Soli Deo Gloria

The magic of One on One’s

A general rule of thumb that I have found is that the depth of conversation is usually inversely proportional to the number of people partaking in it. People tend to be more vulnerable in smaller groups, where in a bigger group it is more likely to find someone that you are not comfortable opening up to.

It is only in the recent months that I have really found the magic of one on one’s. The pace of conversation is much slower and focused, in which one on one’s provide the space to really explore what is happening their life as well as my own. Humans are complex as they are, and I’ve observed that one on one’s explore this complexity the best.

I had been asked by a friend once whether I would choose ten shallow friends, or to have one very close friend. My response was that I would choose the latter without any hesitation. Even if you gave me a hundred or a thousand shallow friends in exchange for one close friend, I’d still prefer the second one.

People are quite similar to icebergs. On social media such as the likes of Facebook and Instagram, we only see a façade of their lives. A cleaned up, fabricated, and aesthetic version of who they are. In other words, we observe what is floating on the surface – the tip of the ice berg. To really get know a person and explore what is under the waters takes time, patience, and much trust. Sure, what is under the surface may indeed be a dark and messy whirlpool of emotions. But at least – we will know them for who they are.

When someone asks us “How are you?”, it is only socially acceptable for us to say that we’re “good” in order not to rouse any suspicions. This is presenting the tip of the iceberg, in which “good” can really mean anything. It is only for those that we really trust, can we divulge that we are going “not too well” if we are undergoing emotional strife, or “fantastic!” if life has been a pleasant privilege to take part of.

For me, 1 on 1’s have been the best way to break past the tip of the ice berg. To convert an acquaintance to a close friend. It is the quickest way to know a person for who they really are. It may not be pretty, or even pleasant. However at least, it is authentic.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (ESV)


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  1. I deeply resonate with this – thanks for sharing!

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