Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Making Friends

Growing up, it was easy to make friends. All you had to do was look at the person next to you, smile, share your fruit snacks at lunch, and boom, you have yourself a best friend for life.

Then you grow up, graduate from college, move once, move twice, move a third time, and it makes it hard to meet friends, and develop friendships. I think because of all of our moves over the past few years, I became a bit gun shy in making friends and joining groups. We always had one foot in, one foot out, ready to head the other way at a moments notice.

P and I realized earlier this year, that Dallas, well it ain't so bad. It is not our first choice, but its not as bad as we thought it would be. Not everyone has big hair, oil money, or a luxury SUV. There are artsy, down to earth, hippyish, sportyish, and great people.

I have realized in order to make friends, you have to put yourself out there. Out into the community, out into groups, out into organizations that interest you. For a lot of my life, I have always acted as a consumer, rather than a contributor. An observer, more than an actor.

I have never been one to have a large number of acquaintances, I have always had a small, but close group of friends. Friends that know me well, and friends whom I know like the back of my own hand. As an adult, I have become much more quiet, and more introspective. I have become more apt to allow others to take the stage and have the staring roll. I am more content now to be in the background, to ask the questions, to divert the attention from myself.

Lately, things have been changing for us. We have started to plant some roots, seek out friends, take chances, and develop a community for ourselves here. No one gives you a game plan. No one tells you how to operate, how to create a community for yourself when you are not sitting in a classroom with 20 other kids.

I am realizing to make friends, you have to open yourself up, allow yourself to be vulnerable, to give a little piece of yourself, and that is what I am doing. I have found myself creating relationships with women from all walks of life. Women that I don't necessarily have a ton on common with, but women who make me laugh, who challenge me, and inspire me.

What about you? Do you make friends easily? How did you come to be a part of your social group?


Sarah Kopf said...

This is a great post! I have always been so professionally focused, that I had let my social life and friendships fall to the wayside. Since we've set roots down permanently in the town I grew up in (that sounds like a country song), I'm realizing now how nice it is now to be more focused on being involved and having quality friendships. I tend to make friends quickly---when I'm trying. But it wasn't like that when I was climbing the ladder. I had acquaintances, business partners, and clients---not friends.

Glad that things sound like they're clicking for you!


Denise said...

oh gosh, this describes me perfectly. I think I may have shared before but I got really burned by two friends a few years ago...like really burned. I have been gun shy ever since in the groups, friends department. I am completely okay with where I am at though at this point of my life. I am comfortable with my work (which is actually very social) and acquaintances I have (although not many are real close) and my bloggie friends like you :) good for you though - tell me...how are you finding your new friends?

Brooke said...

i don't have trouble making friends (i don't think). definitely think runners have an advantage on this one - run groups are so welcoming!

The Budgeting Babe said...

You know, I am just starting to open up to new people through a few running groups. It's so nice to know that other women are open to new friendships, if you just put yourself out there a little bit. Now that I've started, I feel silly for waiting so long to put myself out there!