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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thinking About Friendship...Thoughts

Do you ever think about friendship? I do.

Normally I don't write posts for this blog unless they deal with books or reading. But this topic has been on my mind a lot lately and I thought it might be interesting to see what other people had to say. BBAW just ended and is a way for people to meet new, online, friends. But, what about real life friends?

Do you have lots of friends: people who call and stop by, people who do thoughtful things for you; girlfriends you get together with often?

Do you have only one or two really close friends? Do you feel like you're all alone in the world of friendship: that everyone else out there seems to have a life and girlfriends and you don't? Does blogging bring you more friends or take you away from your real-life friends?

Are you one of those blessed people who is the life of the party and can gather people around you like chicks to a hen? Or are you the one in the background: the one who is always reliable when it comes to church or work or PTA, but who no one remembers to call when they're going out to have fun?

I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately. I watch those around me, sometimes with a bit of jealousy, I will admit. There seem to be those women who just make friends easily. They are the ones who are always included in events and activities and often, they are the ones coordinating and instigating those activities and events. I wonder, were they always that way? Were they the popular girls in high school who were always involved and always busy?

I know some women through my boys' activities and I have a lot of acquaintances at church. There are a lot of women I like, and there are many who I consider to be my friends. And, I'd like to think that many of them like me in return. But, it's rare that they would think of me when they get together with each other. And, if I thought about doing something, I don't know that it would be easy for me to invite them along, even though I might think about doing it. Why is that?

I've decided that I don't make friends easily. I think that I tend to be a little prickly. I don't confide in others very easily and tend to be a bit private. I'm not a warm, fuzzy, awwww-type person who draws lots of attention, and if I have an opinion, I'll share it, even if it's not popular. I've had people here just look at me like I'm some weirdo, when I have an opinion that is different from theirs or the mainstream. I'm not super comfortable in crowds, although I can hold my own, and sometimes I think I'm even funny. The last few years have been interesting, friendship-wise, to say the least. Sometimes I think that I let my books become my friends.

I've never been a "have a lot of girlfriends person". My closest friends are women I've known for 30 years. They are women I went to school and church with as a child and young woman. I made some good friends in college, but we don't stay in touch like I do with my girlfriends I grew up with. Perhaps it's because we share a history. Perhaps it's because we just connected. Who knows? But, those close girlfriends live away from me, and while our friendships are strong and we are here for each other, I miss having close, every day girlfriends.

I've met a lot of people through blogging and I've met several of them/you in real life. Sometimes you click with someone immediately, sometimes you don't. But, I've learned that I'm not the only one who sometimes feels lost in the world of friends.

What about you? Talk to me. Share. Discuss.

Am I the only one who doesn't make friends easily?
Do you have any suggestions of how to make friends and be a better friend to the ones you do have?
Do you make friends easily?

Do you ever feel left out and ignored?
Do you have lots of girlfriends or just one or two?

Would you rather read a book or go out with a friend?

6 comments:

  1. I feel like I do make friends pretty easily. I've moved around so much, I've had to learn to do that, though. Joining a group is a great way to make new friends - usually you'll click with someone in the group.

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  2. I am much the same. I have never made friends easily. We moved into our house more than a year ago and I still don't know my neighbors at all. I don't know if it's just that people are so busy here, or less friendly, or I am too shy to make the first approach. Blogging has been a wonderful way to connect to people with similar interests (reading!)

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  3. I have a few close friends and many aquantinces (sp?) I was always so painfully shy as a child and did not really overcome that until I had my own children. Well, I guess you could say that I was fairly outgoing in college, but was still hiding a bit behind a wall. I have always been a very private person and am quite content with a few close friends. Since my daughter has started school, I have made friends with many of the parents/moms and always forge a good relationship with her teachers. However, that is a bit different, I think. I love being able to chat with friends that I have made online, especially through blogging and sharing similar likes and interests.
    Excellent post!!

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  4. I live in a college town full of accomplished people. Often, I think people become friends with people just to network. I don't have anything to offer someone besides friendship, so I often feel overlooked. I'm active in groups, so it's somewhat helpful. When I stop to think about it, I hurt when I think about the heart-to-heart friendships of my youth. I pray for just one heart-to-heart friend. I'll keep you in my prayers for one too. In the meantime, I'm happy you're my bloggin' buddy.

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  5. This is the second time I got caught up and forgot to mention you won an award on my blog.

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  6. I think those that have close friends are the ones who are willing to take a risk to invite someone to lunch or to a chick movie or to a women's function. Most of us are insecure and think that everyone is too busy or not interested or already has lots of friends. Most of us are somewhat lonely I believe. It's a lot about taking the time ourselves and planning ahead. I am an empty nester and we moved into a new neighborhood 2 years ago in a new area where most everyone is new. I am trying to make an effort to be more friendly and make some connections. I feel like I have friends but not the bosom buddy. Church situations with cliques are often very uncomfortable. My book club has been going for 20 years. I have good friends there. All those years of bonding monthly makes a difference. I think getting involved in something like that can create opportunities to connect. I still have friends from my young mother phase when children brought us together. But most of them live in different cities now. We still connect but it is not the same as someone in your neighborhood. I also try to invite others to walk with me in the morning. That is a good way to get to know someone. Another difficult thing is couple friends where you like the woman and your husband likes the man. That is often difficult too. When you are an empty nester and your kids live away life can get very dull. I like the connections of blogging and facebook which may be fake but it still feels good.

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