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Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Not Make Friends and Influence People

I don't know how to make friends any more.

That's a true confession.

Ever since I left college and got married, it's like I have no interpersonal skills. When I was in college, it was relatively easy to connect with people and strike up a friendship. But now it's worse than what it was like to try to date or hook up with someone.

By hook-up I mean, maybe make-out at a party or something. Do they say make-out any more? When I was in junior high and high school, the word of choice was scam. It sounds so 90s now. And I think when kids today say hook-up, they mean, have sex. Right?

I don't keep up.

I'm too busy not knowing how to make friends. I obviously don't have time to follow what the cool kids say these days.

I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one who gets a big WTF? on her forehead when looking at the prospect of making friends. A friend of mine (old friend) works in a marketing agency. She started there recently and she was giving me the rundown on the office politics and her attempts to make friends with some of the girls there.

And another friend (also an old friend) went through the "it's like dating. Or worse..." thing recently when she started working at a restaurant in between her semesters in a doctorate program.

"I've got to play it cool," she'd say. "____ doesn't work on Friday, and someone wanted to switch shifts with me and I said yes because ____ was working that shift too. But I've got to play it cool, like nonchalant though or else I'll seem desperate."

And it's totally true. They're friends now, but it was one of those foggy starts where it could go either way.

I haven't made a friend that I've kept since leaving college. And I've been out now for eight years. I've had several jobs and almost become pretty good friends with some girls. But for one reason or another, they've never stuck with me.

Maybe it's me.

But now I'm here, back in Utah, and I'm looking around at some potential friend material and I'm dying to figure out a way to play it cool but also show my interest. I feel like a borderline stalker or like I'm trying to catch a man. It's completely ridiculous.

I mean, making friends with someone shouldn't be this hard. It's like all my insecurities have poked through the surface and I feel like a worthless piece of crap. Who would want to be friends with me? I've met several cool chicks in my area and I have no idea how to proceed from thinking, "She's cool. She should be my best friend," to actually fostering a friendship.

What does one do?

My sister offered me totally useless advice. She said, "I'm always the instigator of get-togethers with the girls. So you say to her, 'Hey, want to go to the park and let our kids play?' and then you guys go hang out at the park. Simple."

And one day I screwed up my courage and walked to this cool girl's house with my son in the jog-stroller (I don't have her phone number) and when I got there, I knocked real lightly on her door (my excuse was that her kids might be napping). No answer! I turned and hurried home, embarrassed that I even tried.

So that was my attempt. And now I think I'll just stay home during the day and work on my career. I have old friends. They're all I need, right? I mean, they're great! They're perfect! I adore them! They just have careers outside the home and now I don't (opted to stay home with kid and it's right for us). And they live far away. But hey! Who needs new friends? It's worse than dating!

So glad I don't have to date any more.

3 comments:

Erica said...

I hate trying to make new friends too. Esper and I don't get out much but we should. I just get too annoyed with some people's kids and how they push mine. If you ever want to get together and watch our kids play at a park, I'd love to btw. ;)

N. Grotepas said...

Thanks Erica! I know what you mean about not getting out much. I stay pretty busy at home working on my own things and once in a while I longingly think, "Oh, it would be cool to not care and just hang
out." But I'm too ambitious!

N. Grotepas said...

Thanks Erica! I know what you mean about not getting out much. I stay pretty busy at home working on my own things and once in a while I longingly think, "Oh, it would be cool to not care and just hang
out." But I'm too ambitious!