If you guys recall, as part of my 2018 goals, I want to make a friend. This topic is pretty out of my comfort zone, but then again, so is this entire blog. I don’t want to admit that I want friends. It’s lame.
Also, it’s not that I don’t have friends, I do; but most of them live out of town, and the ones I have here are few and far between. Ever since getting married, making friends has been significantly harder. My husband isn’t really the chummy type (except for a few good friends who live out of Michigan), so our social life is pretty up to me. The problem is, when your life revolves around a special needs child (more on that later) and about 5 crises all at once, making friends usually gets pushed to the sidelines.
There’s also another thing. I’ve never actually made a friend before. All the friends I have (except for a few I knew since we were babies) all initiated the friendship with me. And while I’m so so happy that they did, it leaves me now without the tools to actively make new ones. Like I literally have no idea what to do. The main issue, though, by far, is my fear of rejection. Making yourself vulnerable and then getting a big red “FAIL” stamped on your forehead never feels very good. But maybe that’s just it. Maybe I have to embrace the failure. As one of my favorite books ever is entitled, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway”.
Back to logistics though. I guess I can’t wrap my head around it. I’ve tried to figure out how my current friends initiated with me, but it all felt so organic. I hate forced things. But maybe desperate times call for desperate measures. Like do I go up to another person and ask, “hey, wanna be friends?” Isn’t that too forward (and creepy)?
I feel like I’m dating all over again, except this is harder because I don’t have a bunch of people “thinking of me” and sending suggestions my way. Though that would be super helpful, if people would make friend shidduch calls like they do the regular ones: “hey, you and shprintza would make great friends! Your interests and values align perfectly and she’s got a GREAT personality!” But alas, this is not reality. And so I’m left in the murky waters of awkward head-nods and half smiles, and mostly end up keeping to myself.
This whole situation has escalated to the point where I have been officially diagnosed with social anxiety. So when I’m in an unfamiliar situation (like a wedding where I don’t know a soul), the room literally starts spinning, my hands clam up, and if someone happens to talk to me, English unfortunately, is not what comes out of my mouth in response.
So if I know you, and you’re like, hey, I could be friends with that girl. And then you talk to me and I start mumbling really awkward things, maybe give me another chance. Get to know me. I’m actually a really great friend to have. I even have references 😉
P.S. And if you have any advice for me about how you make friends, please leave them in the comments below!