3 Wrecking Balls that Will Destroy a Friendship


This past week I had the wonderful opportunity and privilege to speak to a group of women about building authentic, healthy, and strong friendships.

It is actually a topic I have spoken about quite a bit in the last few years.
Because I often speak to women…and women are usually most concerned about the relationships in their lives.
God created women to be relational and to connect with others from the start.
Think back to the Garden of Eden…
Adam was created first…and got to work right away naming all the animals and taking care of the garden. That is probably why when men meet each other for the first time they usually ask:
“What do you do?” It is how God designed them.

As for Eve, she was created because God said it was not good for Adam to be alone. She was created for someone and immediately put in the context of relationship.
That is why when we, as women, meet each other we ask questions about our husbands, children, families, and friends. It’s all about the relationships!
And it’s about our girlfriends too…am I right?
We all want those women who will come alongside of us and walk with us on the journey.
Whether we admit it or not.
That is really what AT THE CROSSROADS is all about…getting women to meet together where faith and life intersect to encourage, support, and inspire one another.
One of my favorite scripture verses that speaks to this is found in

1 Thessalonians 5:11:
“So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this,
no one left out, no one left behind.”
We want to know that we are not alone, that we are all in this together, and that we have someone to walk with on this journey.
So I talked about the 3 building blocks of friendship:
  • Connection
  • Communication
  • Commitment
I believe that these are necessary blocks we need to build a solid foundation of trust, intimacy, and accountability with people in our lives.
However, there is another side to friendship, isn’t there?
Wrecking balls.
Things that destroy, tear down, crumble, and devastate relationships.
They are hard things to talk about, but they exist.
I have been on the receiving end of some of these wrecking balls (as I am sure you have) and the effects are painful, devastating, and long lasting.
If am I truly honest, I have also been the one who has swung one of more of these wrecking balls into the foundation of connection, communication, and commitment…tearing down relationships I have spent years building.
So, what are the 3 wrecking balls that will damage and destroy a friendship? 
Comparison is the enemy of CONTENTMENT and will get us every time.
Friends should really not compare anything: kids, spouses, houses, careers, bodies, financial situations, spiritual lives…even other other friends!
There are only 2 ways to go when you compare:
  • You feel better about yourself and better than your friend which can lead to PRIDE and so many other wrong thoughts, or
  • You feel worse about yourself and start to feel less than your friend which leads to INSECURITY, JEALOUSY, and RESENTMENT.
The reason is it so important to stop at COMPARISON is that it often leads to this next wrecking ball: COMPETITION
If you find yourself lacking when you look at your friend, you may start competing to make yourself 
feel better.
For example, you find yourself thinking these thoughts:
She may be a great fun mom, but I am a better homemaker.
She may workout every day and look physically great, but I spend my time on things that build my 
character like volunteering and charity events. 
She may have a great job and lots of money, but I have made bigger sacrifices so that makes me a better person.
Or you may be feeling that you are already superior, but let me tell you…it’s hard work to stay on top!
You are almost forced into competition to maintain your status.  It’s exhausting, girls! For you and for your friends.
It also destroys any intimacy or authenticity with your friends.   How can you be real, honest and vulnerable with someone if you feel that she is your competition?  It cannot be done!
We then move from COMPETITION to CRITICISM because it is an easy place to go to when we fail and feel miserable about ourselves.
When we don’t measure up or cannot even compete, our natural tendency is to criticize.
Here is the dictionary definition:
the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing;
a remark or comment that expresses disapproval of someone or something
 When some of your conversations start with things like:
“I can’t believe that she…”
“I would never…”
“Did you hear/see what she…”
“She really should…”
When you give in to criticism, 3 things happen
  • You display your ego and insecurity.
  • You set the standard by which you yourself will be judged.
  • You alienate people. When you get a reputation for being critical, people will avoid you because no one really likes a critic.
So my challenge to the women I spoke to, to you, and to myself is this:
Do you really want strong, authentic and intimate friendships?
If so, are you using building blocks or wrecking balls?

Article originally posted by Carla Gasser on AT THE CROSSROADS