On Sunday I posted about the importance of true community………how deeply connecting with others is vital ….that post was titled “Connect”. 

Tuesday I continued with how to connect and build friendships in “Slow Down and Be Yourself”.  First, always be yourself.  Then, accept others.  Today I finish out my point.  

3)      Learn how to read people.  This is called empathy.  You do it all the time.  When you realize someone is feeling down before they even say a word, you’ve just read that person.  Some are better at it than others are, but we can all grow in it.  Get this right and you will have friendships that are characterized by a deep sense of intimacy.  You will be much more effective as a parent, spouse, or friend. 

 It’s definitely helped me be a better mom.  I sense when my son wants to talk but can’t find the right words to start the conversation.  Or when my daughter is feeling sad.  I’m able to help them tell me what they’re feeling.    

 4)      Learn how to resolve conflict.  To be alive means to be in conflict at some point.  None of us likes conflict but people fight.  We might fight a lot, or a little.  But we fight.  It’s unwise to ignore this part of relationships because mild disagreements or severe arguments will happen and you need to know how to handle it.   And always keep reconciliation as the goal.

 I encourage all of you to invest the needed time to build deep relationships.  Commit to be yourself and accept others.  Learn how to read people and resolve conflict.  You’ll be well on your way to a long life with friends that you can laugh with, cry with, learn with, dance with, and sometimes fight with.  But you’ll have them around to live and love with, grow old and die with. 

 And at the end of your lengthened life you’ll have no regrets!!