friends.

I don’t know how to make friends.

I’ve never been good at it… even when I was younger… even when I was a kid. My friends were always people with whom I just happened to get thrown together… or people who approached me because I don’t know how to approach people.

It’s even harder, as an adult, to make friends. Especially when you’re me. Boring, unemployed, negative, sad… I could go on, but I won’t. You already know. People don’t want to hang out with someone like me.

I see people who have friends… and I envy them. They might just be talking or having coffee or shopping. They might be people who’ve known each other for years. They might just be two moms who got to know each other because their kids are friends.

I feel like I should be able to do that… to have that… but I don’t know how to talk to people. I can’t think of what to say… so I eventually say something stupid… or I stand there in silence. And I feel like an idiot. I am terrible in social situations. I avoided social events at my last job as much as humanly possible. Even if a person I’m talking to is good at it… good at making conversation (like the mom I refer to in this post)… I still fail. I might be good for a couple of minutes, but then it dies because I can’t keep it going.

What am I supposed to do? I have nothing interesting to talk about. (See my fabulous qualities above… boring, sad, etc.) I have nothing worthwhile to contribute. But even if I could talk more, it wouldn’t become anything that would translate into a ‘real friendship‘. I can’t just jump in and ask someone to get coffee. The conversation just doesn’t go there. It would be incredibly awkward… and kind of creepy. And when, exactly, would coffee happen anyway since these people have lives, jobs, etc.? They’re not like me. My life is all wrapped up in my own mistakes and failed attempts at correcting them. And I feel a constant need to apologize for it.

• • •

Even here online.

I read conversations people have in the comments… and I realize that I am utterly unskilled at talking to people. I suck at friendship.

It’s not that I don’t have friends here… because I do… and they are some of the best people I’ve ever [not] met. But I am constantly worried about losing them because I’m just not good at it. I worry that I come across as uncaring or selfish or unfriendly… but that’s not me. I just don’t know how to talk to people.

It’s the same as what I described above—I say something stupid or I am silent. That’s what happens when I want to comment on a post, too. I want to say something but I can’t think of what to say… so I say something stupid or I say nothing at all. So I look like an idiot… or a bitch… or both.

And also… while I feel extremely close to some of you, it is not, of course, the same as having a friend right here.

• • •

I had a conversation with someone today… but she is a professional so she has to talk to me… and I have to talk to her. It’s not a friendship thing. But I bring it up because it was about friendship. I told her about my college-diary story. When she asked me what it was like then for me, I told her college was fun… I had friends, neighbors, boys… but I could also be alone if I wanted to be. And it became more obvious than ever that what’s missing from my life is a friend. Not that I didn’t already know that… but hearing her say it… having this conversation… made me feel vindicated… validated… for thinking (knowing) that this is actually affecting my well-being.

I have no idea why I’m writing this. Unless someone here who puts up with me (thank you) is going to relocate (unlikely), none of this is going to change. I’m not going to have someone to text or call whenever I need to (daily). Someone to meet for coffee a few times a week… or even once. Someone to cry to when I’m a mess… or laugh with when I’m also a mess (because I’m always a mess). Someone to tell me everything will be okay… even if it’s a lie (daily)… or to tell me I’m not a lost cause… even if it’s a lie (daily). Or someone to give me a hug when I need one (daily).

Because I don’t know how to make friends.

• • •

©2018 what sandra thinks

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About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Hawaii where she could learn to surf. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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103 Responses to friends.

  1. You’re writing this because you needed to, and that’s all that matters! I know it’s a cliche, but it’s so hard to make friends as an adult! But you can safely say that I’m your friend. Cos I am! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. J-Dub says:

    I am you. I’m glad you wrote this. I had a talk today with my professional too. I left feeling hopeless 😩.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marquessa says:

    That rings a loud bell for me. Growing up my friends were those who happened to “be” and usually not because I made the first move. Same thing when I got older. It was only in my thirties after a few “challenging” events that I stopped holding back and completely lost ALL hesitation about speaking to people first. Yeah, I wish I had quality girlfriends close by too but today’s dynamic is just too “busy”. You know we would be great bffs … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can make the small talk, and have acquaintances. I work directly with people all day. I kinda have to do small talk. But making friends? Like real friends? I suck at it too. You aren’t alone. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am awful at making small talk. And trying… or having to try… makes my skin crawl. I hate it so much. I can’t imagine having to do that all day. I think it would actually kill me. I hate people. Yet, I’m desperate for a friend…

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I have 3 close friends, and my wife is a 4th, yet I hate people. Well, not all people, but most. I guess maybe I’m weird, but I don’t need interaction with people. I could go months without having a meaningful conversation with anyone. I know it’s not the same as having a friend there, in person, or at least available at any time through texting, but you’ve got friends here, that care. I still say I wish your husband was that for you. 😏

        Liked by 1 person

        • I knew you were going to say that. He just isn’t. I can’t change or fix that. It’s depressing… makes me feel awful… but that’s just how it is..

          For a long time, I didn’t think I needed friends. But It’s not like I’ve been a super happy person… so what do I know?

          I never thought I needed interaction with people. But when I thought that, I had some. Now that I don’t, I realize that I do need it. I’m not sure if you really don’t need it… because you always have it anyway… even if just your family/wife. Do you need any more? Maybe not… but having none? I don’t know.

          There is something huge missing from my life. (Okay… more than one thing.) I need a friend. I’m not greedy… one would be fine. And I know I have friends here but… and maybe this sounds greedy… it’s not enough.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Lee Dunn says:

    I’ll bet you have a nice smile, when it comes to you naturally. Let’s hope for more of those.

    Like

  6. I think more people feel like this than not. If we sit down and think about how many true friends we have, the numbers are low. Sometimes the best place to start is yourself. Focus on being a friend to yourself. That sounds corny, but it worked for me (sorta).

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that would be harder for me… being a friend to myself. I hate myself. I don’t know why anyone would want to be friends with me… so this whole post is ridiculous!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even the worst people in the world have friends (well, kinda), so why can’t you? 😉 It’s hard, but the first step is realising that it’s not easy. I have many, many, many days where I can’t stand myself. Sometimes I just try to focus on what I do that makes me feel good about myself (making people laugh, writing) and I go from there.

        In your case, you have your graphic design, your writing, your blog – all of which people enjoy. That’s one thing that you shouldn’t hate about yourself. 💜

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you… you’re so sweet. ♥

          I think it’s like that “5 things I like about myself” post I did a little while ago. I can come up with a few things… but there’s always a ‘but’. I’m talented… but it doesn’t matter because I can’t find a job using any of those talents so what’s the point? It’s like my brain takes everything about myself — even the positive things — and turns them negative… making it really hard for me to like myself…

          Liked by 1 person

          • If Instagram models can find jobs using their iPhones, you definitely can using your actual talent! Have you considered volunteering? I don’t know if I’ve asked already. That’s always a surefire way to make you feel like you’re doing good and these days with the job market being what it is – you might be able to find some connects, or even use the experience to get a job later done the line. These days, you can volunteer from home if you’d prefer that. You could design charity flyers etc.

            There’s always a but, buuuut, sometimes it needs to be followed by a fuck it. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, honey, you have so many good qualities! Making friends is a two way street. You’d need to be a friend, too, and be there for someone else when they needed something. Maybe if you just tried some innocuous comment when you’re at the store like smiling and telling someone you like their hair, clothes, shoes? Just practice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done that. Sometimes I surprise myself by doing it… totally unplanned. But it doesn’t get me anywhere. I’ll probably never see that person again in my life. It’s not that I don’t try to be a friend, too… I’m just really bad at all of it. And it always amazes me that people here think I’m likable because I don’t really see it…

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good you’re doing that. Do your kids have events like plays or scouts or dance or sports where you’d be watching with other parents? That’s a natural, too, to talk to other parents.

        Liked by 1 person

        • They do karate but that’s a drop off and pick up thing. They do chorus, too, but at the concerts, you’re just sitting in an audience… not talking. I see a couple of the moms of my daughter’s friends when I drop off of pick her up at their houses and I talk to them… very briefly. Not enough to become friends. Plus it’s like Meg said… I don’t think these people share my interests anyway. They’re not like me… they’re more… normal?

          Like

  8. Meg says:

    I would say that I too have a lot of acquaintances but not any really close friends. My husband is the only person really close enough to know me. My problem is this: I don’t know anyone who shares my interests (beyond all of you here) that I can really enjoy talking to. We have ‘couples friends’ that we socialize with, but I always find it unsatisfactory and exhausting. Like when will this night be over… And like the others have said, it isn’t easy meeting and making new friends as an adult. I’m not one for joining groups (like book clubs or writing groups, because someone once suggested that to me…) and I don’t work in an office setting, so the chance of making a new friend at this point is low. I think we would be friends in real life, I definitely consider you a friend now!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t feel like anyone really gets me anyway… even if I met someone. It’s only a little bit about meeting people… It’s really about meeting the right person. It’s like trying to find a husband. I’m definitely not one for joining anything either… and I have no job… so I’m alone… isolated. I think that will only get worse as time moves on. I don’t see a way out.
      Thank you for being a friend… ♥

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meg says:

        You know… I feel like that too: that no one gets me. My husband doesn’t even ‘get’ me but he loves me anyway fortunately! Nevertheless, there are things I can’t explain to him because he just doesn’t understand it. Sandra, your friends here are real friends, even though we don’t get together in person. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, my husband doesn’t get me either. He probably loves me anyway… sometimes, it’s hard to tell.

          I don’t know how to explain myself… but I will try…
          I think I am too needy. I want someone to be there all the time. Like, whenever I feel like I need someone, I wish someone was there. Especially in person. But that would never happen anyway — online friend or offline friend. Then there are the days when I just want someone to hang out with and forget everything else (that’s most days) but I don’t always have someone. I know no one *always* has someone, but I feel like I need as much as I can get. That’s really hard with online friends. I know you’re all real friends, but I just feel like I’m burdening people… and no one is around all the time anyway. I guess I’m also lonely… and bored. My life is empty. Maybe having friends gives me validation. “Someone actually wants to be around me so how bad can I be?”

          I don’t think I explained what I was trying to explain at all… lol

          Liked by 1 person

          • Meg says:

            Oh you are funny. I get what you’re saying. But be at ease – you are not burdening your friends here. We are sticking around! And I think you’re realistic, knowing it’s impossible for anyone to be around all the time. Imagine yourself trying to be that person for someone else…. you have responsibilities at home, the kids, etc. that have to take priority. That wouldn’t make you a bad friend to put them first. You know? If I could wish one thing for you, I’d wish that you wouldn’t be so hard on yourself my dear! ❤ ❤ ❤

            Like

  9. I’ve arrived late to the party – and it is a party, a party of your friends.
    I can’t give any better advice than has already been given but do know, and believe, that there are plenty of us out here who have similar feelings, doubts, and fears. Perhaps that’s why we are here.

    Don’t bother about moaning, or complaining, or offloading. If it helps, all well and good. If it doesn’t, so what?

    You have email addresses for many of us, and I know that none of us would mind if you want to blow off steam privately.

    You are most definitely not alone.

    Hugs, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jrvincente says:

    Email me! jrvincente@gmail.com I don’t know exactly how far we are, but I travel all around the Northeastern US. I love your story, and I love how real you are on your blog. I relate so much to what you say, especially among my daughter’s friends’ moms!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. maraaaa13 says:

    I know just how you feel… I often get this feeling when I look at someone and I think: “We would get along really well” but I never say anything and I always end up regretting this…

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hunida says:

    I’m the same way. I have one friend and he’s my boyfriend. I do not know how to make friends with girls… it always feels so awkward and like they’re judging me.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s as if you took every word I’d ever thought about friendship and wrote it down. I relate so hard! Also, fellow bore right here!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Sreejith says:

    During these days finding a person who actually can be called as a FRIEND is really difficult to find,just be urself and love the way u are. More you stress urself to create a good conversation will just end up ruining it. Will surely look forward to reduce your awfulness with a pinch of buddyship.☺️☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sreejith says:

    Oops!! I guess I ruined the conversation,as u saw its quite natural to happen with anyone.just don’t keep up on it and lose your confidence.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I can relate. A lot of adults make friends through their children, work or partner. If I was to ask them how many friends they had made completely on their own, then I’m sure the answer would be very low.
    No-one in my life can fulfil all of my needs, so I have loose friendships with people who each have a certain role. My cinema friend. My coffee shop friend. My craft teacher. My friend with children (I prefer playing with her kids than talking to her!) My friend who is learning to speak English, so I talk simply about all sorts. I’ve got a drinking buddy. My twitter friends.
    I take it slow and don’t expect anything. I send birthday cards and postcards and check in with them at least every 2-3 weeks by text, email, dm. Friendships evolve but can easily wither and die if not nurtured. I’m a very honest person and more than half of friendships I think might work, actually don’t.
    Nx

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Suewade says:

    I know exactly how you feel are writing about me too find it so hard too x

    Liked by 2 people

  18. You’re a bundle of beautiful mess.Wait for that one right person,who can change you involuntarily.I bet you will meet someone,with whom,you would feel comfy.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Mel Gutiér says:

    Sandra!!!!!! I read this post with it resonating with me. I look at the # of followers and this beautiful comment thread and… You are rich in friends. I understand a lot of what you said here. Well…

    I’m here. Still waiting for my questions. LOL! And you can have all the hugs you want!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I know what it feels like. When I was younger I was very socially inept and didn’t have a single friend. I learned to socialise better by watching others do it, but I was also lucky people adopted me, kind of. Anyway here’s my two cents worth, in my experience people value listeners more than talkers. If you can learn to be a good listener, and you definitely can, you will never be boring. Other people usually love a great listener, and after they’ve talked themselves silly they will go away thinking you’re the most interesting person they’ve ever met.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I think your advice to be a good listener is great. I know I like to have someone to listen to me… if I can be that for someone else, that can only bring good things…

      Like

  21. Pingback: How interesting are you? – butimbeautiful

  22. fairleymade says:

    I can relate sort of.. my thing is I can’t find a friend that is like me.. you know. I’m a college student and a mom, my mom friends are always busy and I’m always… you know busy! Ugh.. when I talk to them I feel that I’m talking their ears off and they just want me to shut up! So you see I need a friend too but not just any friend. I need a friend that’s like minded or something like that

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do understand. Even when I talk to some of my kids’ friends’ parents, I feel odd. I feel like I don’t have anything in common with these people except that we are all parents. None of them see to be anything like me. They don’t need to be *just* like me (that would be bad!) but I need to connect with them… with someone. And I just… don’t…

      Like

      • fairleymade says:

        Yep. Same I don’t want them exactly like me but… you know like you said same interest. I’ll follow your journey. I love topics like this. If your not to just go check out my blog. I’m a newbie

        Liked by 1 person

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