conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

Q: My friend has lost all desire and curiosity.

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What can I say to bring him to life again?–Lazarus’s friend

Dear conversation is an engine

My friend has lost all desire and curiosity. What can I say to bring him to life again?

–Lazarus’s friend

ElevatorShaft-2-07152015

Dear Lazarus’ Friend:

Your friend may be depressed. Does he look at his smartphone a lot—that could be a sign. Tell your friend to hie unto a physician for a thorough physical–because it could be physical. It could require a counselor or mental health professional.

But from a friend’s perspective, find ways to be present. Take your friend out for coffee and get him to spill the beans: what’s going on? Friendship is about talking all the way through your friend’s understanding of life just now. Touch on what he fears and what he hopes. Touch on what next steps he might. This will take time—maybe many cups of coffee over a long time. Or take a long walk together–do something that takes the pressure off talking.

Being present with your friend may look like conversation. Or it may sound like silence. But being there, whether or not words show up, that is the first point.

Start there. Because showing up may be just the glimmer your friend needs.

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Image credit: Kirk Livingston

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