Episode #171 Add Another Chair

If every encounter with another human being is sacred, why don’t we create opportunities for more of those encounters to take place? This week, Dr. Michael Brown and Dr. Tyler Schwanz consider how to invite and include the stranger, acquaintance, and friend-of-a-friend.

Show Notes

When I say "family dinners," more often than not, there are people who are not my blood relatives that are there.
Dr. Tyler Schwanz

Three Problems

  • We can’t expand our influence if we fail to expand our circle of friends.
  • Sometimes family dinners, activities, and vacations are so exclusive that we miss out on opportunities to bring together our closest friends.
  • Insecurity breeds exclusivity, and a cloistered community is often not as close as we would like to believe.

Five Principles

  • Every one of our best friends was once a stranger.
  • We feel most fully alive when we are meaningfully connected to the people around us.
  • The bigger our table, the more nuanced our perspectives.
  • Adding another chair deepens our connections with those who are present.
  • We are not wired to have a few close relationships but rather a community of friends.

Three Practices

  • Take steps to ensure that your guest room, kitchen pantry, and dining room table are always prepared to accommodate an unexpected guest.
  • Consider, “Who is one acquaintance or coworker I could invite into my circle of friends?”
  • Ask each of your closest friends, “Do you have any best friends who I haven’t met?”