Friday, February 24, 2012

{Friendship Friday} How easily do you put yourself out there?


Some people have emailed to say they feel like terrible friends when they read my posts. Please! That is not my intention at all. I'm really just thinking aloud and sharing what works for me. Okay?

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So.

You run into someone a couple of times at the gym, exchange a few laughs and think, "I like this girl. We could be friends".

Or it's someone at work that you get along with really well.

Or you meet someone at a gathering (like my infertility group or bookclub) and you hit it off.

But how do you put yourself out there?

Personally I'm not too bad but I wouldn't say I'm good at  putting myself out there. Let's say a 5.

I'm good when I feel the person likes me back (isn't everybody though?) but when I'm not sure, I'm terrible.

Inside I'll think, "we could be REALLY good friends. We laugh at the same things. It sounds like we have the same values" but if that person doesn't show any inclination (like a really kind smile or asking a question of interest), I will not make a move.

It actually happened at the infertility support group last week. There was a girl who I could be good friends with. We're going through some of the same things with God and ministry. But she didn't exchange one word with me outside of hello even after I said during her sharing time how I'm going through the same thing as she is.

For the record, if our roles were reversed, I would have said to her afterwards, "so tell me more about your situation" and then taken her number and given her my card.

But none of that happened.

It's not a train smash and I'm not thinking about it all the time; it was just interesting to note.

Me and F


Of course F and I are going to have a proper friend date sometime soon. Note that I put myself out there quite easily with F (for a 2nd date) because I felt that she liked me as I liked her.

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking, I would not make a good boy. Imagine having to keep asking girls out?!

And I was quite the standoffish girl (with boys) because I just didn't believe in "wasting time" with people who were not at least marriage material!

My heart breaks a little at the thought of Connor in his teenage years.... even now when he wants to give Kendra a hug and she shrieks, "no, NO Connor" I cringe.


That's why I so admire people who will try and try and eventually they get a bite.

My one friend R from the IF group is great (fabulous actually) at keeping in touch with people and at initiating contact. She is the one who befriended me because she kept sending me text messages.

The embarrassing thing is I thought it was another R and one day both Rs were there and I said to the wrong R, "oh, thanks SO MUCH for always checking on me" and the wrong R said, "I haven't sent you any SMS messages" (yes, I about died on the spot) but fortunately my R isn't one to really take offense and we are friends today so all's well that ends well. I'm so grateful she kept texting me.

Then another friend R came to the group and she made an impact on me because she was just so blatantly honest, was crying openly in front of about 15 new people and I'm hugely attracted to honesty and openness. So I remembered where she said she worked and I looked her up and emailed her.

Stalkerish?

I don't know but we are good friends today.

If I don't know someone at all, my natural style is to try befriend you once, maybe twice if I really like you but then if there's no reciprocity, I'll just retreat.

What about you?


How easily do you put yourself out there?


Share some stories with me where you befriended someone or they befriended you.

PS click on the friendship label below this post to see all the posts in this series

16 comments:

  1. I don't really put myself out there. I am roughly a 1.4. I'm just not comfortable, I'm not afraid of rejection but I know that I can't put forth the effort that someone would expect from a friendship.

    That being said, the friendships I currently have (regular friends not 3am life long friend types) have come from work and they are people that seek me out. They speak to me, I listen and offer input, but I'm not very personal. On in particular is this young boy who I've kinda taken under my wing. He just started talking and he was down so I let him vent and ask him if everything was ok. I guess you would say he befriended me. We talked a few times and before I knew it he came out to me and began to seek me out EVERYTIME we worked together. I didn't mind but it was a little weird to have this 17 year old boy following me around. Three years later we're pretty close. We still talk about boy troubles but we've evolved. I helped him weed his way through his first car purchase and currently I'm pushing him to re-enroll in culinary school and to leave his parents house.

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  5. Normally I really struggle to put myself out there. I want to connect, I really do, but for some reason I just really struggle to put myself out there.

    There was one friendship though. It was Paul. I don't know what it was. I met him when Bianca started in his class. I don't know what it was but I remember he once had a bit of a chat with me as I waited for Bianca outside his class and it just suddenly felt like we shared a lot in common. And so I really put myself out there to befriend him. He has since become one of my very best friends. He also has a lovely wife and we get along really well with them.

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  6. I don't battle to connect with people...can't really say I have a method for connecting either. It's not something I've ever had to put a lot of thought into.

    I guess that it helps that I have one of those tell me your life story faces...and I have the ears and shoulders to back it up? ;-)

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  7. I love Mandy's random score of 1.4! I don't put myself out there either. I am okay in group situations, but one on one is hard for me with new people. If I were to try to forge a new connection, it would be a group get-together kind of thing. Does that make sense?

    My BFF and I became friends back in 5th grade when she randomly started talking to me on the playground at my dad's apartment complex. Thank goodness she is so forward...I'd be lost without our friendship for the past 19 years!

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  8. I'm so bad at it!! Esp evident right now with living in a new city. I'm great with staying close and open once we are friends though.

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  9. I'm horrible at putting myself out there. But what's weird is that I can talk to anyone, especially people who start a conversation with me but I'll never be the first one to offer my name or contact info.

    There's a mom who lives in my neighborhood and I see her and her kids all the time at our neighborhood playground, at the pool in the summer and we even sometimes see each other riding bikes on our way to pick up our kids from the same school. We chat all the time, just very casual conversation about the weather, etc. Do you know I don't even know her first name???? Neither of us have ever bothered to formally introduce ourselves to one another. I've never exchanged contact info with her or anything. I have a feeling we could be good friends but neither of us has ever stepped up to take it to the next level.

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  10. wow. i'm totally shy. i hate to put myself out there. but i've been trying. :) funny you should mention the gym thing. the class that i go to daily is mostly older people, older people who could kick my ass, but older. there was a younger gal who joined and i really liked her. we talked a lot about how she wanted to get her phd, what it would entail, her boyfriend and the fact that he has kids, etc. i remember coming home and telling B that i had a "gym friend" and that maybe i would ask her to go out for a drink or coffee. and then? she took a job in san fransisco. which is like a million miles away. so...no more gym friend.

    but...i really like my friday morning spinning instructor. i think we would get along well. she picks the BEST music. i wonder if we could be friends? but how the heck do you ask your spinning instructor out on a date? lol.

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  11. I don't put myself out there at all at the moment. Just keeping up to life has become a chore and I just don't have the energy to socialize...sounds awful, I know.

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  12. So, as often happens, I've been thinking about your post for a day or so now...also in light of reading the MWF/BFF book. :) There are a couple of people that I have thought about trying to catch up with for a coffee or something, but I haven't done it. One owns this cool little bead shop in town, and I stop in occasionally to browse and chat with her. The next time I see her, I'm going to ask if she'd like to catch up over coffee. Adding it to my list. Just do it, MandyE! :)

    Reading this reminds me of something I feel kinda bad about, though. We had lived here about a year, and we had new neighbors moving in behind us. I made them cookies and we chatted a few times...I gave them references for some painters, house keepers, etc. Then I got a call one Saturday afternoon from the wife (who's about my age), asking if I wanted to go look at some furniture with her.

    That's been probably 8 years ago, but I still kick myself for not saying yes. I answered the question at a very "surface" level...it was a holiday weekend, and I was just thankful to be home, resting. I didn't want to go look at furniture. I don't know when I realized that was kind of a "friend" invitation. Duh! We're plenty friendly now as neighbors, but I wish I hadn't messed that up so long ago. :/

    Love these posts, Marcia! Very thought-provoking.

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  13. I would say that I'm a 5. It's taken a lot of personal growth for me to become a 5 though, I used to be a 0.5. I kind of battle to draw the line with continuing to try without coming across as stalkerish. That's what I'm working on at the moment.
    ps...am so loving your movement. I wanted to put up the badge thingy on Friday but then I saw that you didn't have it up so I didn't. Why don't you add it in? It's so pretty.

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  14. I rarely put myself out there. I'm afraid people won't like me.

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  15. At the moment I am struggling to get energy for anything. Hec, if I could do something for friendship I would het out there and see you!

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  16. Whoo boy, I'm like a 10 on the scale of 1-10. I put myself out there all the time, it's my default instinct. My struggle is to contain it, to not be quite so immediately outgoing and friendly, as it leads to overbooking and stretching my energy thin.

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