Sunday, January 8, 2012

Friendship Series: Pt 1--My Story

When I was little I had a TON of friends. Everyone I met became my friend! At that time, I become  the best friends with girls who liked roller skating and riding bikes, reading American Girl and Baby Sitter Club books, playing with stuffed animals and Barbies... but then, in the late '80s and early '90s, wasn't that pretty much EVERY girl??

As I got older, girls started falling in to various groups--the athletic girls, the nerdy girls, the girls with boyfriends, the girls with expensive clothes, the girls with cars, etc... And friends became more separated. There were the friends from school, the friends from work, the friends from church--I had friends everywhere! I was always going somewhere doing something with someone.

College was like a friend smorgasbord! I was forced to become friends with (or at least learn to live peaceably with) the roommates I was given (and actually I had pretty fab roommates and girls that lived in my unit). But then there were people from all over the world that came to one place! I'd meet people in class then meet my new friends' friends and suddenly, my social circle had multiplied immensely!

Then... I was an adult... then, I started this horrible "revolving door friendship." Now, before I go too far, let me explain to you this "revolving door friendship" theory that I have. To me, making friends is kind of like dating. You meet someone, you hang out with her in groups, maybe a little one on one.. kinda try it out for a while and see if you two actually *fit* together. You don't have to like ALLLL the same stuff, but do you at least have some shared interests? Laugh at the same things? etc. While I've had several boyfriends, I go through girl friends like the skankiest person alive. I call it a revolving door, because I'll meet a girl and think I really like her. We'll hang out for a while and then something happens (usually nothing dramatic like an actual break up) and we just kinda drift apart. This happened a lot when I got my first real/career'y type job. I would be friends with someone for a few months, then kinda stop talking and meet someone else. Then I'd be her "friend" for a while 'til something would happen, she'd be gone and I'd meet someone else... on and on...

It started happening so much, that I really started to think it was me. Like, okay, something must be wrong with ME because obviously I (for whatever reason) can no longer keep friends. Make them? Sure, no problem! I love meeting new people, learning things about people, caring about people... but keeping them? That was the problem...

So, I took a long hard look at me, and the pattern and what the situations had in common. And the truth was clear as day:

I make shallow, superficial friendships.

There. I admitted it.

But what does it mean, really? It means, I can be "friends" with anybody. I always made the friends that I could *do* stuff with. I had shopping friends, friends to eat with, friends to go out with, etc. But I didn't have the friends that I would open my heart and share what I was really thinking (ha, irony since I'm opening up so much to all of you whom I hardly know hahaha).

Sure, I love getting to know people, but I don't love people getting to know me. I'll sit any listen to anyone's life story and remember it in great detail, but I'll give random, generic answers if people try to get to know me. Why? Sadly, I think it's because I have such a need to be liked, that the fear of people *not* liking who I really am keeps me more closed up.

This is getting super lengthy, so I'm going to wrap it up here. But have you ever felt like that? Do you have true blue friends you can call crying at 3AM? Or do you have the friends that you can call up to go to happy hour?

**disclaimer, this has just to do with girl friendships. I have much less of a problem opening up to boys and keeping them around longer. But that's probably another issue for another time. lol:) These are just my observations/opinions and are in no way meant to offend/insult/upset anyone.


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