Monday, October 18, 2010

Making and Keeping Friends

Let's talk about this. Maybe you should talk and I 'll listen because I don't think I know how it's done.

My struggle with friendships started in the third grade when my best friend dumped me for a kindergartner. Oh the broken heart! What did I do wrong? Somehow I had the feeling it had to do with the fact that my yellow pants with the roller skate embroidered on the back pocket weren't as cool as her red and brown plaid dress with the Winnie the Pooh.

On a trip to California a year later I found my next friend. My new Best Friend. I suppose she still carries that title even though I have been out of touch with her for about seven years.

Growing up in the religion I did was very restrictive. We were only allowed to have friends inside the church. SO when you are a Jehovah's Witness and in a small town it's kind of a double whammy. I made friends with a girl when I was about thirteen, but she lived an hour away and I didn't get to see her very often. We were reacquainted when I was 19 and spent two very fun years together before I got married and moved away.

As far back as I can remember, having strong friendships has been my truest desire. And as I got older this became clear. Why did I want fancy things? Because I hoped it would make people want to be around me. Why did I want to be thin and pretty? Because I thought it would draw people to me.

I am filled with wonder at large groups of friends. How do they do it? Where do they find each other? How does it go from meeting and to no-invitation-required?

A few years ago an acquaintance told me I come across as really weird. I was surprised at the time. I had no idea people think I'm weird. But the more I thought about it, I could see what he may have been talking about. I tend to want to get a feel for a person before I have contact with them. I don't think I can explain what this means. It's just an intuition that tells me if they are OK or not. Something I would not do is psychically intrude on someone else. I don't do that. I think that must be the assumption people make when they find out I am psychic. "Oh no, she can see all my secrets..." I could see some of your secrets if I looked, but I don't.

So, back to the question. How does one find friends and keep them? I have put in a lot of effort over the years trying to make friends, but what ends up happening is the effort, the phone calls, the invitations are not returned. And when I get tired of feeling like an outsider, and stop trying so hard, the "friendships" fizzle.

As I have gotten older, however, I find that my desire to deal with people's crap has significantly diminished. I don't want the drama.

One explanation is that you can only have deep friendships with people who you resonate with. If I clash with someone energetically, we will not be a good match, no matter how much effort is put into it.

I'd love to hear your stories if you want to tell me. How do you make friends and keep them? What can you tell me about friendship?

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