Counselors Offer Advice on Building Friendships

At the heart of Xenos Christian Fellowship are home churches, where people gather and really get to know one another. But it’s not always easy to form friendships. We asked the Xenos Biblical counselors for their advice.

[[{"fid":"2548","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Friends for Many Years","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Friends for Many Years","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"attributes":{"alt":"Friends for Many Years","height":"1428","width":"2772","style":"width: 30%; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]]

“Learn to be a good listener – people will think you’re a great conversationalist if you work on active listening. Remember what they said to you and follow up on it later,” suggests Chris Risley.

When it comes to improving listening skills, Connie Rue suggests keeping your mouth closed, make eye contact with the person speaking and focus on what they are saying. Asking clarifying questions can also help.

Xenos sphere leader and counselor Ben Foust suggests that you try seeing how far you can get in a conversation just asking questions rather than sharing your own thoughts and opinions.

Coming up next week is even more great advice on building friendships from Lee Campbell and Bev DeLashmutt.

For additional resources on listening, check out Lee Campbell’s Listening workshop audio and handouts (/counseling/workshops).

To consider how deeply you’re building your friendships, see the chart on page 31 of Spiritual Relationships that Last by Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt (available at the Main Campus, Study Center, 4th Street or Warehouse Bookstores and from Amazon).