Searching For Friendship With My Eyes Closed

Meeting new people is great, unless you are like me and possess the social skills of an ostrich. Then it’s just awkward, because apparently there’s a fine line between letting someone know you think they’re cool, and coming across like you want to date them.

Making friends as an adult is much different than as a kid.  It takes a lot more time and effort, and frankly it’s just plain hard to meet people sometimes.  As a kid, friendships just sort of seemed to happen without much effort at all.  We never really put much thought into it.  Simply being together and doing kid stuff was enough to carry us through (until it didn’t; then there would be the ugly friendship break-up that involved note passing, judgmental side glances, and the inevitable social outcast stage.  That was everyone else’s normal too, right?).

As a stay-at-home-mom, meeting people has since become a tentative and uncertain process for me.  There’s my children’s school where I find myself hovering on the sidelines while the other moms chat comfortably with one another.  There’s the kids’ sports and various other lessons where I glance, weakly at the moms who are glued to their phones, typing furiously, oblivious to my need.  I’ve gone to playgroups with my kids who have had no trouble making friends, whereas I inevitably tripped and stumbled my way through halting conversations with other tired, distracted mom’s.  I even gave yoga a try for a while (lots of heavy breathing, very little talking).

When I do finally meet someone I like, I find small talk very challenging, and either end up talking way too much about myself, or wind up stuck, with nothing else to say.  I tend to worry too much about what the other person is thinking, and that can have a powerful effect on what I choose to say and share.  I think I sometimes come off as hesitant, insecure or even, heaven forbid, bored with the conversation.

To say that making friends is hard is an understatement.  Especially when I’m prone to making bizarre and unexpected comments, like this morning in the schoolyard when I commented to one of the teachers that I felt like a shabbily dressed fashionista washout compared to her.  Then I smiled and asked where she did her shopping, because clearly it wasn’t wasn’t where I was doing mine!  We probably won’t make eye contact when we see each other tomorrow.

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85 thoughts on “Searching For Friendship With My Eyes Closed

      1. I don’t feel comfortable in groups. I tend to have a few close friends…and ever since I had to stop working back in 2012, most of them are online. LOL My old friends ditched me when I got sick, the jackasses.

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  1. This sounds exactly like me! I’ve recently started walking in the mornings with another mom in the neighborhood and every morning I spend 25 minutes awkwardly making small talk while huffing and puffing up hills. It really is two of my least favorite things … I’m hoping the talking part at least gets a little easier! 🙂

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    1. Oh, I’m so relieved to hear you say this! Not because I’m glad you’re struggling through small talk WHILE doing hills (!!!), but because it is a relief to hear I am not alone in feeling this way. I have only just recently started to be more open and honest about how awkward and uncomfortable I feel around people. Strangely, it is finally making me feel more at ease. I’m also starting to accept that not everyone will like me, and by no means do I need to like everyone I meet. I have spent too many years trying too hard to impress people by being someone I’m not. It’s only in the past few years that I finally started to settle into myself and accept who I am.

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  2. I follow another lady on here called amileinmyshoes and she wrote a post similar to this one this morning 😳 You must check out her site. I enjoy all your posts on here because you like her write brilliantly, you are both genuine, honest and lovely people I would kill for friends like you two. You both don’t realise just how special you are. 🌹

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! You really touched my heart. ❤ (I knew there was a reason I found your blog 🙂 ).
      Thanks for recommending 'amileinmyshoes'. I love discovering new blogs, so I will be sure to check this one out!

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  3. I always issue disclaimers. I’m awkward and opinionated. I try so hard to hold off on the heavy stuff but it’s what I care about. Weeds out the riff raff, I guess. My “real” friends had to be left behind in the name of progress and moms from kid activities just aren’t having my weird ass. The only place interacting is easy for me is on the road because just living this way tells you most of what you need to know about people. Except those Rainbows who were in the car with someone who didn’t tell me I was on speakerphone. THAT sucked.

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      1. Lol. Dude. Sometimes I’m making a horrified have at my phone, ringing next to me and have to say, “Just answer it dummy!” Goodbye is the worst though. On personal calls I’ll stay on the phone till I die if the other person doesn’t end it. Or I’ll just blurt out, “Talk to you later,” the moment I’ve built up the courage. It’s almost never the right moment. Two days ago I invited someone over, then uninvited them then had to call them to tell they could come. I’m fucking ridiculous. And I can’t help it! (Believe me, I try!)

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      2. Oh no, don’t die! I’m super awkward when that happens too. (some people don’t think it’s nice when they tell you their grandma died and you say “that sucks.” I just assumed they would agree.)

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  4. Being yourself is one of the hardest things to actually do. We all think other people want us to be a particular way. What’s important is that you are who you want to be. I think you’re cool!

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  5. Well said. I’m super introverted but I’m also learning that if I dont intiate and pursue friendship it just wont happen. I hate feeling vulnerable…but I think thats just part of it… and yeah, yoga didnt work for me either. (but thats another story for another time.) 😉 ❤

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    1. I think you’ve just described it perfectly! Being vulnerable. That’s huge! And you’re right about friendships not happening if we don’t put the effort into them. I’m quite guilty of that.

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    1. There have been a few comments here now from people who feel the same way. It really is quite comforting knowing that we aren’t the only ones, because sometimes it certainly feels that way!

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  6. I like your quirkiness and understand your feeling of being on the sidelines wanting to participate more. I think people are quite insular and stick to their clique…it isn’t necessarily a reflection of your social skills. I actually can’t stand small talk…it bores me to tears. I only want proper conversation with someone one to one…someone to laugh with and share emotions. I stand at the school gates and feel like an alien who’s just landed, but they are not my kind of people so I am happy to stand there alone. Social anxiety is pants…I used to suffer badly with it but have found an inner confidence now fortunately. I think you’re individuality and quirkiness is an asset and you have a wicked sense of humour 😊❤

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    1. Thanks so much! That means a lot coming from you. 🙂 It’s so hard when you meet someone new to bypass the small talk stage in order to get straight to the meaningful sharing/connection stage. It’s not possible to get there with everyone though, and I’m slowly beginning to understand that. I used to feel so rejected when I couldn’t connect with someone, but now I’m learning to take it in stride. I’m trusting my instincts more, too, and I am much more cautious with who I put any effort into. I think this causes me to come off as a bit standoffish, but I’m okay with that.

      Thanks for stopping by! It was nice to hear from you! ❤

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      1. I probably come across as standoff ish myself…but you have to size people up. I’ve come to learn a lot of the people in the social cliques I know may appear connected and part of the gang…but if you actually eavesdrop on their conversations I wouldn’t wanna join in as the conversation is so dull and shallow! I don’t waste time anymore on people who I don’t instantly click with…if we suspend our first impressions and try and force conversation with someone when it feels awkward they are not the right person for us. Real friendship is about clicking instantly and feeling comfortable being yourself…it can be quite rare to find that and should be nurtured when it happens. With people I click with my first conversations don’t seem like small talk…they seem natural. I have got to the stage where I’m quite happy to be alone. I am a niche person. Not everybody’s cup of tea…but I won’t mould myself like a social chameleon. Most of my friends are online friends….when I got to meet some of them in person (the british ones) it was fab! I am myself on my blog and on Facebook etc…people will come to me if they like my vibe 😊 I never search for anyone…just being my authentic self makes me attractive to people who like me for me 😊 I like you for you too 😊💛 X PS. I am pants at leaving comments on people’s blogs as I’m so occupied with all the stuff I do. I love reading blogs like yours when I have the chance though 😊

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      2. You have said it perfectly! That initial reaction to someone usually tells us what we need to know. I have spent a lot of time ignoring that gut feeling, and wound up with quite a few empty friendships. This past year is different though. I finally feel relaxed and comfortable enough to not let it bother me if I don’t click with someone. It’s a bit lonely at times, but I think it’s worth it to wait to meet the right friend.

        I love that you describe yourself as a niche person. I think that’s perfect! And so are you. 🙂

        I’m starting to really appreciate the people I have been meeting online. I can relax and be myself, and people either like me or they don’t, and somehow I don’t take it personally. And when I meet people like you, it makes it all worthwhile. ❤

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  7. I think the older we get the more selective we are. We have no time and patience for drama and negative people. Finding someone who we can connect with is a proper mission these days

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  8. I have the opposite problem. I talk to EVERYONE. I can’t get through Walmart without striking up several conversations. People probably think I’m a stalker. But I do let other people get a word in…when I pass out from lack of oxygen from talking so much.

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  9. I can totally relate! “What should I say?” Is going through my head like a broken record. And I laughed about not making eye contact with the teacher the next day. Cause I feel like I choose the wrong thing to say when I have the mental debate – and then I go over it in my head, and mentally beat myself up – some conversations I still hold my head over even though I had them years ago!

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    1. I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel ever since writing this post. Knowing that there are others out there who feel like I do is so comforting and reassuring.

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  10. ‘Shabbily dressed fashionista washout’ I am so using this! You are so funny, I can’t believe you don’t have crowd of hangers on around you lapping up your every word! Have you noticed how many friends you have on here, followers, people that like you, those that take the time to comment, laugh with you, that’s friendship! x

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    1. You are too sweet. Thank you!
      I’m really quite shy in person. I am definitely way more interesting when I write. (I suspect we all are!).

      I’ll be honest with you though, ever since writing this post, and reading all the feedback from people, I have actually gained a bit of confidence. I also feel a bit more settled knowing that I am not alone, and that other people are struggling just as much I am. I am finally at a point in my life where I can let go and just be myself. I wish I had learned to do this sooner!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I hear ya… And it’s especially hard for people who move when they are new moms, too. Double whammy! A lot of moms like that have joined our moms group (a FB-based meet up group), and I try to be welcoming to them but I still find it hard to become friends! It’s almost like I’m scared to get close to other moms, not sure why. Maybe it is that vulnerability thing. Hosting playdates helps, I’ve found!

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    1. I joined a few Mommy groups when I had my first (and even second), but I never properly connected with anyone. I think it was just a matter of not meeting the right people though. I’m starting to realized that it just isn’t possible (or even necessary) to connect and make friends with everyone! When the right person comes along, the friendship will simply happen. (That’s my hope anyway 😉 ). 🙂

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  12. “Then it’s just awkward, because apparently there’s a fine line between letting someone know you think they’re cool, and coming across like you want to date them.” I laughed out loud at this , mostly because I feel your pain. I seriously suck at socializing…

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    1. It’s not easy allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, but the real challenge is knowing who we should allow ourselves to be vulnerable with. I’m still trying to figure that one out. 😉

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