Today I learned that I often totally misread or misunderstand what others enjoy. I think because I love to do something that others will also love to join me in that thing. So when I approached a couple to see if they’d like to join my husband and me at a restaurant, I followed my husband’s advice. He told me that this particular couple might not enjoy dining out (what?!!!) and might prefer a hike or a campfire instead.
I pushed back. Who wouldn’t love a dinner out, especially if we were treating? I had a gift card to a fancy restaurant in town that I couldn’t wait to use. Wouldn’t this couple feel blessed and loved? Wouldn’t it become such a lovely evening?
But I listened to Ashley. Maybe he was right. He often is.
So I said to the couple, “OK, we’d love to spend some time with you! Which would you prefer: a dinner out–our treat– at this restaurant or a night around the campfire?” Of course I sounded much more lively when I described the dinner out, and I let my voice deflate when making the campfire invitation.
Much to my surprise, the couple said, “We actually don’t enjoy dining out at fancy restaurants. It makes us uncomfortable more than anything else. We love sitting around the backyard fire pit and talking! We are simple, country folks!”
I learned a great lesson in friendship. Ask your friends which they prefer when inviting them to outings. You’ll learn something about them and how to bless them. So now I say, “Coffee shop or hike? Shopping or talking on the phone? Lunch or running errands together?” Give a choice and see what happens.