This story proves three powerful steps work when making new friends. It is about how I met one of my best friends, and how this website came to be. Here are the steps I recommend:
- Be honest.
- Be vulnerable.
- If they don’t like you after you do those two steps, you weren’t meant to be friends, and move on from them with confidence because good friends will always appreciate honesty and vulnerability. There are better people out there for you to call friends!
When I first started the Purpose Pages, my website building skills were extremely limited. I knew I could write, and create quality content, but I had no idea how to build a cool website. After a few months, my always-increasing-ambitions outgrew my generic wordpress.org site, and I wanted something bigger, cooler, and more unique to host my most personal thoughts. So rather than feeling helpless, I began to pray for God to bring a new friend into my life who could help me build a quality website to host my personal experiences. That’s when amazing spiritual things began to happen.
One night after a Deeper Worship Night, at Substance Church, I met an enthusiastic young man on my way out the door. We were friendly instantly , and quickly touched on a few superficial topics that let me know we at least stood on similar ground.
The next time I saw him, I was socializing in the lobby at church. He showed up with a nice looking woman on his arm. Our eyes met, and we made our way through the crowd to continue our conversation on superficial things, like how we were doing, and how our weeks went.
As we talked about these surface subjects, I began to wonder how personal I should get with him. I’ve lived a crazy intense life story, and I don’t like to share that with everyone as it can be overwhelming. But this guy and I were grooving together in conversation, he was interesting, and I thought what the heck, if he’s going to make the leap from a casual acquaintance to a good new friend, he’s going to have to know how I became me. So I opened up, became vulnerable, and explained to him some of the experiences that have made my personality real. I will say it was kind of scary. We all want to be liked, but there’s always that chance that someone new won’t like you. As I began to talk, I realized there was a chance I would scare this potential new friend away forever.
I got to the point in my story that changed me forever: my friend dying of a drug overdose when I was 21 years old. The police arrested me the next day for contributing to his accidental death by supplying the drugs. It was an extremely traumatic experience for me at the age of 21 which lead me down a path of extreme soul searching. I told him I had recently gotten out of prison, and was trying to build a website based on my adventure through incarceration to find myself, but I didn’t have any of the technical skills to do it as I wasn’t able to use a computer for the last 10 years. (Read about that journey here.)
Once I got to that part of the story, this man I’d just met began to cry. I couldn’t tell what I’d done to cause this reaction. I didn’t know if he was scared of me, or just hated drug users. I was wondering if I had said too much and chased this new cool friend away. But he shook his head and rubbed his eyes, and in the middle of a foyer full of people waved me on and said, “No, keep going, your story means a lot to me.”
So I kept going, and my story only gets crazier.
At the end, I asked him if he was Ok. He wiped his eyes again and said, “Your story just hit so close to home. Five years ago I was arrested for a drug crime and I’ve been ashamed of that part of my life ever since and I’m always afraid to talk about it. Since then I’ve turned my life around, and now I’m the lead project developer on one of the more successful website development teams in Minneapolis.” He continued with excitement, “I believe in what you’re trying to do, and I want to help. Let’s get you a new website that can fit your larger ambitions.”
We ended up having coffee that next weekend, and lunch the weekend after that. We ended up becoming best friends over the last few years, and it never would have happened if I hadn’t been 100% honest and vulnerable with him.
I made a great, lifelong friend I could trust today, and I believe being honest and vulnerable is the first step. Remember, if someone isn’t ready like you for you, or to have an honest friend, they’re not ready to have true friends at all, and there’s better people out there for find. You can always move onto the next one, because there’s great ones out there who can help you achieve your wildest dreams. In fact, I do believe our best friends are here to help us achieve who were supposed to become, and they should never tear you down.
It’s easy. Here’s three powerful steps when making new friends:
- Be honest.
- Be vulnerable.
- And if they still don’t like you, move onto the next person and try again. If someone doesn’t like you after those first two steps, you weren’t meant to be friends, and move on from them with confidence because good friends will always appreciate honesty and vulnerability. There are better people out there for you to call friends!