Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making Friends

Why is making friends so hard as an adult? I went to a women's one-day retreat at church today. I was excited to go, but I just hate going alone. I only knew for sure that one newish friend of mine would be there. But--and this is my goofy shyness talking--I knew that she would know a ton of people there and I didn't want to be the clingy, needy friend. It feels like when I was in junior high and got to be friends with a popular girl in art class but then couldn't hang out with her on the playground. (Totally my issue--she's a good friend, but I'm just weird about it!)

So, I walked in, expecting the room to be set up in rows of chairs, but instead there were tables, which just seemed so much more intimidating to me. And most of the tables were full. I was hoping that two women I know a bit from church (they're sisters with kids the same age as mine) would be there, so I looked for them a bit. I didn't see them, so I decided to get a bagel from the breakfast table first to stall before sitting down. I felt like a dork looking around the room, so then I decided to walk through the tables for a minute and look a little more for anyone I knew.

Then the organizer (whom I also know slightly) saw me and said, "Oh, I'll make an announcement for people to raise their hands if there's room at their table." So then I was embarrassed. I said a quick prayer and told myself to just bite the bullet and sit down. The organizer made the announcement, and I saw my friend raise her hand. I decided to stop being stupid about it and just go sit with her. But then I passed the table next to her and there were two women sitting there alone and I felt like maybe it would be rude to walk by them and go sit at my friend's table. Gee, overanalyzing much? So I sat with them. And it was awkward. I got back up and went to get a cup of tea, at which point I saw the two sisters sitting across the room. Argh! So I went back to my awkward table.

And slowly our table filled up. And the talks were good, and during lunch I had a nice conversation with the two women next to me. One of them is new in town and expecting her first baby. We were the only ones who stayed for the Q&A at the end, and I sucked up my courage and told her I'm thinking of getting together with some other moms of young kids (which I am), so we exchanged numbers. And afterward, I talked to my friend and her husband and they invited us to a party they're having. And I found the sisters and chatted with them too. So, overall, it was a great day for me on a lot of fronts. I wish I wasn't so paralyzed by shyness, but I'm trying to be a big girl and force myself to take the first steps. I wish it didn't make me feel like I'm back in the lunch room, stepping out of line with my tray and facing the long rows of tables, hoping to find someone who will eat with me!


mrsblondies said...

I feel the exact same way. It was actually easier to make friends in jr. high than it is now. I have weird awkwardness about it too.

Shannon said...

you described me to a T!!!! I SO get this!~

Tridentine Wife said...

I'm the same way (I just wote a post about it haha) and it does seem that the older you get, the harder it becomes. It seemed to much easier to make friends in school.

Awaiting a Child of God:) said...

Awe I'm so proud of you though for hanging in there. It made me so happy to read the last paragraph and hear the connections you made:) See...God swooped right in and handled it for you:)


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