Home > Blogging > Three Reasons You Might Not Have Camaraderie In Your Life?

Three Reasons You Might Not Have Camaraderie In Your Life?

I was listening to a podcast yesterday that made me pause. The subject was camaraderie.

I like having friends and people to hang out with. Folks to share my heart with. People who will help me shoulder my burdens.

The problem is that I stink at it. I fail too often in my attempts at camaraderie.

I jokingly tweeted yesterday that if they say we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with then I’m two short. That is not really far from the truth. I spend time with Jan and the kids and don’t really hang out with anyone else

There are at least 3 reasons that I can think of why this is so.

Fear

I am afraid of friendship. Friendship has always been a struggle for me, ever since I was a kid. Now, to be a friend, means that I have to open up and be vulnerable at some point. I’m not always sure I want people to see that side of me.

Laziness

Too often I just don’t want to put in the time and energy to be a friend. It takes work. It takes effort. Sometimes I just don’t have time for that.

Introversion

I said that I like to hang out with people, but if I had to choose I would  prefer grabbing a book and getting off by myself. I like to spend time with people until my limit is reached and then I want alone time.

Here’s the thing. I know how I am and it’s not entirely good. I need to make changes. I need more camaraderie. I just don’t know how to make that happen.

So, I’m open to suggestions.

How would you build more camaraderie in your life?  Should I?

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  1. December 10, 2014 at 1:53 am

    It gets said in the recovering community often enough, and it should be a basic part of every Christian’s basic knowledge store, but it bears repeating because Lord knows we forget quickly: when the pain of staying the same is seen as less than the pain of change, we change. Until then, nothing happens. That simple, and that complex.

    The three things you listed? I can relate very well to all of them, and I also know the truth I’ve stated – when I hurt enough, I will change. When I hurt enough, I will take the risk. When I hurt enough, I will face my fear – and not one nanosecond before that. No other motivator seems to work with so many of us. We live in our little cocoons of family yet complain about our loneliness; asked the question “So, what do you want to do about your problem, and how can I help?”, most of us burrow like a tick into our comfort zone.

    How do you build more camaraderie into your life? One way to approach it would be this: step away from the set-piece choreography of the standard men’s group and the basic Bible study – these things you know well enough to teach. Put the book(s) down and face another man across the table as an equally wounded, vulnerable, lonely soul, and it doesn’t even have to be a member of your local congregation (so much the better in some ways when just starting out). Do it on a regular basis – be intentional about it – and be honest about who you are; your doubts, fears, aspirations, everything. Let them do the same with you. Be open to the hard questions you want to run from right now, the ones you are afraid all you might have are scriptural bumper-sticker answers for, and ask yourself what you really feel and think. Most men I know who have gone through this particular exercise find it hard to let go of the mask of inauthenticity, because we have invested so much in it – and you won’t like the real me, so this is the part we want to skip but find we cannot.

    I’m telling you nothing I have not already done, and have to do, and find it beneficial to continue to do.

    Should you take the risks? You know the answer to that one.

    Bless you as you search, Larry.

    • December 11, 2014 at 12:06 am

      It should have read, when the pain of staying the same is seen as greater than the pain of change, we change. My error – mea culpa.

    • December 14, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Rick!!!

  2. December 10, 2014 at 5:14 am

    I think some were made for that type of close friendship and others are not. I am. I like people. I like to be around people. I like to be friends. That is both good and bad. I sometimes assume a familiarity that is not there. I push myself on people because I assume they want to be friends. On the other hand, there are those who want no one. They are an island in and of themselves. That is also sad. I think there is nothing wrong with being with people then reaching your limit and saying, “Time for me time.” I think you are being who you are.

  3. Ricky Anderson
    December 10, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Did you write this or me?

    I’m very friendly, but not very open, if that makes sense.

    I’m also terrible at keeping in touch. My best friend moved and got a new job, and we didn’t speak for a year. Nothing was wrong, we just got busy with our respective lives. This might not be so bad if his move had taken him out of town…

  4. robshep
    December 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I think changing your perspective could help. I’ve stopped categorizing friends. I no longer have online friends, friends at church, childhood friends. I have friends. Some I see a lot. Some I do not. But you don’t have to hang out with someone for 12 hours straight for them to be a friend. It might be a different type of friend, but I view my interaction with online friends like you as real interactions. We talk daily. Sometimes even by text. The next thing I would suggest is being intentional. Making a call, sending an email, texting someone just because. Maybe I’m just shallow, but I don’t need a ton of deep conversations for me to consider someone a friend. If I like you we are friends. I want to be a good friend, so I’ll make the effort and reach out.

  5. December 19, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I was surfing and came across this – thought it might be apropos:
    http://ceruleansanctum.com/2014/11/men-pick-two.html

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