I have a hard time making friends.
It’s the plight of introverts, I would surmise. I’m incredibly shy and quiet and I tend to stay withdrawn in social situations. In school, I was always that quiet girl who didn’t say much. Unless I was involved in a group project or someone struck up a conversation with me, I would stay in my shy bubble. It took me a long time to break out of my shell at work and I must thank my work BFF for that. She is one of the most bubbly, extroverted people I know and just being around her makes me want to be extroverted like her. I still have the tendency to stay within myself (especially around especially loud and boisterous personalities), but I think it’s safe to say I am learning to be more vocal and outspoken in that arena.
I think one of the hardest things about building friendships is jumping from casual acquaintance to someone I connect with. I feel awkward requesting phone numbers or e-mailing them or even chatting with them online. I mean, even in the AIM era of middle and high school, I had a small list of friends on my list and almost never initiated conversations.
The lack of friendships in my life bugs me. I feel like I’m failing at this phase of my life. I mean, I’m 23! Where are my nights out with my girlfriends? Brunches, coffee dates, and trips? I do none of that. It doesn’t help that it seems that with the few of the close friendships I’ve had, I’m the one doing all the work – putting together the lunch dates and keeping in contact. One of my best friendships has fizzled because I got tired of being the only one who seemed to care. Those type of dying friendships can be awful on the heart, because you realize all along that the friendship wasn’t what you had built up in your head.
The thing is, I’ve met so many people through my blog, people I want to get to know better but have never made that leap. People I want to send long e-mails to when I need to vent or talk to on G-chat when I just want someone to talk to, but I’m always worried it will bug or irritate them. It’s silly, really, because I know I get incredibly happy when I receive e-mails from readers.
It’s hard to see so many blog friends who have transcended the line of just a casual blog reader to real friendships. I know they’ve put their own hearts on the line to make it happen so I really have nobody to blame but myself. It just seems to be the way with me.
But 2011 is the year I’m taking action for the areas of my life I’m unhappy with. The lack of true friendships in my life is a source of constant stress. I’ve never been good at making friends, because of my shyness and awkwardness. But I’m no longer hiding behind that excuse. If I want to make friends, if I want to have stronger blog friends, I need to put in the work.