Recently I was talking with a friend about how hard it is to connect and make new friends as adults. I think this is especially true once you hit your 30’s and your life has settled into a routine. It can be even harder if you have kids because you rarely have the time to go out and connect with other people. It would seem that it would be easier to connect and become friends with other moms, but I haven’t found this to be the case.
Personally, I have always had difficulty making friends. Partly because I’m shy, partly because of the vision stuff and another part of it is where I live. I’ve seen a few posts on facebook groups with women saying they feel alone and are having trouble making friends. The interesting thing is so many women respond to these posts saying they are in the same boat and many share tips on how to meet new people. I don’t know about you, but when I start thinking about this, it’s overwhelming and so hard to get started talking to new people. I’ll give you an example. I saw a post on Twitter the other day that made me think of a question I wanted to ask this woman. I didn’t interact with this person though. I hesitated and eventually I figured it would’ve been too late to start eh conversation. I talked myself out of it and the moment passed as they often do. It got me thinking of how many opportunities we miss out on because we hesitate. Why are we afraid to give someone a compliment, ask for a play date or start a general conversation?
It’s because of the negative self talk we all have. I think to myself, why would this person want to talk to me? Maybe I’ll be bothering them. What if they think I’m weird, annoying, dumb etc. You get the picture. On the other hand, what if they think I’m fun, smart or a good person? Those thoughts almost never cross my mind. Our brains always have a way of bringing us towards the negative.
When I was just out of high school, I became good friends with this girl. When we first met, I was unsure of her. She seemed nice enough, but she was really quiet and it didn’t seem like we had much in common. Over time, we got to know each other well and became pretty close. It turned out that we had similar interests, goals and struggles in our lives. After a couple years, we lost touch mostly because of me. Back then, I was allowing others to influence me in ways that were harmful to my confidence and my wellbeing. I had talked to her a few times since then and realized that she was living the life I wanted to have. I always admired her intelligence, independence and courage. She was able to change her life in ways that I couldn’t at the time. I always admired that, but I’ll admit, I was a little envious. Although, I was mostly happy for her. I never told her any of these things. She has some amazing things in her life and she created that herself. It just goes to show that you never know whose lives you’re touching. Sometimes people may never tell you. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words, but if you are able to give a compliment or offer some simple words of gratitude, it will brighten someone’s day.