Monday, January 07, 2008

Shameless ploy for making friends :)

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) :)

12 comments:

Suzanne said...

Wow! Did I write this? You must have plagiarized it from me. Seriously! I have had the same train of thought so many times. Most of your post is what I have thought verbatim.

I often long for the kind of friendship I had with my best friend in high school - where I could call anytime, watch movies together for no particular reason, go shopping, or just hang out and talk. I don't feel like I have that these days. I feel like I have a whole lot more acquaintances than true "girlfriends."

Call me! I'll help you do dishes. I'm very picky on cleanliness. :-) In all seriousness, if you want to go shopping, watch a movie, anything, I'm almost always around.

The Johnson Junket said...

Marie, I completely know how you feel. Most of my friends have babies and I feel like I am taking them away from their babies if I ask them to do something, so I wasn't asking them to go out. I was telling a new mom friend of mine this and she said to always ask - the worst she will say is not this time, can I have a rain check? So ask away! Hey...I love to go shopping, hint, hint!

Marie said...

Thanks for the offer ladies! See, I knew I wasn't the only one who felt that way! I will be making more of an effort to be more outgoing with you all.

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

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.

Marie, another thought instead of "testing" the relationship...

...do you think perhaps you already feel comfortable enough with that person to take the risk of being disagreeable? Doing it only because you KNOW that you'll still love each other after a fight? I know it sounds silly, but I almost "enjoy" (yes, I know that sounds weird and sick, but I promise I'm not) having a first fight with someone. It means we're close enough to even have conflict and thus take the road to overcome it. The relationship is always more tender, closer, stronger after that. As for people I don't really care about...they rarely get into arguments with me. I just don't care enough to really pursue it.

Alison said...

Oh my goodness! I am so glad you wrote this. Like Suzanne, I feel the same way much of the time with making new friends and with my already best friends. Even though I have several really tight girlfriends, I sometimes feel that I am a burden to them. I know they are busy just like me and I don't want to be that friend who people dread answering a call from because I have pestered them so much already!

And let's be honest, in the Metroplex location is a huge factor! It is easier and more convinient to be best friends with someone who lives close by. You can just drop by to hang out whenever or you can just call them up and say, "Hey I'm about to go to Old Navy. Want to go with me?"

Even though I do have several close relationships with ladies that live close by, I find myself still longing for that "best girlfriend."

Also, kind-of off the subject, but do you ever feel like you have found a person that you think could be that "best friend," but they already have a best friend? You know what I mean? Like there just isn't room for you in that relationship. I know that sounds so stupid and dorky! Someone can have more than one friend afterall!

I don't know if I have and good advice, but I do know that probably every girl feels this way and one time or another!

Marie said...

alison-
I think that is my biggest problem. So, either your not a dork, or we both are.

I don't have a problem being friends with someone or talking with them. I can be open and honest with the stranger on the street. But when it comes to being "friends", especially close friends, I always feel that they already have close friends and don't have room in their life for another one. Through this blog I've seen most people think that about others, but its actually the few who actually have the close friends.

Marie said...

funkeymonkeyjunk-
I don't know. I definitely appreciate that I can disagree with good friends and not feel like our friendship is going to be over. But, what I'm talking about is fighting before we really even have a relationship. I know the person enough to have a conversation with them, but not nearly enough to say that I'm comfortable with them. But maybe your explanation is better and makes more sense.

Marie said...

funkeymonkeyjunk-
I don't know. I definitely appreciate that I can disagree with good friends and not feel like our friendship is going to be over. But, what I'm talking about is fighting before we really even have a relationship. I know the person enough to have a conversation with them, but not nearly enough to say that I'm comfortable with them. But maybe your explanation is better and makes more sense.

The Kings said...

Have you been you been floating around in my head reading all mt thoughts? i feel the exact same way. i am clueless on what to do. If I try it feels forced so I usually stop.

Leslie said...

I've been meaning to comment and just haven't had the time to sit down to respond to this post. Like a couple of other people said, I could have written this myself. I feel almost exactly the same as you.
I truly long for a close type of friendship(s) you talk about, but just don't know how to get to that point. I think I've often had different circumstances that didn't really lean well to my having close friends (ie...I was already married during college and working full time), so that kind of put a damper on the stereotypical friendships. Or maybe that's my excuse.
But then we settled in Allen. Perfect time to form relationships, right?
But I'm like you...how do you get there. And I am not extroverted at all.
And I've had a friend in the past who was sooooo annoying and constantly calling, so that I started screening the calls and I just don't want to be that person. So I've (to a fault) stood back and not been the pursuer of a relationship. And I feel like you mentioned, that maybe so and so already has a "best friend" or is so happy with her friends and doesn't need me! But as I've read everyone's comments, I've come to realize that it's so not true! I guess reality is just distorted when you really only see people on Sunday morning.
I'd be very interested to see how this all plays out with the responses and comments...wish I were there!

Raina said...

Wow...It's eye opening to see how many people feel like I do! I always feel like people like me, but not as much as they like others, so I'm a friend, but not a best friend. I never felt like I had a "best" friend after elementary school. Even in my close group of college friends, everyone had their best friend, but I never felt like I did. I often long for that kind of best friend that I know really just likes to be around me without it being a meeting, a group, or a playdate for our kids. We all need to buddy up with someone else who responded on this comment page!

Aunti K said...

Marie, I don't have any close friends. WE are obviously from the same boat (MOM) so tell Jason to stop calling me every 4 minutes. I don't do talking on the phone. But we can stick together without best friends. And by the way...you know you are always right which is why you "pick fights" with people. You do have a hard time listening to those of us who are closest to you (did you really want wisdom or advice from me though?)