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The Beauty of Pressing In

October 19, 2019
On Saturdays we talk about Inner beauty

A few of my dear friends have been precious to me for so long that I don’t even remember how our relationships began. We were in grade school or middle school, we had classes together, we were thrown together by our daily schedules and the first letter of our last names. But other friends have become sweet life partners because someone pressed in. Sometimes it was me; more often it was my sweet friend. Let’s talk about the beauty of pressing in.

Beauty of Pressing In

Being a friend is a challenge, but becoming friends is sometimes the greater difficulty. In a day when we’re all busy and obligated to so many personal demands, it’s hard to take the time to invest in fledgling friendships. Plus, new beginnings are just hard by nature. New is hard. To the point that we’re prone to just throw our hands in the air and decide, “I’ve got plenty of people in my life already!”

But a truly beautiful woman is one who graciously makes room for one more in her life. She knows that making new friends is not just a matter of filling her own social calendar or aligning herself with women she enjoys. New friendships are a gift…to the other person. The beautiful woman really sees other women and is attuned to their signals of loneliness, their desire for companionship or their need for a simple conversation.

For her, beginning a new friendship is not about herself, it’s about the other woman in the room…the one sitting by herself, trying to look occupied on her cell phone.

Even if there’s sacrifice involved – and there is – I want to be that woman. I want to be the woman who presses in, continues the conversation even after the new friend looks a little nervous and begins to withdraw. I want to be the one who initiates a coffee date or lunch. The one who gently asks questions with genuine curiosity and then follows up on the answers the next time.

Don’t you?

How to be the Woman who Presses In

I’m not talking about being overbearing or nosy or intrusive. You know that, right? I’m simply talking about being the woman who asks another woman for coffee or lunch…and then follows up on the initial, vague invitation with a definitive invitation that includes a date and time and place.

I’m talking about being the woman who leans in and asks gentle questions and really listens to the answers. And then she follows up that conversation with another invitation. And maybe even another. Some gals are hard nuts to crack! Some friendships take persistence. I want to be the friend who persists…even if it feels a little awkward. Even if there are no guarantees that this relationship will ever get off the ground.

Here are a few ideas for pressing in…gently:

  • Go out of your way to introduce yourself. A few weeks ago at Bible study, a sweet young gal moved from the other side of the classroom to sit down by me at the end of class before I had the chance to rise to my feet. She said she just wanted to come over and welcome me to the class. She sat and asked me a few questions and then we walked to the restroom together. I haven’t forgotten that small act of pressing in.
  • Initiate a conversation. Have a few go-to questions in your back pocket that you begin conversations with. Link those questions to some good conversation starters. For instance, you could say something like, “This is my first time at this conference. Have you attended one of these before?” or “I had a hard time finding a parking place so I’m a few minutes late. Where did you find to park?”
  • Find common ground and explore it. As your conversations take off, discover the life experiences you have in common. Let her know that you relate, but continue to ask her to share more of her perspective. It’s a gift to discover someone else who “gets it.”
  • Truly listen. I’ve discovered that beginning a friendship is more about listening than speaking. We feel close to those who we feel really hear us.
  • Schedule an opportunity to visit some more. You, beautiful gal, be the one who invites your new friend to coffee or lunch or a walk in the neighborhood. Don’t wait to be invited. Initiate. But don’t settle for, “Yes, let’s do that sometime.” You be the one who nails down a date and time and place. Get a phone number and text her the address. Tell her you’re looking forward to your visit.

Look back over that simple list. When you look at the first letter of each of my bullet points, what do you see? GIFTS. A beautiful woman presses in. And when she does, she gifts another woman with genuine interest, sweet conversation, a little empathy, a listening ear and an appointment for going deeper.

Have you recently met someone with whom you might need to press in a little? What could you do this week to offer the gifts of your friendship? I’d love to hear from you today in the comments section below. Have a beautiful weekend!

I’ve written a book about beginning friendships and the beauty we discover as we journey forward with new friends. In fact, the title comes from the C.S. Lewis quote above. It’s called When You Find Another. I’ll include links to it and my other books in the shopping widget below.

You can find other “on Saturday’s we talk about Inner Beauty” posts here. Or they’re always available under the Beauty tab in the top menu, under Inner Beauty.

Blessed for My Day

As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. ~ 1 Samuel 18:1-5a

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xoxo, Kay
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13 thoughts on “The Beauty of Pressing In

  1. Hi Kay, congratulations on your son’s wedding next week.
    I know you must be as excited as I am… as my son is also getting married next Saturday in beautiful Cape Town South Africa.
    God bless you all, Elsie

  2. What a lovely post! I agree; I want to be that person too! I have a wonderful friend who “pressed in” when we met. It was a difficult time for me and I had gradually isolated myself. She was gentle in her nudges toward friendship and took the time to see beneath the stock answers I gave to questions and asked more and listened. She shared her own experiences gradually over time. Her kindness gave me confidence in myself and opened my eyes to others who may play their cards close to their chest due to #life, but may also need someone to gently reach out to them. It’s a gift to us both when we can move beyond what is presented to the hurried, judgmental outside world and reveal the person we are inside.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jane. That is such a lovely story of your friendship. Aren’t we just so grateful for friends who pressed in? Blessings!

  3. What a special time! Our youngest daughter’s wedding was two weeks ago, and we’re looking forward to having the new couple and the grooms parents over this weekend to talk about the day and hear about their honeymoon trip! I took our girls for a mani/pedi the day before the wedding and our 6 year old granddaughter thought that was the best thing ever! This was our third bride, and our son is next to marry…it feels like this layer of our family is complete! Enjoy every minute of the celebrations❣️

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I love it! I’m so excited for next weekend…seeing all our family together plus celebrating our son’s marriage. Plus much of our family will be attending our church with us for the first time Sunday morning. ?

  4. Hi Kay, thank you so much for this post. I am an introvert, so I struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone and reaching out to start new friendships and to maintain existing ones. It seems so easy for some people, but it isn’t for me! Knowing this, I have been making conscious efforts to “press in”, as you say, and it is exhilarating to see that it doesn’t take much to realize the rewards of blossoming friendship. Your post encourages me to continue to grow in this direction- thank you!!

    1. Hi Hope. This is so good to hear. I know there are women who need and would benefit from your friendship. May God bless your efforts. ?

  5. Thanks for your post. Moving to a new town and state, very anxious! Leaving good friends and hoping I can find new ones as dear as these.

    Will try to remember your words and hope someone at new home will do the same.

    1. Hi Jes. Yes, I just moved here a little over two months ago. I have the advantage of being a pastor’s wife, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into close friends. Press in!

  6. This was a wonderful reminder. I just found out this week one of my close friends is moving to another state. What timing God has for me! I can be proactive and not just sad for missing my friend.