Have you ever been engaged in a deep conversation with a friend when things suddenly took a turn for the worse? Your friend, steeped in her frustration, started to lash out at you in such a sharp way that your heart sped up, your breathing became labored, and your brain couldn’t process quickly enough? It may have felt as if the other person didn’t have the capacity to hear you; her hurt created a barrier. In those moments, how did you respond? Did you leap to defend yourself? Did you sit in stunned silence?
Some of us have had friendship experiences where loving well and speaking truth felt like being tasked with gingerly, patiently replanting after watching someone rip up deep-rooted crops. As friends, we dread entering conversations like these—but they can bear good fruit.
One intentional conversation can redirect and revitalize a friendship. Intentional communication is necessary for unity and growth. Intentionality requires dedicated time, vulnerability, honesty, listening, and leading with love and care for the person. Without these elements, conversations can still occur, but they won’t intentional.