There is something in us that wants to be known. We long to tell our story, to be understood and to have others come alongside us in our walk through life. Unfortunately, there is a voice that we listen to that tells us not to reveal who we really are to others. It’s often a subconscious thought that persuades us to guard our true self, and become who others want us to be.
Another prevailing thought is that if I don’t show weakness around those I am closest to, then they will want to be around me more. The irony of this idea is that the opposite is true. The more vulnerable that we are willing to be with others, the more attractive we are to them. The last thing someone is looking for in a friend is someone who has it all figured out. Someone who displays no weakness, no struggles and has life mastered. When we risk and let others in to celebrate the great joys and walk with us through the difficult struggles and temptations, then we can begin to experience authentic friendship with others.
In most relationships, we have to be willing to go first. To share what is really going on first in order to set the pace. If you are getting to know a new person and decide to let them in, you will notice sheer relief on their face when you chose to share about your weaknesses and struggles. They will more often than not empathize with you and eventually, if not immediately, trust you with their own story. Friendship is often about risk, but the chance at true friendship is worth the leap.