I had an interesting conversation with my MIL in which I realized that I have a problem. A big problem. And honestly, I don't know how to overcome it.
So, I LONG for close friendships. I feel like I'm a great friend (how egotistical is that?)...but really, I would love to be a great friend to people, and I would love someone to be a great friend to me. More than one person really.
And I do have a few close friends, but most of them are relatives. I have a difficult time making close friendships with non-relatives. And even some of those have been suffering more recently since I live so far away from most of them. Now, I do need to put more effort into those friendships, but I really want close relationships with my other friends. More than just a "hi how are you on Sunday" type relationships. I want to call them, and hang out, and have them call me, and come over. All that type of stuff. I want to have girls nights and be invited, not just because all of the girls are invited, but because they really want to hang out with me and couldn't imagine their event without me there. Does that make sense?
I love people. I love accountability that comes with friendships, and I love being in relationships with others.
So what's the problem? I don't know how to get to that point where we have a close relationship. With family, its different. I was raised, right or wrong, that family sticks together. So, there is automatic acceptance and dedication to the relationship, after all, we are family! That obviously isn't the same with friends. We all have other commitments, family, church, kids, and of course, other friendships, and in my mind, no one else has room for yet another friend. Now I know this is ridiculous. Surely I can't be the ONLY person out there without any close non-related friends right?
So anyway, I feel like I'm intruding on someone elses life if I call or even if I talk to them. And I'm an extravert, really I am. But the truth is that I just don't know how to do it. They already have close friends and don't need me as a friend. And then, I was also taught growing up that the phone is to be used with a person. You don't just call and chat, you call with a purpose. So, I feel that I can't just call to see how you are doing...or, I guess I could call, but once you tell me you are ok then my purpose is done and I need to hang up, so not much relationship building there.
How do you get to the point where you call up someone and say "lets go shopping", or "do you want to come over and watch desperate housewives?" (or, for my small group friends...will you help me with my dishes!). It may sound silly to you all, but I seriously have no idea how to do that.
My reaction then (and historical problem) is then to focus on my former relationships as if they are important enough to replace new friendships, and I get stuck lamenting over what once was (and again, usually those took a LONG time to build, or, they weren't close friends in the first place). This has gone on since pre-school...I can still remember my best friends from pre-school and ever since if you can believe it.
I moved schools a lot (not really that much I guess, one private pre-school/elementary school, two public elementary schools, a j-high that was different from the ones my elementary school friends went to, a high school with those friends, and then graduated at a completely different high school). As I went to each new school it became harder and harder for me to make friends. I was stuck in life how it was (I read about Lot's wife looking back and completely understand how I'm stuck in a proverbial pillar of salt), I knew other people already had relationships building and didn't feel I could intrude on their history, and finally of course, I guess deep down I wasn't sure the friends would stick around (or I wouldn't stick around) long enough to let the friendships last too long.
So, the thing I learned about myself is that I think I pick fights with people who are intended to be deeper friends. Not fights really, but dissension. I'm not all that big about subconscious and all that, but really I think deep down I may be trying to test the friendship early on...those who work it out with me are willing to do the hard work a good friendship will require, and those who don't aren't fit to be my friend.
Of course I know that is ridiculous, but if I look back at several of my relationships with females, I see that pattern. And I'm so sorry if I've caused heartache that way. I haven't purposefully done it, I promise. And I'll be working on it.
I guess that's what makes blogging so good...people can choose to read or not. I won't be offended if no one reads it, I probably wouldn't know...and I can pretend people care if people aren't reading. :)
really though...so if you like me, or you think you can help, let me know. I'd seriously like to know how you all have made friends. And, if you are in need of a friend or have just thought, like I've mistakenly thought about others, that I already have close friends...or if you are good at the whole making friends thing, give me a call (or email or whatever we do nowadays to make friends...I'm obviously clueless about it so I need all the help I can get) :)