Getting along with people isn’t easy. As a teenager, you face lots of situations where your people skills are challenged. We’ve got a list of things in this devotion that are sure ways to lose friends.
- Mean Words – This is a big one. Its easy to let mean words slip out…especially in those heated moments while fighting with your brother or your mom. However, the Bible encourages us to think of others and to think before we speak.
James 1:9 – “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” – NLT
Begin to think about what you say and also think about the consequences of what you say. Your words can cut deeper than you realize, so decide speak words that build others up.
- Lack of discipline – developing discipline is hard. Its way easier to do just what feels good and not set any boundaries in your life, but discipline is important.
A good way to grow in discipline is to find habits that you admire in others and learn from them. Decide to grow in discipline daily. Another good thing to do is to think about how you conduct yourself. The things you do now and how you treat others will effect what you’re doing five years from now.
- Disloyalty – No one likes someone that is two faced. If you’re acting one way around some people and the bad mouthing them behind their backs, you’re not being loyal. Choose to be loyal to your friends, family and authority figures. Don’t talk about people behind their back and choose to be loyal no matter what.
- Lack of tact – You can probably think of that person you know that just seems to have no filter on what they do and say. They don’t seem to know when to say things and when to hold back.
Tact is important, so when you’re not sure why a person is acting a certain way, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you had the same experiences that they had?
Also realize that you need to have a relationship with someone to speak into their life. Don’t just start pointing out all their character flaws. Use tact when dealing with awkward situations.
- Lack of confidence – Many teenagers deal with low self-esteem. The thing to remember is that most of life isn’t all about you. You aren’t expected to be able to do everything well or have all the right things to say.
Lacking confidence can really kill your friendships, it can cause people to not want to be around you or avoid you. Choose to believe what God says about you.
Psalm 139:14 – “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complext! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it!” (NLT)
These are just five ways that you can lose friends. If you’re guilty of one of them, ask God for His help in overcoming in that area. He can give you great ideas to help you kick the habit. Remember, God’s there to help you live your life each day, so go to Him to get the help you need to win in these areas.
Pray: God I thank you for your word. I ask you for your help in becoming better at dealing with other people. I know with your help I can become great at dealing with others. I ask for your wisdom and creative ideas for improving my people skills.
Listen: We Can Change the World – by Hawk Nelson