“Tell me who you spend time with and I will tell you who you are.” ~ Goethe
You’ve seen the commercials. Guys kicking it on the golf course, at the beach, chasing the ladies out on the town, or confessing their sins to one another. What, you’ve not seen the last scenario in the media? That’s odd.
Men struggle making friends with other men. Maybe it’s the alpha male, leader of the pack mentality that stands in the way of becoming true companions, but men today are more alone than ever before. Our gender (there’s only male and female) seem to fail at friend making.
Sure, we surround ourselves with other men who enjoy doing similar stuff, or working on assignments given by a supervisor, but I have some disturbing news for you. Those guys are not your friends. They are associates or employees.
Years ago, I had my pad’nahs that I worked with, hit the gym together and hung out after work a few times a week. I assumed, like most men, that this was my expansive circle of friends; my brothers.
The truth was, when the job was done, so were the relationships. When the gym ended so did my workout partners, and once I stopped hanging out in the bars after work, the guys stopped hanging out with me. It was sobering to say the least.
I recall years ago crying out to God because I was so alone. Sure, in public life I was surrounded by people, but once the whistle blew, I was alone. The truth was, I had no idea how to make friends or what it took to be a friend.
There’s a saying that I completely believe is true; Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
Men, name your top 5 friends? No family members, no one you work with; just friends. Why five? A common theory is that we are the aggregate of the five people we are closest too and spend the most time with. With that being said, our lives are greatly influenced by just 5 friends.
Of course, that is if you actually have that many. Studies show that as we leave our 20’s we no longer focus on our circle of friends and begin to emphasize our titles, degrees, promotions or being parents.
A study on male friendships showed that the number of close friends in 1985 was 3, while by 2004 it was zero. The number of men without any close friends in 1985 was 36%, and in 2004 it was 53.4%. A 2017 study showed most men had 1 close friend.
Not The Plan
Doing life alone isn’t the biblical standard for men. God created us for relationship with Him and with each other. Good friends challenge us and call us on the junk in our lives. They care less about our salary and more about our souls.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” ~ Proverbs 27:6
It can be tough reaching out to make friends as we get set into our adult lives. Even churches are filled with friendless men just hoping to make a connection that’ll breathe life back into theirs.
Why Does It Matter?
It matters because unless you’re in a super-max prison on 24-hour lockdown, you will encounter people. The depth and nature of those relationships is up to you. We suffer without peers.
People influence who we are and who we become. If you want to become a better person, you need better friends. Why? Because you will begin to adapt the habits and practices of those guys you spend time with. Of course, those relationships can go either way, so choose wisely.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
How To Change?
I know it’s easy to say, but it can be tough for men to open up to another man. Too often, we fear what other guys might think of us, or misconstrue our intentions. But unless we are willing to drop the macho chest thumping, there’s little chance of connecting beyond a shared interest in thumping chest.
Try taking a chance by saying hello or taking an interest in what others are doing. Become a new man, and start building your brotherhood. The next time someone offers to grab lunch or a coffee, take them up on it. Add to your 5 and add to the quality of your life.
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts about male friendships?
Do you think men limit the ability to make friends?
Do you find it hard to drop your guard to allow others into your life?
What’s the difference between friends and acquaintances?
Any other thoughts about this?
Your Mission Assignment
Thanks for connecting with me here at The Bro Code. There are so many brothers struggling to connect, or to make their voices heard. We men are stronger together.
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Much Love & Respect,