How do you make friends?
I used to know how and I used to do it effortlessly.
But, then, you know…I was 10.
I’m 23 and …I have no friends. Well, I have acquaintances and people I text/call occasionally but they’re either old friends or college friends who all live out of state. Oy…no bueno!
I guess it’s because I’m confused (about myself.)
I’ve been extremely unfulfilled socially for a decade. I started surrounding myself with “safe friends” in high school. Basically, I felt like “safe friends” wouldn’t reject me and I didn’t necessarily like them (rude I know). The part that gets me is — there was a mutual friendship attraction (lol) between me and other people but I distanced myself from them. I brought these behaviors with me to college, too, even though I tried not to.
At some point, I stopped picking “safe friends” and went for people I actually liked. But then I kinda took on the role of “counselor.” Someone who gave good advice. I was afraid to show my “flaws” with them, afraid they’d reject me for them and I was lonely and thought this was the only way someone could like me.
Then in the past 2 years, I switched schools, worked a lot and was afraid to go to the school’s clubs, etc so I made no friends.
Why does my behavior sound SO RIDICULOUS now that I’m looking back? I knew then that I was acting pretty strangely. I just didn’t know how to stop it.
So now…I’m like…who am I? I know who I am but I’m still afraid to show it sometimes. Old situations, unfortunately, hold me back from being myself now. Sometimes I still feel like that awkward 12-year-old girl who was the only girl of color in her entire class. Which is a shame.
I’m so used to giving people what I think they want instead of who I am. Only to later find out, what they wanted was the real me. They often seem to end up dating/being interested/befriending someone who has the same characteristics I kept on the down low. So it’s like…a wake up call.