Avoiding the Pitfalls of a Broken Friendship

I hate to admit it but the cold honest truth is that we put ourselves in the line of fire when we engage in friendships.

We run the risk of betrayal and heartache. No one can hurt us as deeply as someone we’ve let past the armor and protection we live behind. Jealousy, gossip, abandonment are all possible when we engage in relationships beyond “how are you?”

Having said that, what’s the alternative? Shutting the door to any chance of friendship? Keeping women at arms length because they just might hurt you? That sounds miserable and lonely.

We were created for connection, hardwired to need one another.

While friendships can be difficult, they are worth it. Friends help us grow. We laugh, cry and share life.

A few ways to avoid the pitfalls of broken friendships:

1. Believe the best about each other. Trust that they are not stabbbing you in the back. Don’t let the paranoid thoughts take over and assume the worst.

2. Communicate immediately when you think the trust has been breached. Don’t let it fester. Keep those lines of communication wide open. Dare to be vulnerable and ask the hard questions.

3. Give what you would like to receive: honestly, warmth, openness, forgiveness & TIME.

4. Care about the details of her life. Pay attention, listen. It can be so easy to be caught up in our own dramas that we forget that her journey is happening too. Let her know that you’re thinking about her and praying for her.

5. Don’t suck the life out of her. She’s a friend not a Savior. Keeping a good perspective on “who our help comes from” is a healthy way to approach friendship.

6. Reach out! Oh for goodness sake, make the first phone call. Don’t wait for her to call while rehearsing the fact that you are ALWAYS the one to initiate a get together. It is so easy to stay in our safe place free of rejection. Easy but lonely.

Yes, friendship is risky, but it’s worth the risk. Dare to step out. Be brave. Be a friend before expecting friendship to come back to you.

There is no greater joy than laughing with a girlfriend until somone snorts.

What would you add to this list? 

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  1. This is SO good, Sue. My BF, Karen Jantzi and I are writing a seminar & book on becoming and finding your closest friend(s). We call them Eternity Sisters, as these special bonds have eternal Kingdom value. I hope you don't mind if I share your Blog on our Eternity Sisters Facebook page. Love and blessings to you!

  2. So risky… so hard. BUT… He calls us to live in community. Having been on the receiving end of a world of hurt (I'm talking sisters who walked away at the very moment I needed them most… when my life was falling apart around me), I know all too well the walls we build to protect our hearts. Slowly, I'm learning to trust HIM with my heart… to trust Him to protect it, and heal it when necessary. So tough… but so worth it.

    • I agree with you, trusting Him is the best and only real way through relationship hurts. When we have our hearts set on Him first, it helps us process the pain in a healthy way, know He will NEVER leave us.
      We are all flawed, I know I've hurt friends too and I hate that. Striving to be a better friend.

  3. Ugh! I'd just started on my pity party of #6. I'd resigned that I'm just not their friend enough for them to invest the first (next) phone call to get together. "I'm always the one to initiate. I'd like someone to seek me out every once in a while." is what I'd just said days ago.
    Okay..I'll change my mindset!!
    Thank you for all of the fabulous points!!

    • Oh I know it's not easy Kela. And I do believe there are relationships that need to be "evaluated" and we have to decide if they are healthy enough for us to continue on in them.

      Pray, lay it before God, I'm sure He'll show you.

  4. What a timely article this was for my heart! Thank you! As I read it and the comments above God really spoke to my heart about honoring the friendships in my life. I understand Kela's pity party – go there OFTEN myself – but today God said "Whatever you do for the least of My people Angel, that you do unto Me. and this holds true for friendship as well – make that call the first time, everytime, as an act of service to Me, honor those friends even when they don't honor you, as an act of service to Me, I will reward those acts, some here on earth and all things in Heaven!" So this was HUGE for my heart as I am struggling with being seperated from my best friend forever and sister of my heart and I struggle with the decision to continue to honor her when she chose to walk away but my focus has been off – I need only to honor God in my life and she is His daughter and therefore I must honor His child. MUCH food for thought for me in the days to come!

  5. I love this! So good. I especially love "We were created for connection, hardwired to need one another." and "Don't suck the life out of her."

    As a pastor's wife I hear things from one to time. And one of the things I hear women complain about is the jealousy of a friend's time. That's the whole "sucking the life" out thing right there. Some people are just "one friend at a time" people. It's hard for them to share.

    I wouldn't add anything since what you wrote is perfect, but if I had to I suppose it would be "Don't infer evil intent where none was intended."

    How often do we put words into someone's mouth and not take what they said at face value. Hearing what they said and yet not really listening. Our "ME filter" is so high that we totally hear something that they did NOT say and did not mean. Because we are filtering it through our own emotions and putting our own spin on it, thinking "Yes, but this is what you really meant."


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