I have a confession.
I am terrible at making friends. or keeping them for that matter.
But it’s not all my fault, I swear. I’m in my early twenties, but don’t like to stay out late or go to bars or clubs. I don’t wear the latest fashions (I much prefer to be comfortable then “on trend”). I don’t like crowds. Plus, I have very specific interests; and don’t like spending time on activities I don’t like. So needless to say, there are very few girls my age, that share my interests, that I could actually befriend.
Now a lot of what I have described above is due to my low level Asperger’s. I know I’ve never discussed it here before because it’s not a major factor in my life. I don’t like to dwell on it too much; but it is a big part of the reason I have trouble making friends. Those with Asperger’s have lower levels of social skills, don’t like being put in unknown circumstances, and can get overwhelmed by too much stimuli. I have a huge distaste for small talk, I need to know exactly what will be happening when I enter a social situation, and I do a million times better one on one then in a crowd. Have I said I hate crowds… cause I really do. 🙂
That said, I really like the idea of being a people person. I’ve always wanted to be able to go out on a Friday night to a crowded restaurant with a huge group of friends, loud music, and be…ok. I want to be the type of person that has gobs of friends and can carry on a conversation at any time with anyone (and to like it).
But as it is, I have a handful of friends; and to be honest, I’m a pretty terrible friend. I love spending time one on one with them (if it’s previously planned); but I don’t do well with spontaneity. If a friend calls up just to talk, I have to be “in the mood”. I can get drained very quickly from social interactions, and really need to be “in the right place at the right time”- if you know what I mean.
And it really feels like I am the only person who deals with this. I know it’s not true, but it feels like it.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to figure this whole friend thing out. I want to know how to make friends and to keep them.
One of the ways I’ve thought to make friends is to join a Meetup group. Meetup is a website where you can create a club of any type and make it available to any other meetup members in your area to join. It’s actually really neat. I thought perhaps that if I join a group of people who share my interests it would give me an easy way to start a conversation and to get to know someone.
So I joined a choir. I have a very long musical background (I come from a musical family), but it’s been a long time since I have had an outlet to sing. I’m pretty excited about it. They meet March-June and Sept-Dec. I can’t wait for it to start.
I also thought about joining a book club. I am a voracious reader and thought that would be a great fit too. But I couldn’t find any book club that met at a day or time I could make; plus a lot of them read books that just didn’t interest me; so-
I Started My Own Book Club!
I’m really nervous. So far, 7 people have joined and signed up for the meeting at the end of the month. That’s a lot of people for me. But, I figure I’ll have the discussion to focus on; so that’s something. And I was able to give the club a focus that really interested me; children’s literature. I’m excited to meet people who love reading kid’s books as much as I do… but…it’s new people. Ah scary! 🙂
New is frightening. Change is hard. Adjusting is difficult.
New is necessary. Change is not an option, and adjusting is the only way to deal with.
So cheers to new years, new opportunities, and (hopefully) new friends.