I see the same scenario playing out in the realm of friendships. That’s why I say we need to seek unusual friends.
Question your assumptions
We all have needs for friendship the same as for a romantic partner. The needs aren’t all the same, but the process of finding someone to meet them is. Provide more possibilities in meeting those needs, and you increase the probability of meeting those needs.
People often think about probability as some ethereal mathematical magic outside their control. The reality is very different. You can influence your probability of success by taking action favoring more desirable outcomes. With more desirable outcomes possible, the probability of your success must increase. That’s the way the math works.
To increase your probability of having the friends you need, increase the number of candidates you’d consider in that role. That means questioning assumptions and focusing on what really matters.
Most of us don’t question our assumptions about anything. But when your reality is less than what you want, you need to examine your assumptions. They drive your focus, your self-talk, and your thinking, all of which combine to produce the actions generating your results. If you need different results, consider different assumptions.
Embrace new thinking
Most of us assume the friends we need will possess a certain list of characteristics. Often but not always, that list means we’re looking for someone like ourselves. Anyone who doesn’t conform to that list doesn’t get considered.
And what’s the effect? We’ve made it harder to meet our own needs. Go back to the math. The fewer candidates you consider, the lower the probability that person you need is in your pool. To increase your probability of success, you must increase the number of candidates you consider. That means questioning the assumptions that prevent you from considering more candidates.
At this juncture, many will experience a knee-jerk reaction to reject all this. That’s normal. Our brains are hardwired to bias preserving the status quo. Questioning assumptions threatens the status quo because it represents change. And so outright rejection is the normal response.
But only when you open your mind and consider new and different ways of thinking can you get the new and different actions you need to produce the new and different results you want in your life. When you question your assumptions about the kind of person would make the good friend you need, you open yourself to those new and different ways of thinking, acting, and living. And you’ll find that some of the resulting friendships are both quite unusual and quite fulfilling.
Enjoy treasured friendships
I’ve previously shared a good example when I spoke about a friend of mine named Dick. He’s an older gentlemen of another faith, old enough to be my grandfather. You wouldn’t think the two of us could be good friends. But thinking you need to be similar in age or have similar beliefs are faulty assumptions. Adopting that thinking keeps many back from fulfilling their own needs.
I’m glad I didn’t. What started out as a professional work relation developed into a valued mentor and friend. And Dick felt great benefit in having someone to whom he could bequeath the legacy of his career.
I can share other experiences with roommates, classmates, workmates, and social situations where questioning my assumptions and opening myself to possibility increased the probability of finding valued friends. Success came easier with increased probability.
Success in meeting your needs for friendship will come when you increase your probability of success. Question your assumptions and open yourself to new possibilities. Seek unusual friends. The Lord can bless you and them with the sweet fruits of true friendship when you do. And that will bring you more joy in your journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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