Deepening friendships, like many things in life, involves a combination of choice and happenstance.  Choosing to reveal a little more about yourself, asking your friend a curious question, or staying with an uncomfortable moment. Sometimes it’s about the timing and sometimes it’s to do with the place.  


I haven’t driven a car for over a decade.  After a fun afternoon or an evening out, when I am driven home by friends, I have had some amazing conversations.  The closer we get to my home, the more likely that is to happen. 


I have noticed that even when the conversation flags and we find ourselves just talking about what we are doing on the weekend, my friend will suddenly reveal something about themselves. In these moments, I have learnt to sit with silence or take the opportunity to ask a curious question, to be empathic and to engage deeply with what the person has to say.   


There is something about the intimacy of sitting together, often staring forwards in the dark, that enables one to share something deeper.  It might be a concern, something that’s painful, or a quirky fact – but it always leads to a deeper relationship and an increase in intimacy.  


I think we all come across these moments where intimacy can be built. For me it’s in the car being driven home, for you it may be something completely different. The challenge is to see those opportunities, and to grab them. 


This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.

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