room for people to opt out and people still want that no strings attached element to it throughout.

Which brings me to another factor.

Fear of commitment

We don’t want to be strapped down nor do we want to get hurt. That’s why try before you buy works so well. Once you’ve been accustomed to a person or a product, you’ll invest in them. But that can take months or even years.

All of it is still based on your willingness to commit. How much time do you want to invest in a potential friend? What will you get out of it?

Which brings me to another reason.

People are strung up about time

I could go on for a while on reasons, but I believe the last biggest issue is time. It takes time to build a friendship with a person. It doesn’t happen instantly. So combined with our fear of committing we’re worried it’ll take time for something good to bloom from a friendship.

And it will take time.

But instead of dwelling on problems, let’s talk solutions

Because every problem has a way of it being solved, and it all boils down to taking action. Now I’ll talk about a strategy that you can use to determine value tomorrow, but there are things you can do today.

Firstly go in expecting it to take time

A friendship requires time of course, but not as much as you think. You don’t need to spend hours a day building a friendship. If you made online connections, emailing or messaging the person once per week at the minimum is good enough.

With people in your immediate circle, spend a day with them once every week or two. Go out to a movie, or plan out brunch or lunch somewhere, hang out with them.

Secondly, find some way to form deals with one another

It’s not harsh to say that people want to get something out of other people. We start friendships because our friends fill a void that needed filled in our lives. In essence, we use people.

So there’s no shame in leveraging from that. In fact I’ve started strong friendships because of this. It’s at a point where we are mutually benefiting from one another.

This disables the fear of commitment and try before you buy. You know exactly what you’re going to get out of it. And as you continue to help the other person, that person will help you as well.

In the end…

Growing friendships grows you

As I’ve said before who you associate with is important. And sparking a friendship where both parties are growing is far more beneficial.

Of course there is deeper meaning to friendships, but setting this up first can help in understanding the person. Once you know the person can be trusted and that you are getting something measurable, you can start building a stronger and genuine connection.

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