How did you build your best friendship?
Did you tell someone that you appreciate of all the qualities you see in them and then continue to only spend time with them when you need something? Of course not. Because relationships are two way communication streets. You wouldn’t treat your best friendship like Santa, asking for what you need only when you need it. The same goes for your village.
You might not spend time with your village on a daily basis or even a weekly basis — that’s okay. But, it’s the intention set forth when you do spend time with your village. Are you just showing up only to get something in return? Or are you showing up to build relationship and for it to be a two-way street? There’s something to be said for agendas. When we show up with an agenda of something that we want to accomplish or something that we want to happen, the other person knows. In today’s world, everyone has an agenda. Everyone shows up in order to get something out of it, but what if you were different? What if we showed up to spend time with our village for the sake of being intentional in spending time with them and not what we can get out of them?
There are multiple ways to show up, be present, and be intentional. Here are some action steps that you can take to be intentional:
- Go to where they are (their neighborhood, their workplace, their church, etc.)
- Meet them where they are at (in terms of their buy-in, ability to be vulnerable, share life events, etc.)
- Ask questions. People are the authority of their own lives so give them an opportunity to be.
- Listen! Don’t worry about having a response and actually, don’t respond. Just listen.
- Put your phone down. Honor their time by showing up on time and ending at an appropriate time. Be set that you are there for them, and them alone.
For more ways to be intentional in your relationships, visit this site. How do you apply these things to your life? Well, first and foremost, it’ll be messy. But in the midst of the mess, here are some suggestions to help you live a life-giving life. Go for it! It starts with you and others will follow your lead.
Where do you struggle with being intentional and where are you strong at being intentional? I am really great at the first three on that list, but the last two? Now that’s hard. That takes discipline and intentionality to not always have a response and to put my phone away so I’m not distracted from leaning in.
Take some time to think about what you do well and what action items you need to make effort in applying to build quality, authentic, life-giving relationships with others; rather than treating your village like your own personal Santa.