Remember when you made friends?
Like in primary school when you went on school trips and came back with a BBF from a different class?
Or your first new proper job out of school where you were forced to meet new people, who would inevitably become the backbone of your cheap and cheerful drinking days?
Oh the possibilities when random bunches of people are thrust into a situation by force (aka the school field trip) or necessity (work/study) and left to fend for themselves!
But what happens when our environment remains stagnant?
As I get older, I kind of don’t want to meet new people. I struggle to keep up to date with those near and dear to me as it is – so why would I augment an already dire situation by actively pursuing new points of contact?
I tend to avert my eyes down in public. Indeed at my local VERY tiny and cliquey gym they definitely think I have an attitude problem. Where everyone is now on first term basis, I am still a stranger in their eyes – despite having attended for more than a year. And at parties, I quickly bee line for the people I know. Small talk is far too draining. When it happens – I often find myself rotating questions and comments on a 5 minute cycle until anxiety and sheer boredom gets the better of me and I try to extract myself from the conversation by excusing myself to the loo. This, is always a dead give-away. So I say it straight to their face. I feel the confidence might act as a buffer for the obvious snuff.
Back in my ‘hey days’ – I loved meeting new people. Some might say I thrived off of it. You could also say I was a massive flirt. Either sex – I managed to flatter, cajole and congratulate.
But then I lost the drive to flirt. No need when I have a boyfriend. And although he still believes me to be an outrageous flirt, I am clearly aware that my social prowess is relegated to practical requirements only. Exhibit A being the recent apartment I acquired. Daniel the real estate agent would have been deaf, dumb and blind if he had forgotten me.
So here I am now, happy in my relationship and partaking in the requisite family gatherings, close acquaintance meet ups and date nights.
That is until I recently attended my boyfriend’s cricket presentation night.
Having only played for a season of cricket, my boyfriend has managed to gather a delightful bunch of cricketing men from all walks of life
– A financial planner who works the trading floors
– A university lecturer in English literature
– A high school legal studies teacher
– A Personal Trainer
– A full time father…
Dinner at said, cricket presentation night was a ‘place your arse anywhere’ affair which meant, arriving late; we were forced to sit next to ‘shock horror’ utter strangers.
And while at first this was the death of me, I was eventually won over by the podiatrist and lawyer that I found myself seated next to. Although initial conversation sprouted from the delights of the weather and the nuisance of air conditioning at events – it wasn’t long before this little trio of women managed to find a common playing ground.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t actually that hard.
Indeed – it was quiet enjoyable.
And I might have scored myself a free check up with the podiatrist. (Some habits never die)
What about you? Have you stopped trying to make new friends? Or managed to find a fab new best friend only as of recent?