?

Log in

Making friends - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Making friends [May. 22nd, 2004|07:58 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |mellowmellow]

One of the great laments that I hear is how hard it is to make friends once you're no longer in school. And it's true; you don't have that disconnected-from-real-life experience that means you have plenty of free time, combined with an outside entity providing plenty of social activities. You have to try harder.

But it's not impossible.

Thursday and Friday of this week I attended a conference on labor and employment issues for attorneys. Arriving on Thursday morning, I sat down at a table by myself and was pretty much content to just take in information without much thought of socializing. A youngish woman came up and gave me a shy smile, and asked if I minded if she sat with me. We exchanged basic pleasantries and the conference began/

By the end of two days we had exchanged phone numbers, promises to get together for lunch, and a general decision that she and her husband needed to join us when we went for karaoke the next time. Mostly because I related to her after the first break that I had just learned who'd died on Angel's series finale, thanks to another conversation I happened to walk by at the wrong moment. She is an Angel fan, and that opened up the conversation. By the time the weekend was over, we had both determined that friendship should be pursued.

It's not impossible to go back to the playground mode and say, "Hi, can we be friends?" You just have to be brave enough to do it. She was; when we were getting ready to leave and had exchanged business cards she took the initiative to suggest karaoke. I was delighted, and in turn promised to call next week.

Don't let opportunity pass you by because you feel shy. It's just like when Ferrett and I went to the Farscape convention and he didn't want to go to the opening reception because we wouldn't know anybody. Do what we did then; look around for someone else who looks stranded and introduce yourself. We had a great time that weekend because of that.

And this woman introduced me to a number of people over the two days because I was her new friend. I have new connections in the law community because of that. And it looks like a new couple for us to hang with.
LinkReply

Comments:
From: grailquestion
2004-05-23 12:23 am (UTC)
Yay! More people!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:09 pm (UTC)
People are good!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dweezel
2004-05-23 12:28 am (UTC)
This is very easy for extroverts to do. I don't like people in general, so I don't like talking to strangers. Again, easy enough to say don't be shy if you're not a shy person.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-05-23 01:57 am (UTC)
I'm shy, too. It's hell doing it. But just because it's easier to say than it is to do doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do.

If you're lonely, ya gotta get out and just start hugging people. As a New Englander, it's something that's alien to my entire being, but after watching Gini at work repeatedly and seeing the results, I'm convinced it's really the only way that works.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 04:03 am (UTC)
That's absolutely, positively true. It's hard, and awkward, and frustrating, and it eats huge amounts of energy. It's not fair that you are thrust against your will into a position of having to do it. I wish you didn't have to go through that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: itches
2004-05-23 12:35 am (UTC)
'Mostly because I related to her after the first break that I had just learned who'd died on Angel's series finale, thanks to another conversation I happened to walk by at the wrong moment.'

Damnit, now I know someone is going to die =p
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: call_me_harmony
2004-05-23 09:16 am (UTC)
Yes and now I need to know who, an email to spamcatchersw@ntlworld.com with the information would be much appreciated. Please.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 02:56 pm (UTC)
Done. I hate spoilers, so I don't get it, but I'm happy to have provided a service!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: call_me_harmony
2004-05-23 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mishamish
2004-05-23 12:37 am (UTC)
I also agree with the "easier to make friends" in school bit... the problem with me in the last six months was that my new job (which is usually the place that replace school in the "meeting people" arena) had me travelling all the time. I was never in TOWN! There was no home office, I'd just get in my truck in the morning and drive to another state... So, I was meeting PLENTY of people... several hundred miles from home. Anyway, it's all good because I used webcomic contacts and conventions and stuff, and hence we met D & M and all is well.

Dweezil, well, it sounds trite, but it REALLY does come down to that. I'm fairly shy myself, unless I'm around people I know well, or have some excuse to use if "caught" in being friendly or goofy. However, sometimes it takes just facing that down and GOING with it. Unless you have panic attacks in such a situation, in which you've got only my sympathy, as I have no unsolicated advice to offer there...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:07 pm (UTC)
Job has actually been kind of an iffy place for meeting people here in Cleveland, but we have been lucky enough to meet people in other places.

Hope the housewarming went well!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mishamish
2004-05-23 05:30 pm (UTC)
The Housewarming went MASSIVELY well... but I remembered the next morning that we hadn't sent you take home phone!! GAH! I'm thinking of whipping up a Low Country Boil tonight, though... you want some Louisiana Style shrimp delivered?
;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 09:17 pm (UTC)
Alas, though I adore shrimp they are deadly for me - seafood allergy. But thank you for the offer!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mishamish
2004-05-24 12:46 am (UTC)
Grr... we shall find a way to feed you YET, Zoethe, MARK MY WORDS!!!!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: williaej
2004-05-23 01:12 am (UTC)
Again with the people talking about things that are just what I'm dealing with.

*sigh*

I've got to get this psychic projection thing under control. It's starting to freak me out.

[g]
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:06 pm (UTC)
It's just that implant I've inserted into your brain. Pay it no nevermind.

;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: tam_maat
2004-05-23 01:20 am (UTC)
Anything is possible, but most people aren't willing to make the effort. I go out of my way to talk to people, whoever they may be, online, offline, in the street, serving me, whatever they may be doing, because you never know what you might discover.

A quote that I've always remembered from my childhood:

"A stranger is just a friend that you haven't met yet..."


A little love makes the world go round; love starts with kindness and friendship. You may find an unexpected friend in someone online, with whom you share certain interests, or maybe offline, through a chance meeting, and discover that you have the same sense of humour.

Just because you don't know someone, don't rule them out. Get to know them, and then make your choice.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:05 pm (UTC)
[nod] I'm one to start up conversations in elevators and lines, and even if you don't make a lifelong friend you have made those few minutes more pleasant. You just don't know where you're goiong to find someone with whom you hit it off.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: cosmicbandit
2004-05-23 04:27 am (UTC)
I'm an introvert and it takes me awhile to warm up. I'm pretty socially incompetent and usually suffer from foot-in-the-mouthitis. That said, I've found it to be slightly easier to make social leaps as I get older. (as soon as I quit hyperventilating)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:04 pm (UTC)
It's work, getting past that initial awkwardness. I'm glad that you are finding it easier!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:03 pm (UTC)
Too bad you can't provide a referral service to the people who would like new friends....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 02:58 pm (UTC)
Don't mind at all! Welcome!

I'm amused that you chose a post about friendship in which to introduce yourself [g].
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ladycathead
2004-05-23 02:22 pm (UTC)
Good for you allowing yourself to meet others and reach out. Too many people isolate themselves and make up excuses for not meeting new people...they might not be willing to work a little extra for their friendships. You are right, it is tougher to meet people out of school. But not impossible.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 03:02 pm (UTC)
And at some point I would still like to meet you in person!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2004-05-23 09:03 pm (UTC)
I met a few new people in Vegas and am still emailing them back and forth. A woman met a an investor conference over a year ago is now a pretty good friend ....

Basically I leave myself as open as I can to meeting new people and click with 3-4 every year.

I also spent much of my life as an introvert. I still takes effort to go and meet people.

Michael
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-05-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
It's good to hear from introverts that they have done it. It's not easy, but it is possible.

We had a great time in Vegas, by the way.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)