Whether you are an extravert, introvert, thinker, or feeler, almost everyone can enjoy a good game night with friends! Nothing seems to bring me out of my introverted shell like playing games with some friends. Some of my silliest and most brilliant statements have been declared during a game of Phase 10. Seldom do I laugh as hard as I do during a rousing game of Cranium. And originally, I hated the idea of game nights! So, what changed?
I didn’t grow up playing very many board games and I figured playing games with friends, or even worse, with people I didn’t know very well, would simply show my lack of knowledge. As it turns out, the games became great equalizers. Comedians will tell you that when you laugh, your inhibitions and guardedness come down. Comedian Mark Lowry once said that people can’t laugh with folded arms. When they laugh, they bring their arms down and he is able to present them with a deeper message.
By playing games with people, I have found that I become comfortable around them much faster than by sitting and thinking up small talk. The game gives everyone something to talk about; additionally, the fun brings out playfulness in people. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly,” (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV) and I have found that I am much friendlier than usual when I play games with others.
Now, if you are so highly competitive that you scream at your opposition when they are beating you, you may want to think of a different scenario for making friends or entertaining them. Or, you could use it as an opportunity to have fun playing and getting to know people instead of needing to be the champion (though, I admit that this is harder for competitive types like my husband ~smile~).
I have a friend who hates the idea of a game night; however, I’ve never once seen her leave a game night frowning. When she does come, she has a lot of fun. You may have similar reservations that she has about game nights or you may have your own set of reservations. Maybe you’d prefer more physical activities instead of board games? Maybe you could organize a race or scavenger hunt for your friends. Maybe you find yourself too intellectual to enjoy most board games; but, believe me, they have many board games for intellectuals – and who knows, you may even find yourself laughing out loud. Maybe you are uncomfortable having people over because of a recent move or lack of time to clean your home. Chances are a friend would be happy to host it or you could even ask your local church if you could play there. (One of my husband’s fondest New Years Eve nights was when the church he grew up in played Bunco all night long and ended at 2 am).
Game nights are cheap, fun, and wholesome. When each person or couple brings a small snack and game to share, the evening is financially covered. It is a great way to get to know new couples, to introduce friends to other friends, or to connect more deeply to old friends. Before getting engaged, or married – if you are already engaged, have a few game nights. Enjoy each other’s friends and get to know new friends! Good friends (and I emphases the good, meaning friends who have your best interest at heart and don’t seek to bring you down) are a blessing to a marriage. We all need good people in our lives. Now, go play!
What are your favorite board, card, or dice games?